Herbert Stahlke hstahlke at WORLDNET.ATT.NET
Thu Jul 11 01:50:58 UTC 2002

I lean towards my original assumption, when I pointed this new Muncie store
out to Mai and to one of my undergrad Language and Society classes.  "Hawk",
in the sense of "sell in the street or door to door" isn't a very common
verb in this area.  Many of my Central Indiana students didn't know that
meaning.  They knew of the bird and the act of clearing one's throat
noisily, but not this form of commerce.  Knowing the owners and employees of
this shop, I tend to doubt that they know it either.  The place is something
of a used equipment store.  The owners do, as you thought, pronounce "hawk"
and "hock" the same, though, as one would expect of natives of a low back
vowel merger region.  My guess is that the word "hock", which is also not
particularly common around here--many of my students didn't know that one
either--was confused with its homophone "hawk" and used loosely to mean

Herb Stahlke

----- Original Message -----
From: "Baker, John" <JMB at STRADLEY.COM>
Sent: Wednesday, July 10, 2002 6:51 PM
Subject: Re: hawk/hock

>         You're confusing two completely different words.  "Hawk," in
"Muncie Hawk Shop," is either a misuse of "hock" or, far more likely, from
the verb "to hawk," meaning to peddle goods aggressively, a back-formation
from Middle English "hauker," a hawker or peddler.  "Hawk," in the sense of
a bird of prey, derives from Old English "heafoc," a hawk or falcon.
> John Baker
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Dennis R. Preston [mailto:preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU]
> Sent: Wednesday, July 10, 2002 6:25 PM
> Subject: Re: hawk/hock
> Is there a merger of the words anywhere (i.e., people who confuse
> "pawning" with "bird of prey"?
> dInIs

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