Ock is a slang term for a middle eastern, brown man that either runs or works at the corner shop.
He has broken English but always a big, mischievous smile.
If he’s in the mood, he will tell you how he had to ride a camel for 70 hours, walk for double, and then sail a leaky boat with three kids on his back with nothing but one dollar and some dreams to get where he is today.
He will happily give you a discount you didn’t even ask for so that you keep coming to his shop.
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Origin of the term
“Ock” is a shortened, anglicised version of the Arab term “ahkhee”, meaning “my brother”, a term of endearment towards close friends, but sometimes used about random strangers if you are feeling friendly.
“Ahkhee” is pronounced “ock-hee”, and is hard to pronounce for Americans, who then shortened it to “ock”.
The usage of this term started out in African American and muslim communities in the US.
Spread of the term
The slang term is built on the stereotype that the person who runs the corner store is generally an Arabic man.
A pop-culture example of this stereotype is the character “Apu” from cartoon TV-Series The Simpsons. He is a brown man with broken English who owns, runs, and is the sole worker at the corner shop frequently visited by the Simpsons family.
People started using it around 2016, and it’s usage has steadily grown ever since.
- Urban Dictionary – Ock