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Subject: When did 'Dork' die out?

Written By: Trimac20 on 03/12/06 at 10:20 am

First off, I hope you're not dorky enough to still use the word 'dork' Lol.

Anyway, which year did the slang term 'dork' (in the term 'goof', a rather weird, unwielding person) officially die out? The dorkologist within me says it was about 1998 (when I last heard it), but I occasionally hear in in current TV soaps (and not in any historical sense, but as a real 'insult'), which got me wondering, when do you think the word 'Dork' died out? I know (thanks to that oh-so-venerable fountain of information Wikipedia) it began in 1961 and originally referred to the male phallic organ, but I'm sort of interested in when it died out. I remember it was in common usage in high school (early-mid 90s) but the last I think I heard anyone use it was probably 2000 ot 2001.


Subject: Re: When did 'Dork' die out?

Written By: JamieMcBain on 03/12/06 at 11:43 am

Not sure....

Subject: Re: When did 'Dork' die out?

Written By: velvetoneo on 03/12/06 at 4:30 pm


First off, I hope you're not dorky enough to still use the word 'dork' Lol.

Anyway, which year did the slang term 'dork' (in the term 'goof', a rather weird, unwielding person) officially die out? The dorkologist within me says it was about 1998 (when I last heard it), but I occasionally hear in in current TV soaps (and not in any historical sense, but as a real 'insult'), which got me wondering, when do you think the word 'Dork' died out? I know (thanks to that oh-so-venerable fountain of information Wikipedia) it began in 1961 and originally referred to the male phallic organ, but I'm sort of interested in when it died out. I remember it was in common usage in high school (early-mid 90s) but the last I think I heard anyone use it was probably 2000 ot 2001.




It's a '90s word, I remember it being a huge grade school insult until about 2001 or so.

Subject: Re: When did 'Dork' die out?

Written By: Ebontyne on 03/12/06 at 6:23 pm

Wow. Aged 22 and I'm already out of the loop. I didn't realize dork had died out. To think how often I was called that in junior high and high school, and now it's retro.

Oh, memories.  ::)

Subject: Re: When did 'Dork' die out?

Written By: bbigd04 on 03/12/06 at 6:33 pm

You're right it was around at least until the late '90s, 1998 or 1999.

Subject: Re: When did 'Dork' die out?

Written By: Marty McFly on 03/12/06 at 6:34 pm

You know what? I think that's one of those words like "Dude", that's always gonna be at least somewhat omnipresnt (even if they passed their peak awhile ago!).

I agree with you, though. It's to me, more of an '80s word, but I heard it well into the '90s, too. It does sort of have that "80s suburban kid" air to it. Probably it would still be around as much now, if not for the hip hop slang equivalent of everything.

P.S. It's not immediately dateable like, say "pizzaface" or "nerdbomber" (DJ on Full House used to say this one when she was still a kid in the first couple seasons). ;D

Subject: Re: When did 'Dork' die out?

Written By: 90' kid on 03/13/06 at 10:36 am

it never died out i heard it  in conversation,movies,music,... alot so i dont think the word :"dork" has died....

Subject: Re: When did 'Dork' die out?

Written By: Tia on 03/13/06 at 11:21 am

I use the word "dork" all the time! I think dorks are hot. My current crush is a member of the society for creative anachronism. Totally hot. Hot dork.

Subject: Re: When did 'Dork' die out?

Written By: Donnie Darko on 03/13/06 at 11:45 am

I'm not supposed to post, but I think although it's still around, it's peak was like maybe 1987ish to 2000.

I think by '01 or so "tard" or "retard" largely replaced "dork" as a serious insult.

Subject: Re: When did 'Dork' die out?

Written By: Tia on 03/13/06 at 11:47 am

I think as an insult it was always pretty junior-high and not many people took it very seriously. I usually use it as a kinda weird backhanded compliment. I like dorks.

"Tard," on the other hand, would probably get someone mad.

Subject: Re: When did 'Dork' die out?

Written By: KKay on 03/13/06 at 12:14 pm


I think as an insult it was always pretty junior-high and not many people took it very seriously. I usually use it as a kinda weird backhanded compliment. I like dorks.

"Tard," on the other hand, would probably get someone mad.



i think I have called someonme dork..and it sounded so childish that it was laughable..or, as Mike so eloquently put it on another thread, it's so old I fell off my dinosaur and broke my stone underpants.

