Posted by Bob on November 11, 2002
In Reply to: Yonks posted by TheFallen on November 11, 2002
: : I thought that I had posted ther following some weeks ago, but I can't find it in the Archive, so clearly I didn't post it! It was sent to me as a suggestion.
: : There's nothing certain in our archives about the origin of this word. Today I had the following suggestion sent to me. Any comments?
: : "I have spent some time trying to support my theory for the
origin of YONKS (meaning an indefinitely long period of time in
relation to the subject in hand) but have found nothing on the web.
It was a word much in use when I was in college in 1960.
: : It has always appeared obvious to me that it comes from Years + mONths + weeKS.
: : I offer this to you for what it is worth."
: You did indeed post this earlier, and if it has gone missing, then I suspect it was lost in the Great Disk Crash disaster of a few months past. The most plausible theory that I've seen for yonks is that it's a contraction of the spoonerism "yonkey's dears" - but as you rightly point out, nobody knows for sure.
I'm hard pressed to think of any word or phrase that originated in a Spoonerism. There ought to be at least one somewhere. Anybody? (My mother used to speak of something happening in 'one swell foop,' and I have a mental picture of a foop, but that's strictly personal.)