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janky

adjective;
pitifully undesirable. The origin of this adjective is unclear, but one suggestion is that a "jank" was first a "sub-optimal" card in the card game Jank. In this etymology, an experienced Jank player lost unexpectedly to an opponent by playing a sub-optimal card. Such cards where thereafter referred to as janks. Many people who use this word are not gamers and do not know of this association. Perhaps it is the sound of the word, much like that of "funky" which compels people to use it in a similar manner. It also bears resemblance to the slang word "stanky" meaning stinky, or undesirable.
 
By the time I got there, only the janky cards were left.
Etymology : Modern English. Metonymy of Jank, a certain card game
Source : My friend Nick
Last modified: 10 June 2008


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