You write: I’d be happy to “fix” the article, but I’m not sure exactly what you’re complaining about. You make general statements about it lacking “authority,” but don’t say anything meaningful. Is there anything that’s actually wrong about it? What information would you like to see in it? The main point of writing this article was to answer a question about the different variants in slang: What was the original form of the slang phrase? I believe it does that, but I’ll listen to any thoughtful comments to the contrary.
I thought I said something meaningful. In capsule, then: a quick look at the phonetic dynamics of some of the variants places doubt on the value of referring strictly to English sources. In addition, among the sources you use, the older ones do not confirm the two words clearly in combination, the recent sources do not demonstrate an actual recent English origin.
The most important point is the phonetic anomaly. The complicating fact that English has Germanic roots makes it equally probable, given no further evidence, that the expression either came from earlier English (as you claim without adequate justification) or was imported into the Melting Pot recently from another Germanic language (as I suspect without adequate refutation). The fact of the variants preserved to this day is evidence that may steer us toward the latter proposition. The gap between “hauk a loogie” from around the 1970s, and really almost anything in the past sources, is a serious problem.
The examples were things that sound like “hauck” and “loong’a” (spelling is absolutely irrelevant but I provide the alternatives in the original post title for those who come searching, lacking a soundex search). The fact of the sounding of “hauck” and “hock” (and that we’ve never seen “hack") means you have to explain, with no sources, how a 300-year gap will apparently preserve a 17th-century English pronunciation of the word. More significantly, there is the “loo” and the “er” or “a” suffix. Just because there exists an English word “lunger” (and it is most likely pronounced as our “lung") is too simplistic an explanation. Your 20th-century source citing “cough up a lunger” may easily be a re-formation of some contemporaneous “hauck a loong’a” from Dutch or Swedish or Danish or something else. In fact, it offers a good likelihood of it that would back up the non-English provenance proposition. Thousands of foreign expressions came into our language in the immigration boom between around 1850 and 1930.
There is a serious cloud over the word “lunger” in general, if it was pronounced like the word “lung” at the time of your 20th century source’s use of it. You’d have to explain how we got “loogie” from “lung-er”.
You write: As to a foreign language origin, it is highly unlikely in a slang phrase this recent. The phrase is clearly assembled from words already in English, not borrowed from another language. The variation is ascribable to the normal change occurs that happens in oral transmission when the original referents are not clear. Recourse to phonetic changes due to variation among Germanic languages is a trip down the garden path for a phrase like this.
Clearly assembled? When? Why “loon” and not consistently “lun”?
The most important fact that you overlook here is that there are dominant phonetic variants that sound more other-Germanic than English. Explain those oddments and I’ll disappear.
I can accept “hauk” alone, or even “loong’er” alone. But the two together, maintaining their atomic sense and meaning individually as well as an ancient pronunciation, while staying together as a unique phrase, is a puzzle that we haven’t yet solved. “Bless your heart” is not “blaisyehairtz” because the individual words maintained their independence over the centuries, while “goodbye” mutated profoundly. When such things happen, the words bend in pronunciation. I can more or less accept a specialized “hauk” standing alone that maintained itself in English over several centuries for the sole purpose to mean “cough up”—but a “loo” sound preserved so well from ME “lunge” needs more evidence, particularly since they appear to have come together. Why did they not mutate? Wouldn’t the average English speaker know the meaning of “loogie” better than we do? At the very least, if this is in fact originally an English expression, it is almost intact from, at the latest, 16th century EME, and you should be looking for it in Shakespeare, Marlowe, etc.
As to sensitivity, when you put your reputation out there, your ass on the line, you should expect an occasional abrasive comment. I appreciate this site. But suggesting that you would refuse to resolve a problem merely because someone did not say “pretty please” is flat-out intellectually wrong; in fact, it may only add some justification to my question about your intellectual rigor.