Words: shake, n.

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The Independent Culture
CLEVELAND AMORY, the social historian, whose bedraggled cat arrived one Christmas, argued with a priest over the Catholic teaching that animals lack a soul. "I told the Good Father that if he and I were going to some wonderful Elysian Field and the animals were not going to go anywhere, that was all the more reason to give them a little better shake in the one life they did have."

Amory has now left for that Field, and English readers might assume the remark a case for the RSPCA. In fact, shake has long been American slang for a deal, as in Studs Turkel's 1980 remark, "I'd like to see an America where so much power was not in the hands of the few. Where everybody'd get a fair shake." Unspoken goes the rest of the phrase: "of the dice".

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