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[thuhngk] /θʌŋk/
an abrupt, dull sound:
the thunk of a shutting window.
verb (used without object)
to make such a sound:
The window thunked shut.
Origin of thunk1
1945-50; blend of thud and clunk


[thuhngk] /θʌŋk/
verb, Nonstandard.
a simple past tense and past participle of think1 . Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for thunk


noun, verb
(informal) another word for thud
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 thunk

sound of impact, attested from 1952, echoic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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thunk in Technology

/thuhnk/ 1. "A piece of coding which provides an address", according to P. Z. Ingerman, who invented thunks in 1961 as a way of binding actual parameters to their formal definitions in ALGOL 60 procedure calls. If a procedure is called with an expression in the place of a formal parameter, the compiler generates a thunk which computes the expression and leaves the address of the result in some standard location.
2. The term was later generalised to mean an expression, frozen together with its environment (variable values), for later evaluation if and when needed (similar to a "closure"). The process of unfreezing these thunks is called "forcing".
3. A stubroutine, in an overlay programming environment, that loads and jumps to the correct overlay.
Compare trampoline.
There are a couple of onomatopoeic myths circulating about the origin of this term. The most common is that it is the sound made by data hitting the stack; another holds that the sound is that of the data hitting an accumulator. Yet another suggests that it is the sound of the expression being unfrozen at argument-evaluation time. In fact, according to the inventors, it was coined after they realised (in the wee hours after hours of discussion) that the type of an argument in ALGOL 60 could be figured out in advance with a little compile-time thought, simplifying the evaluation machinery. In other words, it had "already been thought of"; thus it was christened a "thunk", which is "the past tense of "think" at two in the morning".
4. (Microsoft Windows programming) universal thunk, generic thunk, flat thunk.
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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