Huckery? 
Posted: 03 June 2007 05:17 PM   [ Ignore ]
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This NZ word meaning of very poor quality is often used of things that have become worn out, run-down or shabby. I haev not been able to find an etymology for it anywhere. Even the OED has only this: “The business of a huckster.
1377 LANGL. P. Pl. B. v. 227 She hath holden hokkerye [v. rr. hukkerye, hukrie; C. hockerye, also huckerstrye; A. hoxterye] al hire lyf tyme.”

Does anybody have any ideas where this NZ usage came from?

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Posted: 03 June 2007 05:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I (an Aucklander) have never heard this word before. Where are you from? It may turn out to be more regional than you thought.

Also, I loved that quote in the OED: “She hath holden hokkerye”, which I presume translates as “She has a beat-up old Holden” :)

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Posted: 03 June 2007 05:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I just had the dazzling insight that it could be a Maori word. A discussion on this site suggests Maori pakaru “broken, ruined”:

http://p211.ezboard.com/huckery/fwordoriginsorgfrm19.showMessage?topicID=196.topic

I found the word haakoro “old man” in my dictionary that is a better phonological fit, and semantically might do. Still, without more evidence it’s just guesswork.

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Posted: 03 June 2007 05:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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nomis - 03 June 2007 05:21 PM

I (an Aucklander) have never heard this word before. Where are you from? It may turn out to be more regional than you thought.

Also, I loved that quote in the OED: “She hath holden hokkerye”, which I presume translates as “She has a beat-up old Holden” :)

I was born and raised in Rotorua. I know that doesn’t mean much, since Aucklanders all start muttering “hic sunt dracones” at the Bombay Hills, but the word was very common in Rotorua and the Waikato in the 70s and 8os, when I was growing up. It’s not that hard to find through Google either.

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Posted: 03 June 2007 10:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Well I’ve certainly learned a new word here. Mrs nomis (born in Wellington but grew up in Auckland) has also never heard of it. I’ll have to check with the Turangi family members…

BTW, the fact that the word is apparently used less in urban areas (based on a sample of two people) also points to a Maori origin, I feel.

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Posted: 04 June 2007 09:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Don’t know if it’s related, but there’s a County Durham word, hacky, meaning dirty, recorded from 1900.

Edit:  OED on hacky:

Of the nature of a hack (horse).

1870 Daily News 6 June, Britannia [a mare]..she is ‘hacky’, and in the wrong place here.

[ Edited: 04 June 2007 09:29 AM by ElizaD ]
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Posted: 06 June 2007 11:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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"Huckstery”, in the sense (among others) of “the wares of a huckster”, is cited in the OED2 as recently as the 19th century.  “Huckery” could be a worn-down form of that word.

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