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shin·​ny ˈshi-nē How to pronounce shinny (audio)
variants or less commonly shinney
: a variation of hockey played by children with a curved stick and a ball or block of wood
also : the stick used
: an informal game of ice hockey played usually outdoors


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shinnied; shinnying

intransitive verb

: to move oneself up or down something vertical (such as a pole) especially by alternately hugging it with the arms or hands and the legs

Examples of shinny in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Born 4½ years after his brother, Cal, Ryan was always at a physical disadvantage in neighborhood games of shinny. Alex Prewitt,, 2 Oct. 2019 The event will celebrate the traditions of Pala with demonstrations, including bird songs, shinny games, peon and bow and arrow making. San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 Aug. 2019 Not far away, a group of youngsters kicked up plenty of dust on a hot day, playing shinny. Rob Nikolewski, San Diego Union-Tribune, 31 Aug. 2019 Julian Ganton, now 31, recounted summers spent sleeping in tents high in the trees and winters spent playing shinny — that’s Canadian for pickup hockey — right outside his house. Catherine Porter, New York Times, 16 Jan. 2018 The Predators were the last team to qualify for this year’s shinny tournament and the first to get to the final. Steve Rosenbloom,, 26 May 2017
Fanning out like urban guerrillas through Paris’ darkened streets well after midnight, the anti-waste activists shinny up walls and drain pipes, reaching for switches to turn off the lights. Click. The Christian Science Monitor, 3 Aug. 2022 The slippery custom began a half-century ago merely as a means to dissuade drunken daredevils from attempting to shinny up the poles in order to mingle with paying guests. Doug MacCash | Staff Writer,, 25 Jan. 2021 No hunter, regardless of how hard-core, wants to strap a 40-pound stand to his back, trek two miles back into the wilderness, then try to shinny up a tree with it. The Editors, Field & Stream, 22 Aug. 2019 Two hours south of Kazinga Channel is the Ishasha Sector of the park, home to the famous tree-climbing lions that shinny up ficus trees and nap during the hot afternoon hours. Tom Hanscom, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 July 2019 There are now escape chutes (basically, giant collapsible fabric tubes for shinnying down) and small parachutes. Alex Williams, New York Times, 23 Sep. 2017 Daedalus ignored her and started shinnying up the pole. John Kelly, Washington Post, 20 Aug. 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'shinny.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



perhaps from shin entry 1


alteration of shin entry 2

First Known Use


1672, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1851, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of shinny was in 1672

Dictionary Entries Near shinny

Cite this Entry

“Shinny.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


shinnied; shinnying
: to climb up or down something vertical by grasping it with the arms and legs and moving oneself by repeated jerks
shinnied up the pole

More from Merriam-Webster on shinny

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