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[skangk] /skæŋk/
verb (used without object)
Slang. to dance rhythmically in a loose-limbed manner.
Origin of skank
First recorded in 1980-85; origin uncertain
Related forms
skanker, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for skank


a fast dance to reggae music
(slang) a promiscuous female
verb (intransitive)
to perform this dance
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for skank

"unattractive woman," 1965, perhaps from skag in this sense (1920s), of unknown origin. Verbal meaning "dance to reggae music" is 1976, probably not the same word, but also of unknown origin. Related: Skanking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for skank



  1. An unattractive woman; a malodorous woman; skag
  2. A prostitute; hooker: How long would it take for them to find them f—— skanks (the hookers) again? (1970s+ Black)
  3. Copulation; coition; ass: how 'bout witnessing some skank (1980s+)
  4. A despicable person; grunge, sleazebag: Julie gets used and humiliated by the lens-wielding skank (1980s+)
  5. A slovenly style of dress, possibly imitative of disheveled heroin addicts: Some teenagers prefer a grungier, if equally tasteless, look known as ''skank'' (1990s+ Teenagers)


To do a sort of reggae dancing in which the body bends forward, the knees are raised, and the hands claw the air: They move in sympathetic response to the music, skankin' from side to side/ They mosh. They slam. They skank and thrash, too (1976+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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