Posted by The Fallen on February 12, 2002
In Reply to: Honkytonk - term origin? posted by Word Camel on February 12, 2002
: I thought of this because I happened to catch "Honkytonk Woman" on the radio. Looked up Honkytonk and found that apart from meaning a roadside bar with pickups in the parking lot, it's also an adjective used to describe a particular variety of ragtime. Anyway, the origin is unknown and I wondered if anyone here had any ideas.
My money would be on onomatopoeia - Honkytonk as a light-hearted approximation of the sound of a piano playing ragtime. Though I now have got musing and therefore have to pose the further question and ask - is there any connection between honkytonk and the no doubt outmoded derisory generic term "honky" used in Black American street slang to describe white Caucasians?