skanky

Discuss word origins and meanings.
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skanky

Post by Ken Greenwald » Sat Nov 21, 2015 1:10 am

aaa
<2015 “Skanky suicide bomber used to be a selfie-taking party animal [[reads the headline at the New York Post]]. . . She was hardly a model Muslim before she became an ISIS suicide bomber — drinking booze, hanging out with drug dealers and posing for naked photos in a bubble bath.”—NewYorkpost.com, 20 November>

CAMBRIDGE DICTIONARIES ONLINE

SKANKY adjective, UK, US informal (origin unknown)

1) extremely unpleasant, especially because of being dirty:
<I found a pair of his skanky underpants on the floor.>

2) US: Of low quality or not stylish like something that a skank would wear: <I wouldn't be caught dead in that skanky outfit!> [[It would have been nice if they had defined the pertinent skank]]


THEFREEDICTIONARY.COM

SKANK noun Slang [origin unknown]

1) One who is filthy or foul.
2) One who is considered to be sexually promiscuous. Used especially of a woman.
3) Any substance considered disgustingly foul or unpleasant.

SKANKY adjective

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Here’s one recent example:
<2008 “East side [[Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada]] girls are seen as ‘cheap,’ ‘trashy,’ and ‘skanky’ by some students in the west side schools. . . . But one other range of style deserves mention here as it infiltrated almost every discussion I had with girls: dressing ‘skanky.’ To say a girl was dressed like a skank was to say that she was showing ‘too much skin’ and—more importantly—that she was showing it in the wrong way. Though only one girl articulated her own ‘skankiness’ to me it was a common insult leveled at other girls, . . .”—Girls, Style, and School Identities – Dressing the Part by S. Pomerantz, pages 74 and 93>
Since the quote appeared on the front page of the New York Post, I would assume the word skanky is common knowledge, at least in New York City. My best guess for a decent definition would be a “sleazy playgirl.”

Anyone familiar with this word? And I hope you're not familiar with 'shanky,' to my knowledge it is nonexistent. (>:)
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Ken G – November 20, 2015
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Re: skanky

Post by trolley » Sat Nov 21, 2015 2:06 am

...are we talking "shanky" or "skanky"? All the examples work perfectly for the word "skanky", as it's well known, around here. I think it's a combination of "stanky" (a slang word for stinky) and "skunky" (meaning stinky). It means cheap, sleazy, or just plain bad and is particularly offensive when said of a woman because, well....you can finish the equation.
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Re: skanky

Post by Ken Greenwald » Sat Nov 21, 2015 3:33 am

aaa
Sorry guys. I inadvertently used "shanky" instead of 'skanky' in several of my examples as Erik pointed out in a communication. I've corrected them and they all should now read "skanky."
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Ken - November 20, 2015 (We shall have no skanky-panky around here!)
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Re: skanky

Post by trolley » Sat Nov 21, 2015 4:04 am

Ken, I was sure you had made an error in the other direction and that "shanky" was the typo. Strange that the definition seems exactly the same as "skanky" (as far as I know it). I'll bet that most people around here would think that shanky somehow referred to a leg or a stand or a home-made knife
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Re: skanky

Post by Bobinwales » Sat Nov 21, 2015 4:26 pm

I have never heard of either word.
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Signature: All those years gone to waist!
Bob in Wales

Re: skanky

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sat Nov 21, 2015 5:42 pm

Too much clean living, Bob. It isn't good for you.
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Re: skanky

Post by Ken Greenwald » Sat Nov 21, 2015 6:43 pm

aaa
When I was a child I was told to watch my P’s and Q’s, but no one warned me about my H’s and K’s. Well, I made a hash of my above posting by totally confusing the two. I was seeing H’s when they were actually K’s. There were no H’s. I again thank Erik for pointing out the error of my ways during my travels in la la land.

To the best of my knowledge my above posting is now correct and I apologize for the confusion.
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Ken – November 21, 2015 (recovering from my H/K fiasco)
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Re: skanky

Post by Wizard of Oz » Sun Nov 22, 2015 10:15 am

If you spoke of someone being a skank here in Aus it would be immediately apparent that you speaking about a female. A skank is a tart, a floozy, an easy mark for sex, a not too well presented girl who is not necessarily dirty but definitely with hard edges. A girl can be a slut but not necessarily be a skank. They are different and the defining difference is in their presentation, the way they dress; you can have well dressed sluts but never well dressed skanks. You can have pretty sluts but skanks always have that hard edge; that well worn look even when they are young.

WoZ who has worked with them all
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Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

Re: skanky

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sun Nov 22, 2015 4:07 pm

Like 'slut', 'whore', 'hussy' and a slew of other similar, commonly-used epithets for women, 'skank' is one of those terms that I find distinctly jarring. My sense of discomfort has little to do with the person being described by the term, and much more to do with the attitude towards them that the word embodies. As WoZ says, 'skank' is almost always applied to women (usually, but not always, by men); it is always judgmental, and often hypocritical (when the speaker does not live up to the same standard they implicitly demand or expect from the object of their disapproval; for instance, the only common term that comes to mind which is applied to the customer of a prostitute is the bland-as-Budweiser 'john', even though without an army of johns, prostitution would not be a viable occupation); and it assumes a privileged status for the male point of view.

By this I mean that the speaker is claiming the right to pass judgment on women's behaviour, appearance etc. from a morally or socially superior position. 'Skank', plus all similarly-coloured words, therefore embodies a male-chauvinist attitude, whether the speaker realizes it or not — an attitude in which men claim the right to set the standards of appearance that women are expected to live up to in terms of what men consider pleasing, and where they give themselves a superior right to condemn, pronounce on or control a woman's sexuality and sexual behaviour, even when they do not know the woman personally. (It is, incidentally, a manifestation of the same kind of hateful, ignorant vindictiveness that the gutter journalists of the tabloid press apply as their tool for promoting a them-and-us mindset among their readers to encourage the latter to buy their obnoxious rags.)

Sometimes a woman will refer to another woman as a slut, skank etc., or even accuse her to her face of being one. But this does not mean that such terms are equal-opportunity slurs. They merely signify that the female utterer has — wittingly or not — adopted the patriarchal sexism that is still rampant in Anglo-Saxon culture into their own worldview. It dismays me that almost half a century after the height of the feminist rebellion in Western countries in the 1970s against societally entrenched patriarchy, that same old sexism is still so prevalent in our collective thinking.
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Re: skanky

Post by Ken Greenwald » Mon Nov 23, 2015 12:46 am

aaa
Erik,

Very well said. I couldn't agree with you more.
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Ken - November 22, 2015
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End of topic.
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