- 1 English
- 2 Albanian
- 3 Dutch
- 4 Turkish
The usage is dated to the 1930s. A shortened version of Berkeley Hunt, the hunt based at Berkeley Castle in Gloucestershire. In Cockney rhyming slang, hunt is used as a rhyme for cunt, giving the word its original slang meaning.
berk (plural berks)
- (Britain, slang, pejorative) A fool, prat, twit.
- (Britain, slang) An idiot, in an affectionate sense.
- (Cockney rhyming slang, vulgar) Cunt.
It is not perceived to be excessively rude, perhaps because, whilst it is known for being a slang word, its origin in rhyming slang is not well known.
- Belvoir (pronounced Beaver)
- Chambers Dictionary: Entry for berk
- Cassell's Dictionary of Slang. Jonathon Green. Pub. Cassel & Co. ISBN 0-304-35167-9
- ^ “berk” in Vladimir Orel (1998), Albanian Etymological Dictionary, Ledien, Boston, Köln: Brill Academic Publishers, page 21
From Middle Dutch berke, from Old Dutch *berka, *birka, from Proto-Germanic *berkō (cf. variant *birkijǭ), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰerHǵs. Compare Low German Bark, German Birke, West Frisian bjirk, English birch, Danish birk, Swedish björk.