Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1

    a honking white ...

    What would the specifik meaning of the word "honking" be in the extract below? I think the word can be derived from "honkey", i.e. "whitey" (a derogatory term) but what would a good synonym be?


    "But somehow, she'd arrived for the first day wearing a pastel Ralph Lauren sweater with a plaid Anna Sui kilt (in an effort to look more like the girls featured in the school catalog), with a honking white leather Chanel purse on a gold chain slung over her shoulder ..."

  2. #2

    Re: a honking white ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Caorthine View Post
    What would the specifik meaning of the word "honking" be in the extract below? I think the word can be derived from "honkey", i.e. "whitey" (a derogatory term) but what would a good synonym be?


    "But somehow, she'd arrived for the first day wearing a pastel Ralph Lauren sweater with a plaid Anna Sui kilt (in an effort to look more like the girls featured in the school catalog), with a honking white leather Chanel purse on a gold chain slung over her shoulder ..."
    'glaringly' perhaps or 'strikingly'.

    I don't think the word has any derogatory connotations here. Grammatically, the word refers to the purse, rather than to its whiteness, but the sense is that the Chanel purse, with its opulent gold chain, was outrageously (in your face) white.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #3

    Re: a honking white ...

    honking (as slang idiom) : anything large, excessive, or otherwise inordinately disproportionate.

    So, 'she was carrying this dirty great white bag!'
    (and 'dirty' here means 'very')

  3. #4

    Re: a honking white ...

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    honking (as slang idiom) : anything large, excessive, or otherwise inordinately disproportionate.

    So, 'she was carrying this dirty great white bag!'
    (and 'dirty' here means 'very')

    I don't think that the people at Chanel would agree with you that one of their purses would be "large, excessive, or otherwise inordinately disproportionate."

    And fromatto, I didn't mean that the word "honking" is derogatory in this context, only that "honky" and/or "whitey" is in general. Anyway, I'm going with "glaringly" because I think it fits the overall context best. Thanks!

  4. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,221
    #5

    Re: a honking white ...

    Just to be perfectly clear, "honkin'" (used more often than "honking") is not in any way related to "honkey."

    It simply means "really big." It does not modify "white" - it modifies "bag." If you need to change it, then say "a huge white bag," not a "glaringly white bag." That's not the correct connotation.

    Other ways to use "honkin'"":
    When she took that new job, she got a honkin' big pay raise.
    Man, that's a honkin' big fish you caught there!
    She hit this big old honkin' fly ball to left field and drove in two runs.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #6

    Re: a honking white ...

    Use 'glaringly' and you start a whole new meaning for the citizens of Sweden.
    Compare what the people on the street outside of Sweden mean by the term:

    Urban Dictionary: honking

    "honking" definition from Double-Tongued Dictionary

    She has this bag on a gold chain over her shoulder. It's not your handheld 'handbag'. The person is being somewhat derogatory of the girl, and uses hyperbole to exaggerate the size of the bag. This has nothing to do with what Chanel consider fashionable!
    Last edited by David L.; 08-May-2008 at 20:37.

  5. #7

    Re: a honking white ...

    Well, you are the experts so I have to take your word for it. The thing I got stuck on was the fact that I just couldn't picture an "excessively large" Chanel purse. Anyway, here is the context:

    "Of course, Manhattan was nothing like Houston, and Bliss's big curly hair and backflips didn't mean a thing to anyone at her new school, which didn't even have a football team, much less mini-skirted cheerleaders. But on the other hand, she didn't expect to be such a hick. After all, she knew her way
    around a Neiman Marcus! She owned the same True Religion jeans and James Perse T-shirts as anyone else. But somehow, she'd arrived for the first day wearing a pastel Ralph Lauren sweater with a plaid Anna Sui kilt (in an effort to look more like the girls featured in the school catalog), with a honking white leather Chanel purse on a gold chain slung over her shoulder, only to find her classmates dressed down in grotty fisherman sweaters and distressed corduroys. No one wore pastel inManhattan or rocked white
    Chanel (in the fall at least)."


    And I donīt quite understand this comment, David L:

    "Use 'glaringly' and you start a whole new meaning for the citizens of Sweden. Compare what the people on the street outside of Sweden mean by the term:"

    Is this a genuin comment or just unnecessary sarcasm?


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #8

    Re: a honking white ...

    Actually, at the time, it was meant as a humourous observation on how language changes and mutates; but considering the ungracious attitude you take to responders, please, please, regard it as sarcasm.
    Last edited by David L.; 10-May-2008 at 15:34.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 57,910
    #9

    Re: a honking white ...

    This thread is starting to generate more heat than it should; can we please not let things get out of hand? Thank you.

  6. curmudgeon's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Mar 2006
    • Posts: 1,657
    #10

    Re: a honking white ...

    My understanding of the use of honking is as a superlative a honking great bag or a honking big truck.

    I think hehe

    might have had to many honking strong lagers

Similar Threads

  1. my opinion about White Elephant Restaurant
    By anhtu in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 19-Mar-2010, 13:16
  2. white out
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 17-Jun-2007, 22:40
  3. white hair
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 10-Jun-2007, 16:12
  4. Jack London- White Fang
    By Lenka in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-Oct-2004, 18:19
  5. Telling/ lying white lies.
    By Latoof in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 26-Jun-2004, 16:32

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •