What do Western novelists mean by “light a shuck?” The phrase means to depart in haste for another location

mtrimble

What do Western novelists mean by “light a shuck?”

Michael J. Graves

Belen, New Mexico

The phrase means to depart in haste for another location, especially in the dead of night. It is derived from the use of corn shucks as convenient torches for lighting the way home.

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Marshall Trimble

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian and the Wild West History Association’s vice president. His latest book is 2018’s Arizona Oddities: A Land of Anomalies and Tamales. Send your question, with your city/state of residence, to marshall.trimble@scottsdalecc.edu or Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327.