Something to hork before your weekend

Isaac has either discovered or invented a word: “hork.” It means, as best I can tell, to eat or drink quickly. “Hey Eli,” he boasts, “did you see how I horked all my cereal?” Or, “Hey Dad, I just horked down my water.”

The last time I heard this word was when Bob McKenzie used it in Strange Brew to signify a theft: “Geez, who’d want to hork our clothes, eh?” It has a variety of other meanings as well, not all of them G-rated. So now I have to wonder if his discovery is a coincidence, or if “hork” has an onomotopoetic quality I’ve heretofore missed, or if — worst possibility of all — my son has been hanging around retro 1980’s-era pop culture rejects besides his own father.

I’m going with onomotopeia, because when Isaac gulps his water he does make a bit of a horking sound. Then again, maybe that’s life imitating art. Little horker.


  1. nichole

    I love this age — their perspectives and use of language. Our 4 year-old is rationalizing the possibility that he might not get both toys he really wants for Christmas with this statement: “Mom, I’ll get the one toy this Christmas and then when the world starts all over again, I’ll get the other toy.” I don’t know if he means the New Year or next Christmas. Either way it makes me smile.

  2. Steve

    Maybe its because I graduated H.S. in the early 80’s from an institution in your general area, but “hork” was a word that I once used in the distant past – as in “look, that dude horked up his lunch.”

  3. Ruth H

    I am currently reading Steven Pinker’s book “The Stuff of Thought”. He has a lot on the acquisition of language by children. He would like this anecdote. Having raised three children and been around many as they learn to babble and then talk, I find it surprising what the science of language pays to find out. Spending time with those of that age would teach a lot. But it would be called anecdotal. Isaac has given true meaning to his word and it is perfectly understood by those around him, and those who read your blog.

  4. Candice Watters

    We’ve been “horking” everything down since we heard it used on Ratatouille. Has Isaac seen the movie?

    If not, he’s clearly an onomatopoeia genius.

    And we’ve had the word “horker” in our family vocab for several years now. It originated with one of the early grand kids. It’s my Dad’s version of “stinker.”

  5. John Frago

    When my now 10 year old was 4, he started saying ‘ginormous’ (as in giant + enormous). I was convinced he made it up until I started hearing it on television and movies. I still don’t know where it started.
    Kids hear so much more than we think they do.

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