Stonking

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9 comments on this post.
  1. Fun Word of the Day: Stonking | Cryptic Philosopher:

    […] second I saw this word, I knew it had to be British. Sure enough, it is: ["Stonking"] been popular slang in the UK for many years, and enjoyed a certain vogue there in the […]

  2. Ed Groves:

    I have an idea that the word “stonking” was my own invention. In the early 1980s, at South Bank, I used to play some strange games with friends, one of which I named “Stonker Tennis” a variant of Tiddly-Winks involving an improvised “net”. “That’s a stonker” we cried – never having heard the word!

  3. Jessie Bauchope Young:

    LOL! I’ve been stonking since the fifties! It has multiple meanings, and I suspect it is Scottish in origin!

  4. PulSe:

    Hmmm… my heart tells me that the cry when ‘taking the pot!’ (see 1825 version) led to the WWI ‘decimating’ usage. Seems about right – 4 generations for a child’s disparaging hoot meaning ‘suckers – took it all! the pot! – “stonk!” leading to ‘decimated the lot’.

    Just my gut’s memory whispering.

    (regarding ‘Boffin’ – the first image I conjure… the studious prim bird leading to the ‘egghead’ modern variant seems pretty straightforward.)

  5. Gardgydja:

    It could come from old Norse. There’s a Swedish word ‘stånk’ which is pronounced ‘stonk’ and means a pot or jug.

  6. Ali Martineau:

    From the early days of flying, the ‘lift’ of the plane was measured by a calibrated tube, attached to either side of the cockpit. The unit of measurement was ‘knots’, which was written vertically along side of the gauge. When read backwards, as it often was, due to the position of the pilot, the word ‘KNOTS’ was read as ”STONK. When the aircraft got a huge amount of ‘lift’, the liquid in the glass gauges went up to the top, and the pilots would then ‘boast’ that they had had a ‘STONK-ing’ good flight! Maybe this is the origin of the word ‘STONKING’ ?

  7. Donald Couper:

    http://nigelef.tripod.com/glossary.htm

    “A pattern of fire on the ground, probably first developed 2 NZ Division in mid 1942. It evolved in N. Africa where individual divisions and regiments had their own versions, initially simple concentrations, and generally used for Defensive Fire. It was subsequently standardised as a 525 yard linear, oriented as required, with regiments of different types each covering the full length. NZ used a 1200 × 600 yard pattern, later changed to 600 x 600. Stonks lasted into the 1950’s when they were replaced by standard Linear Targets.”

    I found this definition from an artillery website. It seems very convincing.

  8. Bruce Hocking:

    I played cherrybobs and marbles at school about 1933 and then stonk had two meanings…it could be your favourite marble for firing at the marbles in the ring (usually slightly larger than average) or your “stonk” could be your “dibs” (your wager). My favourite was a black tor (a stone marble) until it was chipped by a boy with a glassie. There were many Scotch kids in the school, so the origin could have been Scottish.

  9. PointyOintment:

    I came here from Google, trying to find the etymology of the term “stonks” (always plural), which has arisen recently and is used to express a bad or silly stock trade, investment, or other deal. Any ideas about that? Seems to me that it could have originated as a typo and then been adopted due to people liking how silly it sounds, like “hodl” in context of Bitcoin investing (which originated from a typo-ed proclamation that “I AM HODLING!”).

    >From the early days of flying, the ‘lift’ of the plane was measured by a calibrated tube, attached to either side of the cockpit. The unit of measurement was ‘knots’, which was written vertically along side of the gauge.

    Knot is a unit of speed, not lift. The tube sounds like a pitot tube, which is still used on just about every airplane in the world, to measure speed. Why would you even measure lift? It is necessarily equal in magnitude and opposite in sign to the airplane’s weight, in level flight anyway.

    >When read backwards, as it often was, due to the position of the pilot, the word ‘KNOTS’ was read as ”STONK.

    Why would it be “read backwards […] due to the position of the pilot”? Were pilots often sitting backward in their seats, reading the gauges via a mirror? That can’t have been a common arrangement.

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