poke

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See also: poké and Poké-

English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Middle English, perhaps from Middle Dutch poken or Middle Low German poken (both from Proto-Germanic *puk-), which is probably imitative.

Verb[edit]

poke (third-person singular simple present pokes, present participle poking, simple past and past participle poked)

  1. To prod or jab with an object such as a finger or a stick. [from later 14th c.]
    • 2010 December 29, Sam Sheringham, “Liverpool 0 - 1 Wolverhampton”, in BBC[1]:
      Ward showed good pace to beat the advancing Reina to the ball and poke a low finish into the corner.
  2. To stir up a fire to remove ash or promote burning.
  3. (figuratively) To rummage; to feel or grope around. [from early 19th c.]
    Synonyms: fumble, glaum, root; see also Thesaurus:feel around
    I poked about in the rubble, trying to find my lost keys.
  4. (transitive, computing, dated) To modify the value stored in (a memory address).
    Coordinate term: peek
    • 1984 July 1, Franco Frey, “SPECGRAFFITI”, in Crash, number 6:
      The 200 UDGs may be used either by paging between 10 sets of 20 UDGs or, alternatively, by displaying 96 different characters by poking the system variable CHARS with 256 less than the starting address of your graphics.
    • 1985, Tom Weishaar, Bert Kersey, The DOStalk Scrapbook, page 44:
      If you try to poke a value outside this range into a byte, Basic will beep you with an ILLEGAL QUANTITY error.
  5. (transitive) To put a poke (device to prevent leaping or breaking fences) on (an animal).
    • 1883, Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Vermont, page 70:
      I find from their testimony , which was not contradicted , that the placing of such a poke upon such a colt in such a pasture is not considered dangerous, and that farmers are accustomed so to poke their own horses, but that they are not accustomed to put pokes on or 'hamper' horses owned by other persons without the authorization of the owner.
    to poke an ox
  6. (transitive) To thrust at with the horns; to gore.
  7. (transitive, informal, social media) To notify (another user) of activity on social media or an instant messenger.
    • 2009, Alexander Tokar, Metaphors of the Web 2.0, Peter Lang, →ISBN, page 68:
      Indeed, when we poke users who normally do not have access to our profiles, they will be able to temporarily see our Basic Info, Work Info, and Education Info.
  8. (transitive) To thrust (something) in a particular direction such as the tongue.
  9. (transitive, slang, vulgar) To penetrate in sexual intercourse.
    Synonyms: drill, nail, pound; see also Thesaurus:copulate with
    • 1996 November 25, Washington Times quoted in The Dictionary of Modern Proverbs[2]:
      Maj. Cloutier commented to Lt. Clemm, "You know what they say about a girl who smokes: If she smokes, she pokes."
    • 2000, Katherine Jones, Jerry's Nightmare, page 115:
      He chewed her nipples and clitoris until they bled, and poked her until she could hardly walk. Grandpa never got enough sex []
    • 2001, Y tu mamá también [And Your Mother Too], spoken by Julio Zapata:
      No big deal. I poked Ana a bunch of times.
Derived terms[edit]
Terms derived from poke (verb)
Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

poke (plural pokes)

