I say it a lot, just to be cute. Aw, shucks. Every time I type it, I add an imaginary foot shuffle. No doubt inspired from some cartoon.

But it never occurred to me to wonder where it came from. When I looked it up, it was kinda a “duh” moment.

Appearing in writing in 1847 in two different sources, shucks comes directly from shuck. I’m familiar with shuck as a verb–shucking corn, shucking oysters. Said verb is from 1819. The noun actually predates it by several hundred years, tracing its appearance back to the 1670s and meaning “a pod, a shell.” Something discarded.

The interjection Shucks! then comes from this idea of it being a toss-away. It’s kind of like saying, “Nonsense.” or “It’s nothing.” One of those first appearances in 1847 was actually “not worth shucks.”

So there we have it. =) Hope everyone has a great first week of March…though as usual, the end of February took me totally by surprise.

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