“The thunk of each lever was as satisfying as closing the door of a vintage Mercedes,” wrote one.
“Who would have thunk it,” said Madonna somewhat presciently when discussing her marriage to Guy Ritchie a couple of years ago.
It came down with a satisfying "thunk" on Johnny Simms' head.
Bless yer soul, D'rindy, they hed a hole ez big ez that thar piggin, afore I thunk ennything 'bout'n it.
Us used dem tomatoes for flowers, 'cause us thunk dem pretty red things would kill us or put de spell on us.
Well, I thunk some more thinks just as punky as that, and then we settles it that I'm to hike over and take a squint, anyway.
The Hindu boy swung with the flat of his bolo and there was a thunk as he connected.
Us kids scart 'cause we done see dem Yanks' bayonets and thunk dey was dere horns.
Sev'ral times I thunk de blood houn's am trailin' me and I gits in de big hurry.
It's his own fault, lad—he should have thunk o' those things afore he consented to help on the job.
sound of impact, attested from 1952, echoic.
/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.
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.