  1. A prod, jab, or thrust.
  2. (US, slang) A lazy person; a dawdler.
    • 1865, Adolphe Belot ·, The Cup and the Lip. A Comedy in Five Acts., page 38:
      The slowness of this stupid poke tortures me to death.
    • 1905, Typographical Journal - Volume 27, page 186:
      To the uninitiated he looked like a slow old poke; but his string would lengthen out in a most mysterious way , and it was the height of our ambition to set as much and as clean a proof as old John.
    • 2015, Theodore Dreiser, Twelve Men: Top American Novels:
      I never saw such an old poke. You come up here and expect me to do some things for you, and then you stand around as though you were made of bone!
    • 2019, Paolo Cherchi Usai, The Griffith Project, Volume 9: Films Produced in 1916-18:
      The three laugh at him for a slow old poke and go on to their pleasure.
    • 2021, Booth Tarkington, Women:
      Old Fred is the slowest old poke, isn't he? Suppose I try, Paul.
  3. (US, slang) A stupid or uninteresting person.
    • 1871, Mary Webster McClain, Daisy Ward's Work, page 112:
      I see you shaking your head at me, mother, and reminding me of 'That mercy I to others show, that mercy show to me;' but I don't believe I go on so; if I have nothing to say I keep still, and you'd better be a stupid poke, which I often feel myself, than waste the time with such trash.
    • 1912, Louisa May Alcott, An Old-fashioned Girl, page 20:
      She was only sixteen, and he was perfectly splendid, and she has plenty of money, and every one talked about it; and when she went anywhere, people looked, you know, and she liked it; but her papa is an old poke, so he's sent them all away. It's too bad, for she was the jolliest thing I ever knew .
    • 1956, “Professional Status of Surveyors and Mappers”, in Surveying and Mapping, volume 16, page 184:
      I think you are all reasonably well aware that the common picture of the surveying and mapping profession is proabably best exemplified at the present time by the old poke who is out with a rickety old transit, wearing old ragged clothes.
    • 1968, Joseph Kirkland, The Captain of Company K, page 237:
      "Oh, you old poke, you! You think nobody can be grown up but yourself. I really believe they all think I'm a great deal older than I am, and I just hope you won't go and tell them I am not. "Now, will you?"
    • 2014, Eugenia Riley, Bushwhacked Bride:
      “That's what you're going to rob?” she asked Cole. “Yep.” He viewed the scene with a hand shading his eyes, then grinned at Billy. “Only a driver and one old poke riding shotgun. You'd think they'd have learned better by now."
  4. An old, worn-out horse.
    • 1872, Edward Everett Hale, Old and New - Volume 6, page 686:
      It was feared the dear old poke I had been riding could not keep up with the rest on this long day's journey: so I had "the cook's horse," who did not understand my method of pulling my dear old beast's head from the edge of the ravine gently with my bridle.
    • 1889, Clara Louise Burnham, Young Maids and Old, page 89:
      Probably summer residents, and this old poke won't move out of a walk, and I've no whip.
    • 2019, Frederic Remington, John Ermine of the Yellowstone:
      Yes, mother, but my horse is such an old poke I was nowhere in the race.
    • 2019, M. L. Buchman, At the Slightest Sound:
      It's not the helo's fault, even if it is clunkier than a stumblebum old poke of a plow horse—bless its rotors.
  5. (US) A device to prevent an animal from leaping or breaking through fences, consisting of a yoke with a pole inserted, pointed forward.
    • 1883, Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Vermont, page 70:
      I find from their testimony , which was not contradicted , that the placing of such a poke upon such a colt in such a pasture is not considered dangerous, and that farmers are accustomed so to poke their own horses, but that they are not accustomed to put pokes on or 'hamper' horses owned by other persons without the authorization of the owner.
    • 1883, Horace R. Allen, The American Farm and Home Cyclopedia, page 285:
      This yoke or poke will prevent any horse from scaling a fence, if well made.
  6. (computing, dated) The storage of a value in a memory address, typically to modify the behaviour of a program or to cheat at a video game.
    • 1984, Electronics & Wireless World, volume 90, page 6:
      [] everywhere you see listings festooned with Goto statements and peppered with peeks and pokes.
    • 1984, Northcon/84, Mini/Micro Northwest-84 Conference Record:
      One of the major limitations is that the Commodore 64 does not easily support auto-repeat (it must be turned on by a poke instruction from BASIC).
    • 1988 July 1, Lloyd Mangram, “Forum”, in Crash, number 54:
      Perhaps all those super hackers who so regularly produce infinite lives etc. could produce pokes to be used by 128K users.
  7. (informal, social media) A notification sent to get another user's attention on social media or an instant messenger.
    • 2007 July 22, David Smith, “Faceoff!”, in The Guardian[3]:
      It could be described as a poke, but not a friendly one. For those who have not yet succumbed to Facebook, the latest craze on the internet, a ‘poke’ is an electronic greeting sent, for example, to an old friend from university.
  8. A poke bonnet.
    • 1857, William Platt, Mothers and sons, page 190:
      Well then, I declare, I'd rather see Miss Lawton in that old poke – old as it is! –than in the finest new bonnet the Squire's lady ever wore.


Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English poke, from Anglo-Norman poke (whence pocket), from Frankish *poka. More at pocket.

Noun[edit]

poke (plural pokes)

  1. (now regional) A sack or bag. [from early 13th c.]
    • c. 1598–1600, William Shakespeare, “As You Like It”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene vii]:
      And then he drew a dial from his poke,
      And, looking on it with lack-lustre eye,
      Says very wisely, ‘It is ten o'clock []
    • 1605, William Camden, Remaines Concerning Brittaine, 1629 edition, Proverbes, page 276:
      When the Pig is proffered, hold vp the poke.
    • 1627, Michael Drayton, Minor Poems of Michael Drayton, 1907 edition, poem Nimphidia:
      And suddainly vntyes the Poke,
      Which out of it sent such a smoke,
      As ready was them all to choke,
      So greeuous was the pother []
    • 1814, September 4, The Examiner, volume 13, number 349, article French Fashions, page 573:
      … and as to shape, a nightmare has as much. Under the poke and the muff-box, the face sometimes entirely disappears …
    • 1946, Mezz Mezzrow and Bernard Wolfe, Really the Blues, Payback Press 1999, page 91:
      In the summertime they'd reach out and snatch your straw hat right off your head, and if you were fool enough to go after it your poke was bound to be lighter when you came out.
    • 2008, James Kelman, Kieron Smith, Boy, Penguin 2009, page 138:
      She did not eat blood-oranges. Her maw gived her one in a poke and she was going to throw it in the bin, Oh it is all black.
  2. A long, wide sleeve.
    Synonym: poke sleeve
  3. (Scotland, Northern Ireland) An ice cream cone.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

Either a shortening of, or from the same source as, pocan (pokeweed) (q.v.).

