The first time I heard the word “hunker” I was on a raccoon hunt. We were standing at the bottom of a massively tall oak tree where a couple of raccoons were hiding out. The ‘coon’ dogs stared up at the invisible raccoons. The hunters stared up at the invisible animals. I stared up at . . . nothing. Those raccoons had either discovered a black hole in the fork of that oak tree or they had perfected the art of hunkering.
Hunter number one said, “Well!” He chewed and spat. “Those beasts are sure hunkered down.”
For a long time, I thought hunkered meant, having an invisibility cloak. But no . . .
It means: to squat or crouch down low, to take cover. Really?
Do people know that? Are they really telling people to squat down in the face of a cat-4 hurricane, or are they telling folks to take cover in the hollow of an oak tree?
I wouldn’t pick the tree option. It might be crowded in there, what with all those raccoons stuffed inside.
What is it about hurricanes that make people use the word hunker? Don’t get me wrong. I love the word. I think it’s underused. I’d like to see it enjoy a renaissance of popularity.
Don’t be afraid. I will hunker near you all night.
Come! Let’s us hunker together.
I would have been on time to work, but I was busy hunkering.
I have hunkered long enough. I shall stop squatting now.
No one can hunker down like Matt.
To hunker is to squat—also crouch.
Don’t tell that jerk where I’ve been hunkering down!
Such a great word.
So many possibilities.
HURRICANE DRINKING GAME: Every time I hear the word hunker I take a drink—of Gatorade. I don’t drink that other stuff. Never needed to. Never wanted to be drunk. Saw too much of someone else who needed to be drunk—a lot—when I was a kid.
I have hunkered down, however, and not just during hurricanes.
Linda (Huntress) Zern
PS No raccoons were harmed in the telling of this story!