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Always a pejorative?[edit]

I'm hearing the word "dork" a lot as meaning something along the lines of, "a lovable person who's into intellectual or non-mainstream things instead of 'trendy' things." For example, a guy who's into chess who you really want to date would be a "dork." Here, the difference between "dork" and "nerd" is that the dork is more interesting and likable than the nerd. Any comments? —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 20:41, 17 October 2008.

Pejoratives are frequently used affectionately among intimate friends and family, not just in English but in most (all?) languages that have pejorative forms. It’s part of the nature of a pejorative. —Stephen 16:19, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
Stephen, thanks for explaining! —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 12:34, 19 October 2008.

Sexual intercourse?[edit]

I have heard the use of "dork" in US slang as a verb meaning sexual intercourse, particularly in the form "dorking". Can anyone confirm?


Could someone confirm that "dork" means "whale penis"? I'm told that, historically, it means "penis" more generally. --LostLeviathan 13:55, 27 May 2005 (UTC)

I've never heard of the "whale" meaning either, only the general sense. --Connel MacKenzie 05:23, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Actually, I believe the "whale" definition is simply a common, incorrect definition. About a year ago I had a bet with a friend regarding the "whale" definition. After, believe it or not, a conversation with a marine biologist at Scripps, we determined that "dork" never referred to any scientific description of a whale member. It does refer to penis generally though. How it got mis-applied to whales specifically is an oddity.

A muleskinner told me that dork referred to the penis of a mule, which, while being functional, is useless, as mules cannot breed.
I was told the whale definition and a corresponding elephant definition in elementary school, and also have heard both applied to the word "dude". Maybe there is some truth to these rumors? Maybe not. I wonder what the actual words are for these parts. (In whaler slang?) - Omegatron 20:04, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)
OED gives the earliest recorded usage in a poem, as a synonym for 'penis', deriving from 'dirk'. Can someone provide a citation for dirk?
From Wikipedia - "One of the earliest documented uses of the word "dork" is a 1961 publication (referencing 1953), in which the meaning is clearly penis, but with no particular reference to whales." Ric | opiaterein 23:09, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

After all of this discussion, I think it's well established that "dork" means "penis." So, why is it that the penis definition is labelled as vulgar slang? I have never heard it used as such slang in America, so if we are to keep it labelled as slang, could someone figure out which english speaking country(ies) use it as such? -- 20:24, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

Dorcas given name[edit]

A common 19th-century given name for females in rural areas was "Dorcas" which has a biblical origin. In pioneer times in the United States it was a common practice to pick given names almost at random from the bible or according to what sounded good or the name from an interesting story in the bible. This resulted in large numbers of young women being named "Dorcas". Apparently this name became synonymous with "hick" (q.v.).John Chamberlain 18:57, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

Dork surname[edit]

Records of Dork as a surname in the US predate 1907- authou Frank R. Stockton's 1885 novel Rudder Grange has a comic character named Pomona Dork.

Also records on Ellis Island of these surnames in a span of 13 years.[1]

Door-Key Folk Song[edit]

A reference from the Folk Music Index

Ballad of the Door-Key Child Cunningham, Agnes (ed.) / Broadside. Volume 2, Oak (Oak Publications/Music Sales, New York NY 10010), Fol (1968), p22, WonderWheeler 20:35, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

No source for whale penis[edit]

I can't edit it, but can someone mark the whale penis thing as unsourced? Nhinchey 00:53, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

Link to hoax[edit]

Ditto, can somebody please link the first occurrence in the article of the word : hoax? Thx

RFV failed[edit]

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Rfv-sense: door-key child? H. (talk) 20:37, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

There's some evidence (not a lot) that this is a back formation from door-key to dorky, hence a dorky kid becoming synonymous with a latchkey kid. Needs further investigation before eliminating. -- ALGRIF talk 14:32, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
clocked out DCDuring TALK 09:25, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Lousy translations[edit]

I can't speak for most of these (in fact, I'll restore the obvious loanwords in Finnish and Danish and the Norwegian that I know is similar), but "dork" is not synonymous with dummy or fool. There is a social component to it that makes Japanese otaku close enough, but Chinese 笨蛋 and German Dummkopf are entirely inappropriate. Removing such, we need someone to actually review these as appropriate translations of "dork" before reinsertion into the article:

Related question: shouldn't "slang word for penis" just link to a list at cock or dick? There's no real difference in offense or meaning that merits keeping three or more identical lists, I'd say. — LlywelynII 01:58, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

Word of Irish origin[edit]

It may be that it is a word of Irish origin. The Irish language has a very similar word, dorc, meaning foolish lumpish person and/or buttocks

With the large amount of Irish immigration to the English speaking country's it would be more likely to be a slang word of Irish origin rather from a much smaller immigrant population like Norwegian etc. Daithicarr (talk) 11:52, 17 April 2016 (UTC)

RFC discussion: June 2007–April 2009[edit]

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The following discussion has been moved from Wiktionary:Requests for cleanup (permalink).

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The etymology is spread all over the article, should be brought together. H. (talk) 11:58, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Um, we had quite a run with the "whale penis" vandalism. I think it was Paul that verified it as completely untrue (just a 4chan vandalism effort or something.) --Connel MacKenzie 21:43, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I mean the ‘door key child’ thing, which should be split in its own etymology. H. (talk) 08:52, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
That seems to me to be an RfV-sense candidate. DCDuring TALK 12:32, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Put in rfv. H. (talk) 20:59, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

BTTF use in 1955[edit]

Back To The Future Parts 1 and 2 used the term in a 1955 context, and they seemed to do their homework on other 1955 slang. Could it be that old? 17:25, 22 August 2016 (UTC)