Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Shakes.

E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
No great shakes. Nothing extraordinary; no such mighty bargain. The reference is to shingle for the roof of shanties, or to stubble left after harvest for the poor.   1
        “The cabin itself is quite like that of the modern settlers, but the shingles, called shakes, … make the wood roof unique.”—Harper’s Weekly, July 18th, 1891, p. 534.
   I’ll do it in a brace of shakes—instantly, as soon as you can shake twice the dice-box.   2



Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.