Subject: Re: When did 'Dork' die out?

Written By: ultraviolet52 on 03/13/06 at 3:10 pm

I still use dork quite often. It was a word so prominent in my childhood days that it left it's permanent stamp on me. Now if you want to sound reallll retro, use something like BOFFO!

Subject: Re: When did 'Dork' die out?

Written By: ultraviolet52 on 03/13/06 at 3:11 pm


I think as an insult it was always pretty junior-high and not many people took it very seriously. I usually use it as a kinda weird backhanded compliment. I like dorks.

"Tard," on the other hand, would probably get someone mad.



Dork never came off as an insult towards me unless it was by someone I didn't know, then I felt offended. But, if it was my brother calling me a dork, I could care less.

Subject: Re: When did 'Dork' die out?

Written By: nikki89 on 03/13/06 at 3:56 pm

I didn't realize this was a "retro" word. I still use it when I'm joking with my friends whenever they do something dorky. But hey, maybe I'm just a dork for still saying dork.

Subject: Re: When did 'Dork' die out?

Written By: Trimac20 on 03/14/06 at 4:08 am


I think as an insult it was always pretty junior-high and not many people took it very seriously. I usually use it as a kinda weird backhanded compliment. I like dorks.

"Tard," on the other hand, would probably get someone mad.



Kids had a special fascinating with the 'special people' in the 90s...words such as spastic, spacko, unco...they were all common in the 90s, but seemed to have been killed off in the 00s (replaced by more politically correct terms like looney, nutter or fruit-cake).

Subject: Re: When did 'Dork' die out?

Written By: eightbitgirl on 03/14/06 at 10:47 am

dork will never die. :)

Subject: Re: When did 'Dork' die out?

Written By: Tia on 03/14/06 at 10:56 am


dork will never die. :)
Is that the greatest American hero?! I loved that show! because I'm a dork!

Subject: Re: When did 'Dork' die out?

Written By: Trimac20 on 03/18/06 at 8:22 pm

Who here (just out of curiosity) would like to see Dork being brought back into genereal use?

Subject: Re: When did 'Dork' die out?

Written By: Marty McFly on 03/18/06 at 9:25 pm

^ It does seem a bit innocent, doesn't it? Not only in comparison to "retard" or "gay", but even when I watch a movie from 1989 where some kid calls some guy in his class at school a dork, it always strikes me as not really being an insult. Well, it is, but more of a fun/playful insult, ya know?

So yeah, I wouldn't mind hearing it more frequently again (although, like I said, I'm sure there's people who use it just 'cause it was one of those phrases that ingrained themselves into everyone's mind. Kinda like "dude").

Subject: Re: When did 'Dork' die out?

Written By: Chris MegatronTHX on 03/18/06 at 9:42 pm

Dork was definately around in the 80s.  Remember in Back to the Future when Marty was in the 1955 cafe?  One of Biff Tannen's goons said "Hey Biff check out this guy's life preserver.  The dork thinks he's gonna drown!"

Subject: Re: When did 'Dork' die out?

Written By: Marty McFly on 03/18/06 at 9:51 pm


Dork was definately around in the 80s.  Remember in Back to the Future when Marty was in the 1955 cafe?  One of Biff Tannen's goons said "Hey Biff check out this guy's life preserver.  The dork thinks he's gonna drown!"


Haha, that line always stuck with me.

I always thought however, that there was a certain "'80s modified into the '50s" style of teasing. Was "dork" even around in 1955? Also, later on, when a few guys were picking on George and had the "kick me" sign on him. That seems like an '80s thing, too.

Subject: Re: When did 'Dork' die out?

Written By: deadrockstar on 03/19/06 at 12:33 am

I guess now that I think about it dork isn't as common now.  Neither is dweeb or spaz. Infact those two terms have just about died out with today's youth it seems..

Subject: Re: When did 'Dork' die out?

Written By: velvetoneo on 03/19/06 at 12:47 am


I guess now that I think about it dork isn't as common now.  Neither is dweeb or spaz. Infact those two terms have just about died out with today's youth it seems..


Yeah, spaz was a really common term in the mid-late '90s.

Subject: Re: When did 'Dork' die out?

Written By: deadrockstar on 03/19/06 at 12:54 am

Doofus is another slang pejorative that seems to be MIA now in the 00s.

Subject: Re: When did 'Dork' die out?

