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flunkey

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flunkey

Postby Audiendus » Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:47 am

flunkey or flunky (noun)

A uniformed manservant, a lackey, a menial worker; a slavishly obedient person. (Often used contemptuously.)

Of Scottish origin; first recorded in the 18th century. Perhaps from "flanker", an attendant at one's side (flank).

"The prince was accompanied by two flunkeys, who stood impassively awaiting his orders."

"Assert yourself; don't let your boss treat you like a flunky."
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:32 am

Related to the slang "flunk" meaning to fail, esp a test or course in school? And why flunk OUT?
pl
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Postby Audiendus » Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:39 pm

Perry Lassiter wrote:Related to the slang "flunk" meaning to fail, esp a test or course in school? And why flunk OUT?

There doesn't appear to be any connection between "flunkey" and "flunk". It seems the latter is derived from old British slang funk (fear or panic) and/or flinch. My guess is that it was first used to mean "avoid or discontinue a task through fear", "fail a test of character" (hence "flunk out"), and then shifted to mean "fail an academic test".
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Sun Sep 04, 2011 1:41 am

Yet funk now is used synonymously with pout or shut off as with a bit of a depression.
pl
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