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    #1

    Shaft vs Shank

    Is there a difference? how do you use each?, for example, a shank of this but not of that and shaft of this but not of that.

  1. JohnParis's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Shaft vs Shank

    Please rephrase your question. What do you want to know?

    The first definition of the word shank is: "a person's leg, esp. the part from the knee to the ankle".

    The first definition of the word shaft is: "a long, narrow part or section forming the handle of a tool or club, the body of a spear or arrow, or a similar implement "

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    #3

    Re: Shaft vs Shank

    I meant shank as a synonym of shaft (see definition below) and I'd like to know how to differentiate them both. When do you use shank instead or shaft and vice versa?

    shank: a narrow part of various devices, as a tool or bolt, connecting the end by which the object is held or moved with the end that acts upon another object.

    shaft: your definition is good.

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    #4

    Re: Shaft vs Shank

    I see your point, and I suppose that you could use them as synonyms - but I would never do so. It's a question of style.
    When I look for a synonym, I do not look for similarities between the primary or secondary or even tertiary meanings of words.
    I look for similarities between the primary definitions only.
    John

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    #5

    Re: Shaft vs Shank

    Shank is also used for home-made weapons in prison slang.

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    #6

    Re: Shaft vs Shank

    There is some overlap in the use of these two terms, but shaft is most commonly thought of as a long axle to which the rotating parts of a machine are rigidly fixed. The shaft rotates with them, transfering energy from one place to another. One would not use shank in this meaning.

    A shaft will be symetrical in cross section, but a shank needn't be.

    pizza had a good definition of shank. I will add that, most often, a shank is a vertical element (hense its usage as a slang term for leg), though it is not defined as such.

    A spindle is often a shorter shaft or a fixed (non-rotating) mount for rotating parts.

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    #7

    Re: Shaft vs Shank

    Quote Originally Posted by J&K Tutoring View Post
    I will add that, most often, a shank is a vertical element (hense hence its usage as a slang term for leg), though it is not defined as such.
    I took my definition of "shank" from the first definition given by The Oxford Dictionary of the English Language. Because it's the first definition, I don't see how it can be considered as a slang term for "leg". The second definition of the word says that a shank is the shaft or stem of a tool. This is why I said in post N4 they they could be used as synonyms. It's probably just me, but I see shaft as being the more mechanical term and shank as being everything else from the part of an animal (lamb shanks) to a inmate's shiv.

    definition of shank from Oxford Dictionaries Online

    Shank : noun

    • 1 (often shanks) a person’s leg , especially the part from the knee to the ankle:the old man’s thin, bony shanks showed through his trousers
    • the lower part of an animal’s foreleg:many fast animals have long shanks or calves
    • the shank of an animal’s leg as a cut of meat:meals like ham hocks and lamb shanks are cooked with reasonably priced cuts of meat


    • 2 the shaft or stem of a tool or implement, in particular:.
    • a long, narrow part of a tool connecting the handle to the operational end:gouges vary in the amount of curve or sweep on the cutting edge and the form of the shank
    • the cylindrical part of a bit by which it is held in a drill.
    • the long stem of a key , spoon, anchor, etc.:all Roman lever keys have a tubular shank
    • the straight part of a fish hook.
    Last edited by JohnParis; 12-Nov-2011 at 11:00. Reason: spacing

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