clunker, junker (1936)

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Tue May 12 19:42:36 UTC 2009

On Tue, May 12, 2009 at 2:31 PM, Charles Doyle wrote:
> 1934  John Edwin Hogg, "The Bogey of War in the Air," _Forum and Century_
> 92 (Dec.): 345: "The modern five-inch anti-aircraft gun handling
> high-explosive shells bears about as much resemblance to its World War
> prototype as a 1935 motor car compared with the unreliable old 'klunker' of
> 1900."
> May we assume that well before the end of 1934 (as is the practice today) the
> next year's automobile models were already being sold?
> Mencken (in supplement 2, p. 725) also spelled the word "klunker."

Thanks, Charlie -- serves me right for not searching on the "klunker" spelling.
Here it is in 1933:

1933 _Oakland Tribune_ 11 June B3/1 The press service man smiled. "Say!" he
cried, "give me a card to one of your dealers, will you? I've got an old
klunker and I'd like a new coupe!"

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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