Stank, stunk

  • The verb stink is traditionally inflected stank in the past tense and stunk as a past participle. For example, one might write, I don’t stink today, but I stank yesterday, and I have stunk for many years.


    In the U.S., stank has developed a few new colloquial senses. As an adjective, it means gross or having poor personal hygiene. As a noun, stank means an extremely unpleasant odor. There’s also stank eye, which denotes a disapproving facial expression (though this form is less common than stink eye). Also, in the last example below, the writer seems to use stank in reference to a perfume, but we don’t know whether this is just a one-time use of the word.



    We find no examples of these new senses of stank in edited publications, so these examples are drawn from blogs:

    Secondly, your stank attitude reflects the belief that others’ feelings don’t matter. []

    I read a lot about the stank issue.  Namely, that people are stanky after they run/exercise and that the stank does not always come out in the wash. [My Quest for a Smaller Chest]

    If I give her the stank eye, will she take this tutu off? [Pug Possessed]

    Namely, the ever-popular and sexy-to-many Taylor Swift, pimping her new stank at Macy’s. [Egotastic]


    1. brendan tang says

      I usually hear “stink eye,” not “stank eye.”

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