Noun[edit]

poke (uncountable)

  1. (dialectal) Pokeweed.
Synonyms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Etymology 4[edit]

Borrowed from Hawaiian poke (literally to cut crosswise into pieces).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

poke (uncountable)

  1. (Hawaii) Slices or cubes of raw fish or other raw seafood, mixed with sesame oil, seaweed, sea salt, herbs, spices, or other flavorful ingredients.
    • 2004 October 17, Garrett Hongo, “Poke”, in The New York Times[4], ISSN 0362-4331:
      Though I'd often eaten sashimi, poke was then completely new to me—delicious rubies of cubed fish dressed in light sesame oil, garnished with minced bits of reddish-brown seaweed and the ground centers of kukui nuts (see recipe, next page).
    • 2016 February 4, Ligaya Mishan, “Poke Reaches the Shores of Manhattan”, in The New York Times[5], ISSN 0362-4331:
      The fishmonger offered the poke in plastic tubs, without ceremony, just as I had always known it in Honolulu, where I grew up and where some of the best poke is sold at a liquor store, Tamura’s. Then, a few years back, poke started appearing on stray restaurant menus, sometimes identified as Hawaiian crudo or ceviche.
Alternative forms[edit]
Usage notes[edit]

Often typeset as poké to aid pronunciation.

Derived terms[edit]
See also[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Finnish[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈpoke/, [ˈpo̞ke̞]
  • Rhymes: -oke
  • Syllabification: po‧ke

Etymology 1[edit]

From portsari (doorman).

Noun[edit]

poke

  1. (slang) doorman, bouncer (at a bar or nightclub)
Declension[edit]
Inflection of poke (Kotus type 8/nalle, no gradation)
nominative poke poket
genitive poken pokejen
partitive pokea pokeja
illative pokeen pokeihin
singular plural
nominative poke poket
accusative nom. poke poket
gen. poken
genitive poken pokejen
pokeinrare
partitive pokea pokeja
inessive pokessa pokeissa
elative pokesta pokeista
illative pokeen pokeihin
adessive pokella pokeilla
ablative pokelta pokeilta
allative pokelle pokeille
essive pokena pokeina
translative pokeksi pokeiksi
instructive pokein
abessive poketta pokeitta
comitative pokeineen
Possessive forms of poke (type nalle)
possessor singular plural
1st person pokeni pokemme
2nd person pokesi pokenne
3rd person pokensa

Etymology 2[edit]

From porno (pornography).

Noun[edit]

poke

  1. (slang) pornography
Declension[edit]
Inflection of poke (Kotus type 8/nalle, no gradation)
nominative poke poket
genitive poken pokejen
partitive pokea pokeja
illative pokeen pokeihin
singular plural
nominative poke poket
accusative nom. poke poket
gen. poken
genitive poken pokejen
pokeinrare
partitive pokea pokeja
inessive pokessa pokeissa
elative pokesta pokeista
illative pokeen pokeihin
adessive pokella pokeilla
ablative pokelta pokeilta
allative pokelle pokeille
essive pokena pokeina
translative pokeksi pokeiksi
instructive pokein
abessive poketta pokeitta
comitative pokeineen
Possessive forms of poke (type nalle)
possessor singular plural
1st person pokeni pokemme
2nd person pokesi pokenne
3rd person pokensa

Ido[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Adverb[edit]

poke

  1. slightly

Maori[edit]

Adjective[edit]

poke

  1. grimy

Middle English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Anglo-Norman poke.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

poke (plural pokes)

  1. sack, pouch, bag

Descendants[edit]

  • English: poke
  • Yola: poake, pooke

References[edit]


Old French[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Frankish *poka.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

poke f (oblique plural pokes, nominative singular poke, nominative plural pokes)

  1. sack
    E puis les poudrez bien de sel e les mettez ensemble en une poke de bon kanevaz

Derived terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]


Tocharian A[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Tocharian *pokowjä-, earlier *pākewjä-, from pre-Tocharian *bʰeh₂ǵʰow-h₁en- (definite), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *bʰeh₂ǵʰús (arm). Compare Tocharian B pokai.

Noun[edit]

poke

  1. arm

References[edit]

  • Adams, Douglas Q. (2013), “poko*”, in A Dictionary of Tocharian B: Revised and Greatly Enlarged (Leiden Studies in Indo-European; 10), Amsterdam, New York: Rodopi, →ISBN, page 434

Uneapa[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From earlier *pʷuka-i, from Proto-Oceanic *pʷuka, variant of *puka.

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

poke

  1. to fall

Further reading[edit]

  • Ross, Malcolm D. (2016), Andrew Pawley, editor, The lexicon of Proto-Oceanic: Volume 5, People: body and mind, Canberra: Australian National University, →ISBN, OCLC 40267977; republished as Meredith Osmond, editor,, (please provide a date or year)