victor steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Wed Sep 21 08:42:19 UTC 2011

On July 22, 2010, Mark Liberman responded to a comment on his post:

Well, /fisking/ has been pretty durable as "A point-by-point refutation of a
> blog entry or (especially) news story".

He linked to the Jargon File

> [blogosphere; very common] A point-by-point refutation of a blog entry or
> (especially) news story. A really stylish fisking is witty, logical,
> sarcastic and ruthlessly factual; flaming or handwaving is considered poor
> form. _Named_after_Robert_Fisk_, a British journalist who was a frequent
> (and deserving) early target of such treatment. See also MiSTing,
> anti-idiotarianism

Indeed, "fisking" and "fisk" (v) are very common--it's not entirely clear
which came first. Note the reversal of the usual naming convention--Fisk was
the /target/. not the /agent/. The only other neologism that I can think of
that fits the pattern is "bork" (and "borking"). Is there more?

But, outside of Wiktionary and Wikipedia, and a handful of on-line
glossaries, dictionaries have been slow to respond. This despite the fact
that there is an older, obsolete "fisk".

Webster 1913:

> Fisk (?), v. i. [Cf. Sw. fjeska to bustle about.] To run about; to frisk;
> to whisk. [Obs.]


> Obs.  intr. To move briskly, scamper about, frisk, whisk; also with about,
> abroad, in and out, to and fro.

OED etymology also links to Swedish fjäska.


PS: "Fisked" came up in a CJR article that mentioned Zombie Lie, which is
what prompted me to post this.

The American Dialect Society -

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