Last modified on 1 June 2014, at 01:57
See also: Dork



US 1960s, from 1967 in sense of “silly person”, presumably from earlier use as bowdlerization of dick (penis) in student slang, particularly Midwest.[1][2][3][4]



dork (plural dorks)

  1. (obsolete, vulgar, slang) A penis. [from the 20th c.]
  2. (pejorative, slang) A quirky, silly and/or stupid, socially inept person, or one who is out of touch with contemporary trends. Often confused with nerd and geek, but does not imply the same level of intelligence. [from the 20th c.]
    • 1967, Don Moser and Jerry Cohen, The Pied Piper of Tucson:[1][4]
      I didn’t have any clothes and I had short hair and looked like a dork. Girls wouldn’t go out with me.

Usage notesEdit

Narrowly used to indicate someone inept or out of touch, broadly used to mean simply “silly, foolish”; compare doofus, twit.

Derived termsEdit




  1. 1.0 1.1 dork”,, Dave Wilton, Sunday, June 11, 2006.
  2. ^ dork” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).
  3. ^ Lawrence Poston, “Some Problems in the Study of Campus Slang,” American Speech 39, no. 2 (May 1964) (JSTOR 453113): p. 118.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Historical Dictionary of American Slang, v. 1, A-G, edited by Jonathan Lighter (New York: Random House, 1994), p. 638.