wonk as a verb

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Fri Jun 27 14:28:09 UTC 2008

On Fri, Jun 27, 2008 at 9:30 AM, Marc Velasco <marcjvelasco at gmail.com> wrote:
> I don't believe it's been posted here yet, but _wonk_ is also apparently a
> verb, at least in wonk circles.  Krugman writes today (
> http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/27/opinion/27krugman.html?hp):
> Whether that's happening now is a subject of highly technical dispute.
> (Readers who want _to wonk_ themselves out can go to my blog,
> krugman.blogs.nytimes.com, and follow the links.)

Reflexive "wonk oneself out" sounds a bit odd to me, but intransitive
"wonk out" has been around for a while. From a 1987 NYT article on
campus slang:

1987 _New York Times_ 12 Apr. (Education) 14/1 Right now, they [sc.
Harvard students] are probably "wonking out" for exams, i.e. studying

--Ben Zimmer

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

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