shack up

shack

1 [shak]
noun
1.
a rough cabin; shanty.
2.
Informal. radio shack.
Verb phrases
3.
shack up, Slang.
a.
to live together as spouses without being legally married.
b.
to have illicit sexual relations.
c.
to live in a shack: He's shacked up in the mountains.

Origin:
1875–80, Americanism; compare earlier shackly rickety, probably akin to ramshackle (Mexican Spanish jacal “hut” is a phonetically impossible source)

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
shack1 (ʃæk)
 
n
1.  a roughly built hut
2.  (South African) temporary accommodation put together by squatters
 
vb
3.  See shack up
 
[C19: perhaps from dialect shackly ramshackle, from dialect shack to shake]

shack2 (ʃæk)
 
vb
dialect (Midland English) to evade (work or responsibility)

shack up
 
vb (usually foll by with)
slang to live or take up residence, esp with a mistress or lover

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

shack
1878, Amer.Eng. and Canadian Eng., of unknown origin, perhaps from Mex.Sp. jacal, from Nahuatl xacalli "wooden hut." Or perhaps a back-formation from dial. Eng. shackly "shaky, rickety" (1843), a derivative of shack, a dial. variant of shake (q.v.). Another theory derives
shack from ramshackle. Slang verb phrase shack up "cohabit" first recorded 1935 (in Zora Neale Hurston).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

shack up (with (so) definition


  1. in.
    to have a one-night standwith someone; to copulate [with] someone. : He only wanted to shack up with me.
  2. in.
    to move in with someone temporarily, presumably for sexual purposes. : They shacked up for over a year until her parents found out and stopped sending her money.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

shack up

  1. Sleep together or live in sexual intimacy without being married. For example, They had been dating for two months and then decided to shack up. [Slang; first half of 1900s]

  2. Stay or reside with, as in I'm shacking up with my cousin till I find a place of my own. [Slang; first half of 1900s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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