|Slang City Mail|
|September 28, 2005|
| Slang of the Week: hunky (adjective)
great (old fashioned)
Jack noticed that the sexy dancers were showing their ankles and decided it was a hunky club, so he took off his top hat and sat down at the bar.
“‘How do you like it?” asked Dick, surveying Johnny’s attacks upon the steak with evident complacency.
-from Horatio Alger’s book Ragged Dick
Here’s a blast from the distant past! Published in 1868, Ragged Dick was the first in a long series of Alger stories about disadvantaged young men employed in low level jobs, such as selling newspapers. Dick polishes shoes on the street and like all of Alger’s heroes, achieves the “American Dream” of success through hard work and good luck.
Hunky was fairly new slang when teenage character Johnny Nolan used it in the book. However, that expression was considered quaint and old fashioned even in 1971, when British rocker David Bowie released an album called Hunky Dory, a variation on the expression. Hunky is still used, but now as an adjective to describe a sexy, muscular man.
What’s new at Slang City?
“It’s so explosive/Them chickens is ash and I’m lotion.” Mariah Carey makes up her own slang on It’s Like That.