Last updated: 09/13/2020 | 95 views | Report error


What does Bohunk mean?

Bohunk is an offensive slang used about an unskilled or semi-skilled labourer that has migrated from central- or eastern Europe.

It is an unintelligent, rough person, often male.

He left his home country with nearly nothing, knows no other language than his native one, and takes the shittiest, lowest-paying jobs he can find.

The first part of the term is taken from “Bohemia”, a place name used to refer to the whole east-central European area, which is where all “bohunks” came from.

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Origin of the term

The slang is a portmanteau made up of the word “bohemian” and “Hungarian”, with an alternative ending. It was first recorded in 1906.

It was originally used when referring to Hungarians migrating to the US, but today the term is used as a derogatory slang to address people from all over eastern Europe, particularly Czech, Poles and other Slavic people.

Spread of the term

“Bohunk” is a derogatory slur, and while it was mainly used about European migrants in the early 20th century, today it has obtained a different meaning as well.

In modern days, it is primarily used when describing a dumb person. Someone who is stupid, illiterate and behaves silly can be called a “bohunk”, because this is how the Americans perceived the “Bohemians” back in the early 1900’s.

The term was invented in the US, and is still mainly used by white Americans.

Further information/sources

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