This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Word To Use Today: plonk.

Here's a treat. Who could be impervious to the charms of the word plonk?


Plonk is the sound of something falling a small harmless distance onto a hard surface, and the act of putting something down hard enough for it to

People can plonk away on a piano or a guitar, too. Well, it gets the rest of us out of the house, doesn't it. 

A plonk can be a female police officer, and perhaps in this case it's connected with the word plod, which in Britain is a none-too-flattering term for policeman. In the same sort of way, plonking means plodding or foolish or inept, and a plonker is a stupid person - though this word is tinged with affection as well as exasperation.

If you're in Britain or Australia or New Zealand plonk is cheap wine. There's a tinge of affection to plonk in this sense, too. Just bring a bottle of plonk, people say when giving invitations. In Australia a plonko is an alcoholic.

Lastly, to plonk can be a jargon term for blocking someone from your computer. It's said to be an acronym for something like Please Leave Our Newsgroup: Killfile! but it's probably an imitation of the satisfying sound of the pressing of the computer key when you banish someone.

Word To Use Today: plonk. The word meaning to put down is an imitation of the sound. Plonk meaning wine is said to come from a mishearing of the French blanc, as in vin blanc (white wine) during the First World War.

Plonk itself, though, can be white, red, or rosé.


1 comment:

  1. I raise a glass of plonk to you for this post. Most interesting. A word that's wonderfully evocative, isn't it?