Local Lore & My Dictionary

This page is dedicated to words and phrases I've come across or made up. If you'd like to contribute to this page, I've included a form at the bottom for submissions. Consider this the SyddWare equivalent of Abrose Bierce's Devil's Dictionary. Hork-tionary?


The following is a list of definitions centered around a term we coined for no apparent reason over the course of a project development. These were contributed by me and my co-workers who now use them daily and have actually replaced use of the F-word with these kinder, gentler replacements. Should this catch on, I wish to take full credit for starting the ball rolling. Use one every day.

(hork) to foul up - '90's version of SNAFU - (origin: Ren Hoëk of the Ren and Stimpy Show) - also spelled hork, the spelling I'll hereafter use. As you'll find, this word very nicely serves as a "mixed company" replacement for the F-word. Yes I've even used it in front of my mom. SNAHU?
one who horks - thing that can cause a hork
messed up, broken
vicinity of the problem
a 'mob hit' on code - like a purchased killing only for software - applying a hork
large group of people horking things up in a complicated but concerted effort
the end product of a horkestra
place to go to deal in horkings
"Hork, the herald angels sing"
Songful exclamation of yuletide joy sung by a horkestra during the annual 12-day holiday horkfest
(adv) - A verb modifier used to indicate that an action is being pursued in a manner which will result in horkage. (E.g, "Arthur, you are programming horkingly today")
(n) - The end-product of excessive horking, characterized by horked code which takes on a life of its own.
(n) See horkestra
(n) See Sybase
(adj) - Activity predisposed to a horked-up result
(n) - Place where horkage occurs
(n) - The culmination of months of excessive horking when all the horkanisms achieve critical mass and revolve in a counter-clockwise fashion, sucking up all those responsible for the horking. Horkanes are typically given formal names. Oh and below the equator they spin the other way. They don't exist at the equator as too many beverages with little paper umbrellas are being consumed there.
Grappling Hork
(n) - A pronged tool used to restrain a horkanism. Useless against a fully developed horkane.
The Incredible Hork
(n) - Few have tried, many more have succeeded
"Hork Happens"
Common refrain of the horker
Doin' the Horky Porky
badly cooking spare ribs
a month long celebration of unruly horkers, characterized by large amounts of broken things and phlegm-infested hairballs - fun for the whole family
hork you
an insult commonly used amongst horkers - typical rejoinder contains references
hork up a hairball
to really hork something up (see FUBAR and its lesser cousin HUBAR)
the great god of horking, as in "Hey Steeempy, deed you just Hork up another Hairball?!?", or "Steeempy, you eeediot!!! You horked up again!"
Horky Pig
a favorite role-model for wanna-be horkers
horkability factor
the measure of a person's or group of person's ability to hork something up
[Submited by Kevin T. Luddy]
the genus of species that, in general, horks things up [Editor's Note: No word yet on how many species actually make up this genus; study continues.]
[Submited by Kevin T. Luddy]
horkan factors engineering
the application of science to safegaurd against the actions of horkans
[Submited by Kevin T. Luddy]
appropriate, impropriate; assume, possess oneself of; take possession of; commandeer; lay one's hands on, clap one's hands on; help oneself to; make free with, dip one's hands into, lay under contribution; intercept; scramble for; deprive of; take off, carry off, bear off; adeem; abstract; hurry off with, run away with; abduct; steal; ravish; seize; pounce upon, spring upon; swoop to, swoop down upon; take by storm, take by assault; snatch, reave; snap up, nip up, whip up, catch up; kidnap, crimp, capture, lay violent hands on; get hold of, lay hold of, take hold of, catch hold of, lay fast hold of, take firm hold of; lay by the heels, take prisoner; fasten upon, grip, grapple, embrace, gripe, clasp, grab, clutch, collar, throttle, take by the throat, claw, clinch, clench, make sure of. catch at, jump at, make a grab at, snap at, snatch at; reach, make a long arm, stretch forth one's hand. take from, take away from; disseize; deduct; retrench; dispossess, ease one of, snatch from one's grasp; tear from, tear away from, wrench from, wrest from, wring from; extort; deprive of, bereave; disinherit, cut off with a shilling. oust; divest; levy, distrain, confiscate; sequester, sequestrate; accroach; unsurp; despoil, strip, fleece, shear, displume, impoverish, eat out of house and home; drain, drain to the dregs; gut, dry, exhaust, swallow up; absorb; draw off; suck the blood of, suck like a leech.
to barrow for a long period of time [Editor's Note: Well that's clear. When I checked my desk ref., the word barrow only showed up as a noun, including but not limited to a male hog castrated.]
[Submited by Dave Dickinson]
excessive group horking, usually performed while standing in a circle. (Syn. horkle-jerks)
[Submited by Chuck Northrop]
n. Person who needs to lighten up, judging from this email message we received. Seems like someone at his workplace apparently struck a nerve:
Recently your page was printed and posted at my work. As you can tell my REAL last name is in fact Horky, a name that I carry with pride. But thanks to your fucked up site it is likely going to cost three people their reputations and possiblely their jobs if I have my way. Do the world a favor and pull your site, Because there is nothing worth a shit on it.

