"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[huhlk] /hʌlk/
the body of an old or dismantled ship.
a ship specially built to serve as a storehouse, prison, etc., and not for sea service.
a clumsy-looking or unwieldy ship or boat.
a bulky or unwieldy person, object, or mass.
the shell of a wrecked, burned-out, or abandoned vehicle, building, or the like.
verb (used without object)
to loom in bulky form; appear as a large, massive bulk (often followed by up):
The bus hulked up suddenly over the crest of the hill.
British Dialect. to lounge, slouch, or move in a heavy, loutish manner.
Origin of hulk
before 1000; Middle English hulke, Old English hulc; perhaps < Medieval Latin hulcus < Greek holkás trading vessel, orig., towed ship Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for hulk
  • The hulk is stored until body and frame members are needed for sale or the hulk is crushed and sold as scrap.
  • When it's finished with that work, there's simply no use for the metal hulk that remains.
  • There's enough enriched uranium and plutonium in the hulk for dozens of atomic bombs.
  • Its brick hulk seems deserted until night falls, when a dim yellow glow emanates from the only intact window on the ground floor.
  • It stands behind its grim security fence, a great gray hulk surrounded by the rubble left over from its construction.
  • Behind them is an incredibly muscular hulk, a weight-lifter perhaps.
  • Five others holed up in a shopping mall, where they died as the building was reduced to a burned-out hulk.
  • The control tower was a shattered hulk of concrete with a blast hole in the sagging roof.
  • Pollard stood at the steering oar, staring at the capsized hulk that had once been his formidable command, unable to speak.
  • If you transport or sell wrecked vehicles to wreckers or scrap processors, you must have a hulk hauler license.
British Dictionary definitions for hulk


the body of an abandoned vessel
(derogatory) a large or unwieldy vessel
(derogatory) a large ungainly person or thing
(often pl) the frame or hull of a ship, used as a storehouse, etc, or (esp in 19th-century Britain) as a prison
(intransitive) (Brit, informal) to move clumsily
(intransitive) often foll by up. to rise massively
Word Origin
Old English hulc, from Medieval Latin hulca, from Greek holkas barge, from helkein to tow
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hulk

Old English hulc "light, fast ship" (but in Middle English a heavy, unwieldy one), probably from Old Dutch hulke and Medieval Latin hulcus, perhaps ultimately from Greek holkas "merchant ship," literally "ship that is towed," from helkein "to pull" (from PIE root *selk- "to pull, draw"). Meaning "body of an old, worn-out ship" is first recorded 1670s. The Hulks ("Great Expectations") were old ships used as prisons. Sense of "big, clumsy person" is first recorded c.1400 (early 14c. as a surname: Stephen le Hulke).


"to be clumsy, unwieldy, lazy," 1789, from hulk (n.). Related: Hulked; hulking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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