shank of the evening

the shank of the evening

colloquial, dated The origin and precise meaning of the phrase is not certain, hence the contradictory nature of the definitions.
1. The latter part of the evening, between sunset and dark; dusk. Well, it's getting to be the shank of the evening. I should probably start heading home before it gets too dark out.
2. The early or main portion of the evening. There's plenty of time to get this done—we still have the shank of the evening ahead of us.
3. The best or more exciting part of something, especially a party, held in the evening. A: "Hey, you can't leave now! It's only the shank of the evening!" B: "I know things are just getting good here, but I have to be up early tomorrow!"
See also: evening, of, shank
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

shank of the evening

Twilight, dusk. This expression uses shank in the sense of “latter part of ” or “end of,” a usage rare except in this phrase. The earliest citation in the OED is from 1828. P. G. Wodehouse used it in Pearls, Girls, and Monty Bodkin (1972), “‘It’s very late.’—‘Shank of the evening.’”
See also: evening, of, shank
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
At the shank of the evening, he might call it his albatross.