Etymology
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shoehorn (n.)

also shoe-horn, "curved implement used at the heel in slipping on a shoe," 1580s, from shoe (n.) + horn (n.); earlier shoeing-horn (mid-15c.). They were originally made of horn.

shoehorn (v.)

1859, "put or thrust (something somewhere) by means of a 'tool,' " a figurative use, from shoehorn (n.). By 1927 as "maneuver or compress (someone or something) into inadequate space." Earlier it meant "to cuckold" (mid-17c.), with a play on horn (n.). Related: Shoehorned; shoehorning.

updated on August 25, 2022

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