"to huck" = "bother, harass verbally"?

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon Aug 26 15:07:23 UTC 2013

! A very provocative suggestion.  Especially with the Wordpress
article claiming "shortened versions of the phrase, such as "You
don't have to hock me about it!" proliferate on TV and the movies,
particularly where the speaker is intended to represent a resident of
NYC even if not Jewish."  (Citations would be useful, however.)

My friend doesn't (didn't, since I think she must have picked this up
as a young person) have Yiddish speakers in her family or extended
family, as far as I know.  Acquaintances?  In any case, I'll ask.

I do, but would never have thought to connect "huck" with the
expression ""hokn a chaynik", which I did hear around the house from
Yiddish-speaking parents and aunts when I was a young person around
the same time my friend was.


At 8/26/2013 12:29 AM, Susan Frank wrote:
>I've been a lurker here for a while, and haven't dared insert my entirely
>amateur opinions, but I think I know this one!
>Would your friend have any Yiddish speakers in their/his/her(!) background?
>My family used "hock" in this way (e.g., after someone's been nagging you
>about something, you'd say, "Stop hocking at me!), and this seems to me to
>be a good explanation for it:
> >
> > Date:    Sun, 25 Aug 2013 11:39:09 -0400
> > From:    "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> > Subject: Q: "to huck" = "bother, harass verbally"?
> >
> > A friend whom I might describe as a North Cantabrigian (that is, of
> > Massachusetts) has (but I'm sure uses infrequently) the verb "huck"
> > to mean "bother or harass verbally".  Can anyone support or expand on this?
> >
> > The OED has "huck, v." as "To higgle in trading; to haggle over a
> > bargain; to chaffer, bargain. Also fig. To haggle over terms, to stickle."
> >
> > Looking at "chaffer, v.", I see that it evolved into "3. transf. and
> > fig. (from 1, 2). To deal, bargain, haggle, discuss terms, bandy words."
> >
> > If "huck" = "chaffer" and "chaffer came to mean "bandy words", I can
> > imagine "huck" also evolving into "bother verbally".
> >
> > Joel
> >
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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