After posting on Facebook my story about Nigel Farage and his Steve Bannon "Napoleon" painting, I got a response from a British "friend/follower" who wrote that she'd be happy to send Farage to the U.S., adding that "He is such a berk."
I didn't know the meaning of "berk," but it sounded so descriptive all by itself that no definition was necessary. But I looked it up anyway and saw the Cockney slang meaning. It seemed to fit my assumption, though I told her that it is is even more pointed, more crude, and funnier than I presumed. And I loved how it linguistically came about.
Cockney slang is such a fascinating thing. In this case, the expression "berk" comes from a famous event held at Berkeley Castle, begun in the 1930s known as the Berkeley Hunt. In Cockney slang, the word in question is "hunt," which they then rhymed with another word, one which begins with one of the first three letters of the alphabet...
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
Feedspot Badge of Honor