dun

Definitions

Food

Slang

  • verb to criticise, denigrate, berate (someone). The usage was recorded among middle-class adolescent males in 2000.

Electronics

  • acronym fordial-up network
    (written as DUN)
  • A network, such as the Internet, which is accessed via a dial-up connection. Also spelled dialup network. Its abbreviation is DUN.

Origin & History of “dun”

English has two words dun. The colour adjective, ‘greyish brown’ (OE), comes ultimately from Indo-European *donnos, *dusnos, which is also the source of English dusk. The now rather dated noun, ‘debt-collector’ (17th c.), is an abbreviation of dunkirk, a 17th-century term for a ‘privateer’, a privately owned vessel officially allowed to attack enemy shipping during wartime. It was originally applied from such privateers that sailed from the port of Dunkirk, on the northern coast of France, to attack British ships, and its connotations of unwarranted piracy soon spread metaphorically to one who was constantly importuning for the repayment of his loan.
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