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shack1

[shak] /ʃæk/
noun
1.
a rough cabin; shanty.
2.
Informal. radio shack.
Verb phrases
3.
shack up, Slang.
  1. to live together as spouses without being legally married.
  2. to have illicit sexual relations.
  3. to live in a shack:
    He's shacked up in the mountains.
Origin
1875-1880
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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British Dictionary definitions for shacking up

shack1

/ʃæk/
noun
1.
a roughly built hut
2.
(South African) temporary accommodation put together by squatters
verb
3.
See shack up
Word Origin
C19: perhaps from dialect shackly ramshackle, from dialect shack to shake

shack2

/ʃæk/
verb
1.
(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 shacking up

shack

n.

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 shacking up

shack

noun
  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+)
verb

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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