Green’s Dictionary of Slang

shaft n.

1. in physiological senses.

(a) [17C+] (also prickshaft) the penis [note blaxploitation films of the 1970s, starring macho private eye ‘John Shaft’].

(b) [1930s+] (US) a woman’s body, considered simply as a sexual object.

(c) [1920s–50s] (US) a (woman’s) leg.

2. [1910s+] (orig. US) unfair treatment; often as the shaft.

3. [1970s] (US) a single thrust of sexual intercourse.

In compounds

shaft job (n.) [job n.2 (2)]

[2000s] an example of unfair treatment.

shaftsman (n.) (also shaft artist) [-artist sfx]

[1970s] a cheat, a deceiver.

In phrases

get the shaft (v.) (also get the purple shaft, …royal shaft) [1950s+] (orig. US)

to be treated unfairly or harshly.

shaft of delight (n.)

[mid-18C] the penis.

sink the shaft (v.)

see under sink v.