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Etymology 1[edit]

By analogy with past tenses and past participles ending in "-unk", such as drunk and sunk



  1. (humorous, nonstandard) past participle of think
    Who would have thunk those guys would have a problem with a little lie?
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]




  1. Representing the dull sound of the impact of a heavy object striking another and coming to an immediate standstill, with neither object being broken by the impact.


thunk ‎(third-person singular simple present thunks, present participle thunking, simple past and past participle thunked)

  1. to strike against something, without breakage, making a "thunk" sound
    I was thunked on the head by his stick.

Etymology 3[edit]

Claimed by the inventors to be from the supposed past tense, being coined when they realised after much thought (whence "thunk") that the type of an argument in ALGOL 60 could be predetermined at compile time; not, as is sometimes claimed, from the interjection, being the supposed sound made by data hitting the stack or an accumulator


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thunk ‎(plural thunks)

  1. (computing, functional programming) a delayed computation
  2. (computing) In the Scheme programming language, a function or procedure taking no arguments.
  3. (computing) a mapping of machine data from one system-specific form to another, usually for compatibility reasons, such as from 16-bit addresses to 32-bit to allow a 16-bit program to run on a 32-bit operating system.
    • PC Mag (volume 14, number 17, 10 October 1995, page 326)
      If the provider of these DLLs has not updated the code to a 32-bit environment, you will have to switch to a new 32-bit library or write thunks between your 32-bit code and the 16-bit DLL.
Related terms[edit]
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