wonk as a verb

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Jun 27 19:45:45 UTC 2008

At 10:45 AM -0400 6/27/08, Benjamin Zimmer wrote:
>  > 1987 _New York Times_ 12 Apr. (Education) 14/1 Right now, they [sc.
>>  Harvard students] are probably "wonking out" for exams, i.e. studying
>>  excessively.
>>  -----
>Earlier, from the Crimson archives:
>1979 _Harvard Crimson_ 24 Feb. (electronic) Wonking out.
>1985 _Harvard Crimson_ 16 July (electronic) Maybe the fact that
>everyone else around me was studying so hard (or wonking out, as
>you'll learn to call it) helped perpetuate my compulsive studying.
>And here's "wonk" as a verb without "out":
>1977 _Harvard Crimson_ 4 Nov. (electronic) Veteran Quaddies will tell
>you that the place just ain't the same without all those little
>freshmen ... wonking for classes before January, and doing all those
>other cute freshmen things that endear them so in our hearts.
Which seems as though it would give rise to "wonker", which might
have led to some confusion on the part of British students in
residence.  (Yes, I know the vowel is different, but still...)


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