Awesome website! I
took your slang class about four years ago, it was the best ESL class
ever. Congrats on the website! Anyway, here is my question: This guy from
my school used the word Krunk (crunk?) and none of my american friends
present at the moment seemed to know what it meant either. He was talking
about some other kids at a party, about how "they are white, but
they are krunk, ya know what i mean?" and went on and on about how
cool these people are. So I got that it meant something good, but is it
race related? By the way, the guy using the word is also white.
Nice to hear from you! I'm glad you still remember me. Crunk (the more usual spelling, though krunk is also acceptable) is what's called a portmanteau word - a new word that combines the meanings and forms of two old words. In this case, crunk is a combination of crazy and drunk. It doesn't necessarily have to be from alcohol, though. Drugs can also make a person crunk, as shown in Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz' song about marijuana use, Get Crunk.
In the music world, crunk music is a kind of high energy hip hop from the south that has been gaining popularity in the last few years and crunk is also sometimes used about people who are excited or have high energy.
Understandably, the place you're most likely to hear this word is in hip hop songs about going to clubs and parties. On this website, you can find it in the song Shake It Like A Salt Shaker, about crunked up strippers. (Watch out, though - lots of bad words in that!)
However, that doesn't seem to be what your classmate was talking about, which might account for the confusion the other Americans had. He seems to be using the far less common meaning of "great" or "cool." As for the other part of the question, I've never heard it used as a race specific term. I think that may have more to do with the speaker's attitudes than the word itself.
March 25, 2004
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