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[shak] /ʃæk/
verb (used with object), Informal.
to chase and throw back; to retrieve:
to shack a ground ball.
Origin of shack2
1825-35, Americanism; apparently special use of dial. shack to shake Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for shacked
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • “Oh, we had lunch with your friend Fothergill and shacked about,” Cecil answered.

    Mr. Marx's Secret

    E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • He told her everything he thought as they shacked erlong together, I reckon, an' she remembers it.

    Rimrock Trail J. Allan Dunn
British Dictionary definitions for shacked


a roughly built hut
(South African) temporary accommodation put together by squatters
See shack up
Word Origin
C19: perhaps from dialect shackly ramshackle, from dialect shack to shake


(Midland English, dialect) to evade (work or responsibility)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for shacked



1878, American English and Canadian English, of unknown origin, perhaps from Mexican Spanish jacal, from Nahuatl xacalli "wooden hut." Or perhaps a back-formation from dialectal English shackly "shaky, rickety" (1843), a derivative of shack, a dialectal variant of shake (v.). Another theory derives shack from ramshackle.

Slang meaning "house" attested by 1910. In early radio enthusiast slang, it was the word for a room or office set aside for wireless use, 1919, perhaps from earlier U.S. Navy use (1917). As a verb, 1891 in the U.S. West in reference to men who "hole up" for the winter; from 1927 as "to put up for the night;" phrase shack up "cohabit" first recorded 1935 (in Zora Neale Hurston).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for shacked



  1. The caboose of a freight train (1899+ Railroad, hoboes & circus)
  2. A railroad brake operator, who rode in the caboose (1899+ Railroad, hoboes & circus)
  3. shack job (1940s+)


shack up (1940s+)

[fr shack, ''hut, shanty,'' found by 1878, probably fr earlier shackle fr American Spanish jacal fr Aztec xacalli]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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