Sure Ken, we'll take this page down right away. You finally caught us, this whole thing's been up over ten years with the express intent of making fun of your family name, and of you personally. Oh and we'll get started right away on removing all other web sites on the internet that might offend you so that nobody who knows how to get your goat can find them on the internet and place a printed copy where you might see it. People are so hard to control, we wish you every success in seeing to it that only those you can control are left as your coworkers. Perhaps you can help us narrow the list of sites to be removed by telling us what you're into besides talking dirty, and maybe what religious and other groups don't offend you, then we'll work on removing the rest. We'll start with the Urban Dictionary's ironic definition posted for the word horky.-ed.

Jump to the Syte Map

The only correct way to fix a hork is to use a kluge - this will not fix the problem, but only mask it until such time as another manifestation rears it's hairless south-of-the-border yapping rat-like head. Gives the horker time to flee to the safety of the horkery.

Miscellaneous Definitions

Henny Youngman Solution
(n) This is the name of the solution to a problem whereby avoiding doing the thing that causes the problem is what is advocated as the solution. Often used in solving software and hardware development problems in our experience. Derives from the old Henny Youngman [1906-1998, King of the One Liners] joke that goes as follows:
The patient says, "Doctor, it hurts when I do this."
The doctor replies, "Then don't do that !"
(n) Daddies are a bumpy ride.
(n) The unit of humor by which a remark or joke can be rated. This, though probably not original, was our scale of measurement. The answer of 6 humes was always ambiguous since it was forbidden to specify an upper or lower bound; assume a scale of 1 to 10 and you miss the point. We stayed away from Douglas Addams' 42 so it was always 6. Usually values were descriptive rather than numerical: mojo humes. And whereever possible provided mixed signals. Sort of like the comment "it doesn't suck" which, although positive has heavy negative connotations. These were usually first and last used at the defining moment. In other words, the hume value was always spontaneously provided by the humor itself. Sort of like a "callback" in standup, they always had that "you hadda be there" quality to them rendering them obsolete the second the laughter stopped.
(adj) ridiculous
[Quoted from Adam Corolla on LoveLine - submitted by someone at the U of MD]
Another scale we came up with in my school days was a heat register defining outside temperature. It was not verbal but gestural. Hold your hand out flat, palm up. Now curl up your fingers and draw your thumb in next to your palm. If you had two golf balls you'd be able to hold them in the little cup you've created with your fingers. Imagine a part of the male anatomy about that size, two actually. They normally reside in a device that expands and contracts with temperature. Thus, when it's real hot, you form this gesture with your hand and let it drop low. When it's really cold, you'd raise it up and even squeeze the fingers closer together to illustrate, uh, a contraction sort of movement.
A "What's it like out?" query would evoke, aside from the predictable verbal "I don't know, I haven't had it out yet." response, the gestural response reflective of the temperature outside. Depending upon how cold it is outside, you might even get a grimace of acknowledgement from the querying party and an "Oh" in a high pitched voice.
(n) a measure of height - used to determine the exact height of an ice cream cone.
(n) One of my credos is "Kids love slapstick." You want to make any kid smile or even laugh? Pratfalls, slapstick, general stooge fare: never fails. Warning: Oddly, this tends to make them want to hurt you, all in good fun of course. Men: wear a cup.
spew, spewage, spewing
  1. polite version of bull sh**
  2. bragging; telling tall tales

So, I told Cindy Crawford that I'd have to cut our date short, because Anna Nicole Smith was waiting for me, said Dilbert.
Quit your spewing, chided Dogbert.
[Editor's Note: I added the word "chided" because it's not often I get to use it.]
[Submited by Bruce A. Toth]
someone that has done absolutely nothing, but you just need to call them a name
[Submited by Mike Mofal]
The act of snapping your pig with a wet towel.
[Submited by Flying Pig Productions]


(adj) - marked by rapid and unpredictable changeableness of mood. "I'd fire that mercurial, self-indulgent prima donna in an instant," the director insisted, "if she weren't such a brilliant actress!"

This is an actual word, look it up.

What make sthis funny to me is that I once worked a project that utilized between 1 and 4 VME-bus based Intel i860 based floating processor boards containing up to 4 i860 processors each and up to 128Mb RAM made by Mercury Computer Systems Inc, the predecessor to their RACE line of products (which is probably also ancient history now, who knows). During the early days of code/test, non-Mercury-developing personnel were invited to use the platform on which the boards and code resided "at their own risk". It was not uncommon for a simple coding mistake to crash the entire Sun platform due to lack of program address space protections enjoyed by UNIX programmers. Thus we tended to consider the boards to be mecurial, even though at the time we never knew this word existed. Perhaps we considered the boards unpredictable unjustly as it was our code that made them that way, at least in the early days. Its origin relates to the Roman god Mercury who, while active, spritely and swift, was also considered fickle and prone to sudden unpredictable change.


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