Slink, Shrink, and Wink

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Last week I found the word slinked in manuscripts submitted by two different members of my writers’ group. In both mss I drew a wavy line under it to represent the shudder that the -ed past ending on this verb stirred in me.

The principal parts of slink are slink/slunk/slunk.:

Then I got to thinking about various verbs that rhyme with slink and realized that although slinked pushed my shudder button, I have no problem with winked. And while I accept slunk as the simple past of slink, I’ll never become reconciled to the movie title Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. I want it to be Honey, I Shrank the Kids.

The verb shrink has an additional kink: the attributive form shrunken.
Ex. My sweater has shrunk in the wash.
Just look at this shrunken sweater!

Here are some more verbs that rhyme with slink. I’ll define only those that I think may be unfamiliar to some readers.

“to make a sharp, abrupt metallic sound”
The chain clinked as he walked.

The prisoner blinked in the bright sun.

Like shrink, drink has an attributive form ending in -en: He walks like a drunken sailor.

“to inform on”
The petty criminal finked on his boss.

“to twist or curl stiffly, especially at one point.
The hose kinked at the worst possible time.

“to cut or perforate”
The tailor pinked the edges of the cloth.

The garbage stank up the house.
The Compact OED gives stunk as an option for the simple past.

He thought a long time before making a decision.

Her job was to ink the platen press.

The blogger linked to several sites.

The boat sank in a squall.
Like shrink and drink, sink has an attributive form ending in -en: He’s looking for sunken treasure.

Yes, this is a word in the OED:

skink: v. trans. To draw or pour out (alcoholic drink), to decant; to offer or serve (wine, etc.) to a person.

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8 thoughts on “Slink, Shrink, and Wink”

  1. Reading your blogs make me feel that
    i am at my old high school.
    and it is so funny to read this post.

    i have to admit that a lot of your posting
    help me to improve my writing.

    thanks! 🙂

  2. shine/shone/shone — I came across a sentence in a book yesterday: “She shined the light up …” (“shined” is OK for shoes, but for lights…*shudder*)

  3. Forth from his den to steal he stole,
    His bags full of chink he chunk,
    And many a wicked smile he smole,
    And many a wink he wunk.
    – Anonymous

  4. I have a question for you. How do we know when to use the gerund form?
    You wrote “Then I got to thinking about various verbs that rhyme with slink and realized that…”
    I was taught to use the verb in this case “think” after the “to”, but I do know exceptions to this rule.
    Any easy hint on this regard? I never know when to use…
    🙂 – Yes, I am still learning english…

    And thanks for the postings! I love them. I has been helping me considerably!

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