Written By: velvetoneo on 03/19/06 at 6:04 am

I remember somebody called me a spaz c. 1998, I asked them what it meant, and they had no clue.

Subject: Re: When did 'Dork' die out?

Written By: Chris MegatronTHX on 03/19/06 at 4:25 pm

I remember hearing "dweeb" and "doofus" in the 80s.  But I don't think I ever heard anyone say "spaz".  If spaz was ever used, I am sure that was more of an early 80s thing.  That just sounds like something out of Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

Subject: Re: When did 'Dork' die out?

Written By: Chris MegatronTHX on 03/19/06 at 4:27 pm


Haha, that line always stuck with me.

I always thought however, that there was a certain "'80s modified into the '50s" style of teasing. Was "dork" even around in 1955? Also, later on, when a few guys were picking on George and had the "kick me" sign on him. That seems like an '80s thing, too.


Yeah "dork" was probably 80s slang used in the 50s for BTTF. 

But the "kick me" sign seems like the sort of teasing kids would have done in the real 1950s.

Subject: Re: When did 'Dork' die out?

Written By: Trimac20 on 03/21/06 at 4:36 am

Dork first appeared in common usage in the early 60s as a slang word for the male organ...another word whose meaning sort of got watered down over the years. Like many other words parents think are only 'innocent' teases, with far less savoury meanings. In actuality, the parents should know their real meanings since they would have used them when they were kids, but in an entirely different concept.

Subject: Re: When did 'Dork' die out?

Written By: Tia on 03/21/06 at 6:10 am

didn't the word dork originally literally refer to the organ of a whale? i read that somewhere.

Subject: Re: When did 'Dork' die out?

Written By: KKay on 03/21/06 at 8:53 am


didn't the word dork originally literally refer to the organ of a whale? i read that somewhere.


That's interesting.. I'llhave to look into that...

In the meantime,
Take this test to find out if you're an official dork.
www.csua.berkeley.edu/~sarahfsk/dork.html

Subject: Re: When did 'Dork' die out?

Written By: Trimac20 on 03/23/06 at 2:43 am


I remember hearing "dweeb" and "doofus" in the 80s.  But I don't think I ever heard anyone say "spaz".  If spaz was ever used, I am sure that was more of an early 80s thing.  That just sounds like something out of Fast Times at Ridgemont High.


"Spaz" and "spastic" (now offensive) were very common at my school in the early to mid 90s (even late 90s actually) though I think 'dweeb' and 'doofus' are more American-only terms. Another common term was 'unco' sort of meant the same thing, but could used as a self-depreciating term. E.g. 'I was so unco' (clumsy).

Subject: Re: When did 'Dork' die out?

Written By: Trimac20 on 04/24/06 at 5:09 am

Apparently 'dork' is making a come-back. I thought it would be relevant to renew discussion on the topic.

Subject: Re: When did 'Dork' die out?

Written By: Donnie Darko on 04/24/06 at 2:43 pm


Apparently 'dork' is making a come-back. I thought it would be relevant to renew discussion on the topic.


I tend to associate the word with the '80s, '90s, and '00s, but yeah I'd say its peak was in the 1980s or '90s sometime.

Subject: Re: When did 'Dork' die out?

Written By: Trimac20 on 04/24/06 at 9:38 pm


I tend to associate the word with the '80s, '90s, and '00s, but yeah I'd say its peak was in the 1980s or '90s sometime.


I can say it was still very strong until at least 96 or 97, having grown up in the classic 90s era. I remember by about 1999 it got really old, really quick. I remember someone saying, 'Dork is old' back in 99, when I too noticed it had almost disappeared. Saying 'dork' itself seemed dorky...lol

Subject: Re: When did 'Dork' die out?

Written By: Donnie Darko on 04/24/06 at 9:40 pm


I can say it was still very strong until at least 96 or 97, having grown up in the classic 90s era. I remember by about 1999 it got really old, really quick. I remember someone saying, 'Dork is old' back in 99, when I too noticed it had almost disappeared. Saying 'dork' itself seemed dorky...lol


Interesting ... what's it now? Tard?

Subject: Re: When did 'Dork' die out?

Written By: Trimac20 on 04/24/06 at 9:42 pm


Interesting ... what's it now? Tard?


Since I no longer hang round the school-yard, I'm quite 'out' of it in terms of school-yard lingo. I think you'd be more qualified to answer that question. ;)

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