amber & dork

Fri Nov 30 19:34:57 UTC 2001

I thought that since I discussed 'dork' along with 'umm, hose' it might be clear.  Dork is a slang word for penis.  I do not know when this came into being, (Partridge's CONCISE slang dictionary would surely give some sort of date, but I do not have my copy here at work), but I suspect it predates the 'fool' meaning.   Jonathan Green's excellent book "Slang through the Ages" page 106 states "Thus of the modern terms meaning fool a good number are synonymous with those usually found meaning the genitals, especially the penis."  Have a look at the list he provides.  The semantic road is most likely 'penis' to 'fool.'  I hear kids calling each other genitalia-related names all the time (I teach in a high school), but I can't imagine some fellow calling his genitals a 'fool.'  That semantic road seems to be one-way.

>>> Indigo Som <indigo at WELL.COM> 11/29/01 08:58AM >>>
I grew up in CA (born 1966 in SF) & have *never* heard amber for traffic
lights until this discussion. I always say & hear yellow. I think I *might*
have heard orange, but very seldom if at all.

& what's the other/earlier meaning of dork? I say it all the time so I want
to know if there is some risque connotation I've haven't known about!

Indigo Som
indigo at

Poets don't have hobbies; they have obsessions --Leonard Nathan

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