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wonky

[wong-kee] /ˈwɒŋ ki/
adjective, wonkier, wonkiest.
1.
British Slang.
  1. shaky, groggy, or unsteady.
  2. unreliable; not trustworthy.
2.
Slang. stupid; boring; unattractive.
Origin
1920-1925
1920-25; perhaps variant of dial. wanky, equivalent to wank(le) (Middle English wankel, Old English wancol; see wench) + -y1; def. 1 probably represents a different word (see wonk)
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for wonky
  • And of course, climatologists will want better evidence than a slightly wonky computer simulation.
  • Its a bit wonky because the projections were different, but you get the idea.
  • If your last experience talking to a computer was some wonky dictation software, you're in for a treat.
  • But he is unique, a moderate who overflows with wonky plans.
  • Getting rid of wonky mitochondria would reduce free-radical production and might thus slow down ageing.
  • Then again, the wonky weather is all the more reason to make this three-day weekend worthwhile.
  • The one book he has written was strictly wonky policy stuff.
  • He could show that he cares about today's economic troubles by throwing out proposal after wonky proposal to fix what ails us.
British Dictionary definitions for wonky

wonky

/ˈwɒŋkɪ/
adjective (Brit, informal) -kier, -kiest
1.
shaky or unsteady
2.
not in correct alignment; askew
3.
liable to break down or develop a fault
Word Origin
C20: variant of dialect wanky, from Old English wancol
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 wonky
adj.

"shaky, groggy, unstable," 1919, of unknown origin. Cf. German prefix wankel-, which has a similar sense. Or perhaps from surviving dialectal words based on Old English wancol "shaky, tottering" (see wench).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for wonky

wonky 1

adjective
  1. Badly done or made; ineffective; weird; cockeyed: the wonky clutter of a Victorian parlor/ Only the steering feels wonky to me (1923+)
  2. Out of order; needing repair; down (1990s+ Computer)

[fr British dialect wanky or wankle, ''weak, unsteady''; perhaps related to wanky, ''spurious, doubtful,'' said of coins and attested by 1913]


wonky 2

adjective

Tedious and serious, esp anxious and over-studious in an academic situation: ''Jenny Cavilleri,'' answered Ray. ''Wonky music type''/ a class which I have long dismissed as hopelessly wonky

[1970s+ Students; fr wonk]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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15
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