Mr Bones

Senior Member
España - Español
Hello, friends. I'm quite lost here and I need your help, as usual.

Miss Maudy Atkinson baked a Lane cake so loaded with shinny it made me tight (To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee).

I don't know what is exactly a Lane cake, but I suppose it's some sort of cake, so it doesn't make any difference (tell me if I'm wrong, though).

I think tight means drunk here, doesn't it? But what I cannot find out is what shinny stands for. Is it maybe a kind of liquor? (I love baking cakes and I load them with sherry).

Thank you, Bones.
  • sloopjc

    Senior Member
    UK English
    This might help you:

    << This links to a Los Angeles Unified School District website's page of linked footnotes to chapter 13, which in turn links to this definition of 'shinny':
    shinny (n.) a slang term for liquor; usually whiskey or bourbon. Bourbon is a main ingredient in the
    recipe for a Lane cake.
    (At the moment, the link to the recipe for Lane Cake still works. ;)) >>
    Last edited by a moderator:


    Senior Member
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Shinny is an AE version of moonshine.
    Moonshine, apart from being the light of the moon, is smuggled or illegally-distilled alcoholic liquor.


    Senior Member
    I'm not sure that logic quite works, NorthernTeach. The word might be much more general, even if the recipe for the cake is specific. If I say "the rum balls were so filled with booze that I got drunk" it wouldn't necessarily follow that booze is a slang term for rum.


    Senior Member
    British English
    The OED is such a useful resource.
    south. U.S.
    = moonshine n. 4
    1934 in Webster's New Internat. Dict. Eng. Lang.
    1944 D. Van de Voort in B. A. Botkin Treasury Amer. Folklore v. 686 Wiley went over to the safe and got out his pappy's jug of shinny.