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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 of wonky
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)
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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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

wonkily

adverb

In a halting and unsteady way: We commended him on his performance and sent him wonkily tottering back onto the floor (1990s+ College students)


wonkish

adjective

Redolent of policy, theory, discussion, etc: Greenberg felt that a wonkish tone had pervaded the transition (1990s+)


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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