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jank, janky

adjective; derivation
Apparent meaning: slipshod, poorly constructed, or of dubious soundness/appearance. Presumed to have arisen from the term ‘junk’, however, in transferring ‘junk’ from a noun into a adjective form the short ‘u’ sound has been abandoned in favor of a long ‘ The vowel shift likely began as a novel inflection to indicate use of ‘junk’ in the adjective form, but it caught on and developed into an alternate spelling. The term has been proliferated because it seems “hip” and has a very colloquial feel, as opposed to such stuffy words as “slipshod.”
 
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Source : Context and Source: This is a conversational expression common to Southeast Michigan and Northwest Ohio (circa November 2004); as yet no users of this word encountered on Rice campus. Examples of usage include “that car is pretty janky”
Last modified: 10 June 2008


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