Re: Dork definition
Attention Internet: Dork Does NOT Mean Whale Penis!
(UPDATED) In spite of what you're apt to read on any of over 10,000 web pages, the word "dork" does not mean (and has never meant) "whale penis." I defy anyone who claims otherwise to show it defined as such in any respectable dictionary past or present, or used as such in any reference work or novel about whales or whaling published since, well, the dawn of publishing.
Though its precise origins remain somewhat obscure, etymologists generally agree that dork typically defined as "a stupid, foolish, or inept person" has only been in common usage since the 1960s, and is most likely a variant of dick which is, in fact, a slang term for penis, though not specifically that of a whale.
The Concise New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English (2007) defines it thus:
dork noun 1 the penis US, 1961. 2 a socially inept, unfashionable, harmless person US, 1964.
As in every other source I've checked including the ultimate authority on English word origins, The Oxford English Dictionary there is no mention of whales. None.
For good measure, I posed the question to several whale experts including Professor C. Scott Baker of the OSU Dept. of Fisheries and Wildlife, John Calambokidis, senior research biologist and co-founder of Cascadia Research, Phillip Clapham of the National Marine Mammal Laboratory, and author Richard Ellis (The Book of Whales, Men and Whales, Encyclopedia of the Sea, etc.) all of whom told me they had never seen nor heard the word dork used to refer to a whale's sexual anatomy. Ever.
In answer to various commenters (see below) who've tried to rebut these findings by arguing that if enough people use the word dork to mean "whale penis" then it's a valid definition, here's what's wrong with that argument: the phenomenon we're confronted with isn't people using the word that way almost nobody does, least of all people knowledgeable about whales it's people claiming that it means "whale penis" on the basis of no evidence whatsoever, as if repeating a falsehood over and over again somehow makes it true.
All of which is by way of saying that if you ask me, the rightful definition of a dork is the sort of person who would make up something like this.
More adventures in epithetymology:
• Origin of the F-Word: 'For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge'
• Origin of the S-Word: 'Ship High in Transit'
• Origin of The Finger: 'Pluck Yew'