mare

(redirected from Mares)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

wooden mare

An ancient torture device involving a wooden horse, typically used for military punishments. I was so terrified of what my parents would do when they found out I'd failed my exam that I had visions of them making me ride the wooden mare.
See also: mare, wooden

mare's nest

A difficult, complicated, or confusing situation. The tax laws in this country are a mare's nest that nobody fully understands.
See also: nest

ride shanks' mare

To walk. "Shanks" refers to one's legs. The store is close enough that we don't need to drive, we can just ride shanks' mare.
See also: mare, ride

by shank's mare

Fig. by foot; by walking. (Shank refers to the shank of the leg.) My car isn't working, so I'll have to travel by shank's mare. I'm sore because I've been getting around by shank's mare.
See also: mare

shank's mare

Fig. travel on foot. You'll find that shank's mare is the quickest way to get across town. Is there a bus, or do I have to use shank's mare?
See also: mare

a mare's nest

a very confused situation The law on restrictive trade is a mare's nest that scarcely anyone can comprehend.
See also: nest

Shanks's pony

  (British, American & Australian old-fashioned) also Shank's mare (American old-fashioned)
walking as a method of travel I missed the last bus and had to get home on Shanks's pony.
See also: pony

shank’s mare

n. foot travel. (Old. Lacking a horse, one uses the legs. This does not refer to a person named shank.) You’ll find that shank’s mare is the quickest way to get across town.
See also: mare

the old gray mare

The passage of time. A folk song attributed to Stephen Foster and supposedly referring to a 19th-century harness-racing horse named Lady Suffolk begins, “Oh, the old gray mare, she ain't what she used to be . . . Many long years ago.” Unkind people used the image to refer women “of a certain age” (or older), although when used by themselves about themselves, it has an air of self-deprecating resignation. For example, a middle-aged woman who leaves the dance floor short of breath after a vigorous jitterbug may wipe her brow, reach for a cold drink, and exclaim, “The old gray mare ain't what she used to be.”
See also: gray, mare, old

shank's mare

Walking. “Shank” is another word for shinbone. By extension, its use in the phase refers to our legs. “Mare” here is equine transport, and when we walk, we “ride” on shank's mare.
See also: mare
References in classic literature ?
The machinery was not in motion, and but a few of the shop doors unbarred, when he alighted in the stable yard of the tavern, and made it his first business to order the mare four quarts of oats.
His little mare was fast bringing him up with a man on horseback, who trotted through the gate a few rods in advance of him, nodded to the toll-gatherer, and kept on towards the village.
Dominicus knew the place; and the little mare stopped short by instinct; for he was not conscious of tightening the reins.
The Prince glanced over Lady Grace's mare and turned aside to join Penelope and Somerfield.
The mare was stripped, and the whole party gathered round to watch him mount.
One hind leg of the mare seemed to collapse, and for a moment the whole quivering body, upreared and perpendicular, swayed back and forth, and there was uncertainty as to whether it would fall forward or backward.
Lute saw Dolly check and rear in the air again, and caught up just as the mare made a second bolt.
To catch and saddle the mare and tether her in a clump of trees close by: to have the means of escape nice and handy before I went to work.
I must trust to the sound sleeping of Ewbank upstairs, open the door myself, knock the visitor down, or shoot him with the revolver I had been new chum enough to buy before leaving Melbourne, and make a dash for that clump of trees and the doctor's mare.
John stood staring after him, or rather after the grey mare (for he had no eyes for her rider), until man and beast had been out of sight some twenty minutes, when he began to think they were gone, and slowly re-entering the house, fell into a gentle doze.
The unfortunate grey mare, who was the agony of Joe's life, floundered along at her own will and pleasure until the Maypole was no longer visible, and then, contracting her legs into what in a puppet would have been looked upon as a clumsy and awkward imitation of a canter, mended her pace all at once, and did it of her own accord.
Blow me," says Tom Smart; and the mare neighed as if she were precisely of the same opinion.
Cheer up, old girl," said Tom, patting the bay mare on the neck with the end of his whip.
And he thrashed and thrashed at the mare, beside himself with fury.
All at once laughter broke into a roar and covered everything: the mare, roused by the shower of blows, began feebly kicking.