1. Originating in Old Europe during the Middle Ages, where burial space was often in short supply throughout many communities. To maximize use of space in many cemetaries, the dead were often buried in a 6 foot vertical shaft, rather than the usual horizontal grave position. The vertical position was considered less socially respectable. Thereafter the term began to mean poor treatment given to someone in such a way that demeans him or affirms second hand status as a citizen.

In communities that had active, but hidden, homosexual communities, the phrase took on a second meaning in double entendre, referring to the humiliating prospect of having to bend over, grab one's ankles, and recieve painful anal intercourse from someone who is overly aggressive and abusive.
When they fired Bob, they gave him the shaft.
by bucky buckmeister November 17, 2006
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Everything bad in life.

Often one gets the shaft, meaning that they were utterly screwed over in life.
Jerry always gets the shaft.
by steelman August 18, 2003
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1 Familiar name for a landmark at Georgia Tech called the Campanile.
I'll meet you by the shaft after class
by The damn co-op December 6, 2004
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Getting the bad part of a bargain. It comes from the song: "She Got the Goldmine (I Got the Shaft)" written by Jerry Reed.

She got the goldmine (She got the goldmine)
I got the shaft (I got the shaft)
They split it right down the middle
And then they give her the better half
Well, it all sounds sorta funny
But it hurts too much to laugh
She got the goldmine, I got the shaft
Why'd you make that trade, you got the shaft!
by Rob Bradley May 10, 2006
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A word that can mean literally anything, but is most commonly an insult used against another person. Can also be called Shafte (Shaft-EE)
Person 1: "You are such a Shaft/Shafte."
Person 2: "You take that back!"
by I breathe K-POP December 8, 2020
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To be royally fucked either by an unfortunate situation or fucked regardless of preparation. To be shafted is to be utterly screwed over to the point of comfort is needed either from an object or consumption of food or contraband.
Friend - “How do you think you did on that calculus test?”

Me - “I felt bad about it but when I turned it in I knew that I got shafted.”
by Trevasaures June 15, 2018
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