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hocker n. a person who harangues, beseeches, or talks persuasively; a person who trades in information, gossip, or personal connections; someone who is (obnoxiously) ambitious. Editorial Note: Hocker is common and well-known to yeshiva students in New York City. Related etymologically to, but not derived from, hawk ‘to embarrass, annoy, or disconcert,’ which, according to DARE, is used in Mid-Atlantic states such as North Carolina and Virginia as a synonym for hack, more commonly found in the American South and South Midlands. The noun variant of hack means “a state of embarrassment, confusion, or defeat.” The adjective hacked means “embarrassed, annoyed, cowed, flustered” and dates as far back as 1892. It’s also, therefore, related to to hack off ‘to annoy.’ A Jewish correspondent from Boston also reports using huck to mean “to nag,” probably just a pronunciation and spelling variant of the Yiddish hock. Etymological Note: < hock ‘to nag, criticize’ (According to Leo Rosten, perhaps shortened from Hok mir nit kayn chainik ‘don’t knock me a teapot’ = ‘don’t harangue me; stop nagging, annoying, or pestering me’) <  Yiddish hock, hok, or hakn ‘to chop, strike, knock’ < German hack ‘to cut, chop, or strike (with a blow)’; High German hock ‘to hit, chop’ (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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  • Love this site. Might I comment on your etymology?

    “< Yid. hock or hok ‘to nag, criticize’”

    1. I would transliterate the word “hak”, according to the accepted YIVO standards. The Yiddish infinitive would be “hakn.”

    2. The Yid. word “hak[n]” does not mean “to nag, criticize.” It means “to chop.” “To nag, criticize” is Yinglish. Rosten’s book, though valuable, is a Yinglish dictionary, not a Yiddish one – though the phrase “hak mir nisht keyn tshaynik” is, of course, well-attested in Yiddish.

Further reading

Spill the Tea (episode #1521)

If someone urges you to spill the tea, they probably don’t want you tipping over a hot beverage. Originally, the tea here was the letter T, as in “truth.” To spill the T means to “pass along truthful information.” Plus...