1. pongv2
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    pongv2 New Member

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    Can "Flunkee/Flunky" also mean someone who flunked out school?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by pongv2, Jul 16, 2016.

    I need a word (noun) for a person who has flunked out of school. It's to be used as a nickname, so it can't be too lengthy. I've googled "flunkee," but to my dismay it seems to have a different meaning - one that seems more commonly used. The dictionary says it's a word that means "a liveried manservant or footman," but when I think of the word "flunkee," I think of somebody who failed out of school. Does anyone else use the word that way, or do I have a distorted interpretation of the word? Do you think readers would understand the connotation in context if I were to write "flunkee"? If not, do any other words exist that mean the same thing?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Laurin Kelly
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    Laurin Kelly Active Member

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    I've only ever heard it used per the dictionary description you posted.Could you use "dropout"?

    Character A: "I was thinking about going on a date with Charlie."
    Character B: "The dropout? Oh hell no, he'll never amount to anything."
     
  3. pongv2
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    pongv2 New Member

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    Hello, thanks for your input!
    Unfortunately, 'dropout' doesn't really have the right connotation in this case. The character in question has failed their entrance exams for school, but they are currently studying diligently for the next batch of exams. The word 'dropout,' in my opinion, carries connotations of somebody who voluntarily quit school and gave up on it.
     
  4. SethLoki
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    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    Flop

    :)
     
  5. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I definitely wouldn't use flunkee. Maybe flunker? Or more generic loser?
     
  6. Elven Candy
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    Elven Candy Contributing Member

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    I've only ever heard the word flunky being used by someone who flunked something (namely school). If you introduce the noun in a way it can't be confused with its dictionary use, I don't see the harm in using it the way you're describing.
     
  7. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Seriously? You've heard the word used this way?!?

    Wow. Is this a regional thing, or an age thing, or...?
     
  8. Elven Candy
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    Elven Candy Contributing Member

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    I don't know, but it's the only way I've ever seen/heard it used. Growing up when I played games with my siblings, we always called our characters who flunked out of school "flunkies." I'm quite surprised by the dictionary meaning.
     
  9. Elven Candy
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    Elven Candy Contributing Member

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    I looked up "slang flunky" and found this:
    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=flunky

    "flunky
    A person who lives there life through another person (host).

    Is tasked with jobs of low importance such as booking lunches, carrying shopping bags, or just tagging along with hosts(who they are the flunky of) on their errands.

    Hosts will take their flunkies shopping for their advice, but ultimately discount their opinion anyway.

    Usually of single status.

    Can be well dressed, however may make subtle fashion offences - hence requring input from there host.
    Fang: Hey Quynh, how come Rob always goes shopping with you.
    Quynh: Cos he's my flunky!"



    "flunky
    FLUNKY: Noun
    : to have an low self image and unresolved abandonment issues coupled with lack of drive.
    Yo flunky, don't let yo' mouth write no checks yo body caint cash!

    Did you know: Flunking and the spin off "flunky" word stem from school have long stood to mean anyone who has failed or quits learning to pursue some self defeating life style. Once commonly used to desribe 4 F army recruits during the second world war."


    "flunky
    Someone who is prone to flunking. Not intelligent. See flunk
    I hope the italian girl isn't an English flunky, it'd be really hard to communicate with someone who doesn't know English very well."
     
  10. Laurin Kelly
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    Laurin Kelly Active Member

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    It's gotta be. Maybe it's just not widely used in the U.S.? Thought I have lots of friends who live overseas, and I've never heard them use it that way either.
     
  11. Elven Candy
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    Elven Candy Contributing Member

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    I'm in the U.S.
     
  12. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Perhaps the word is evolving? Check an up-to-date urban dictionary, and if the word is there as a meaning for somebody who fails school, then by all means use it that way. Probably best put it in a context that readers will understand, though, because it IS a new use of the word.

    The standard meaning is an insulting term for somebody who runs interference for or does low-level work for some bigwig. The use is always insulting. You wouldn't refer to your own hard-working, much appreciated secretary or manager as a flunky, but other people might.

    It's tempting, I know, but unless the word is now used in a standard way to mean 'flunked out of school'—which will be reflected in its appearance in a modern dictionary—I wouldn't use it in a piece of writing to mean somebody who failed at school simply because you think that's what it means. We've all been there and misused words because we thought they meant something else. It makes no sense to insist that the whole world is wrong, while you and your friends have got it right! :)

    I remember embarrassing myself as a child, when a new neighbour moved in across the street, whose name was Mr Shouts. I heard another neighbour call him that, and I went bananas when I was told his name was actually Mr Schultz. I kept stubbornly calling him Mr Shouts for weeks, because I KNEW I was right. Erm. I wasn't.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2016
  13. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    Flunky is a more interesting word in its common usage - here we picture grovelling manservant in his wig, the greasy tongue, bowed and obsequious.

    Used as a tag for someone dropping out of school, it is all a bit more obvious, lame, one-dimensional Geordie Shore word, graceless or dull - provokes a knee-jerk type reaction on 'writer' websites.

    [Head up arse]
     
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  14. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Seriously. You could create a new word. Flunker. He or she is a flunker? One who flunks out of school?
     
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  15. pongv2
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    pongv2 New Member

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    Thanks for your input guys. I suppose Flunker is also a viable option
     
  16. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    or flunki..
     
  17. Wayjor Frippery
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    Wayjor Frippery Contributing Member

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    prepare yourselves... for more head up arse malarkey...

    flunk is a verb. You want a noun for the person who does the flunking. Grammatically, that's called an agent noun. Most agent nouns in English are formed by adding -er, -or or -ar to the verb:

    build — builder
    invest — investor
    beg — beggar

    In the case of flunk, you can rule out the -ar ending because that suffix tends to imply someone who always does that action (a permanent label), whereas someone who flunks presumably doesn't do it all the time (maybe they do, who knows?).

    That leaves you with -er or -or.

    -er
    endings are by far the most common in English and tend to be added to words with a Germanic root. -or endings tend to be added to words with a Latin root.

    The word flunk is North American slang dating from the early 19th century, and there is some debate as to its etymological origins. Some roots trace back to Latin words while others trace back to Germanic words. Most of the possible etymologies trace back to Germanic words, so -er would be you best bet.

    flunker

    But you could go with flunkor if the fancy took you, though it might raise a few eyebrows while people worked out what you were trying to say.


    TLDR: whatever you want – flunkite [?] [joke]
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2016
  18. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Could side step by dropping "flunk", using "fail".

    Of course, then you'd have to decide if it should be failer, failure, failee, fail-osopher...
     
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  19. SethLoki
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    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    Did my flop flop? I'll use it to stir the pond then and swill up a '-ster' here...there, at the end. Yes, let's append. Have a flunkster too. Ster morphs action to noun yes?
     
  20. Wayjor Frippery
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    Wayjor Frippery Contributing Member

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    -ster – yes, brilliant... association with hipster, makes the flunkster sound cool, rebellious, etc. Also sounds like pollster... not so cool..
     
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  21. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    'He's got the flunk,' a song way back by Jizz Flunk combination Butterbreath...

    [not so funny, just back from work, melting]
     
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  22. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    Here's my two pence on the situation (as i'm british, cents have no value here)

    Flunk isn't really a word we use, is someone doesnt go to school/class, we normally say that the person skipped school/class (might just be my area though, i've heard flunked/flunk and assumed it an American thing.)

    we say things like "how has that person passed X class, they skipped so many of the lessons!" (basically me during my Telematics and Communication lectures during my second semester at university, and i still passed)
     
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  23. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    @CR...what...what...a semester, don't you mean a TERM? Very ragened.
     
  24. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    My University refer to them as Semester's rather than Terms, despite being a Welsh university LOL I've just got into the habit of calling them as such
     
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  25. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well if you'd explained it was a Welsh word in the first instance I wouldn't have lost all sense of reason quite so much.
     

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