conk n : informal term for the nose
1 come to a stop; "The car stalled in the driveway" [syn: stall]
2 hit, especially on the head; "The stranger conked him and he fainted"
3 die; "The old man finally kicked the bucket" [syn: kick the bucket, cash in one's chips, buy the farm, give-up the ghost, drop dead, pop off, choke, croak, snuff it]
4 pass out from weakness, physical or emotional distress due to a loss of blood supply to the brain [syn: faint, swoon, pass out]
- Rhymes: -ɒŋk
- A nose, especially a large one.
- To hit on the head.
- With "out", to fail.
- The engine just conked out.
- To chemically straighten tightly curled hair.
The conk was a hairstyle popular among Afro-American men from the 1920s to the 1960s. This hairstyle called for a man with naturally "kinky" hair to have it chemically straightened using a relaxer (sometimes pure lye), so that the newly straigtened hair could be styled. Conks were often styled as large pompadours although other black men chose to simply slick their straightened hair back, allowing it to lie flat on their heads. Regardless of the styling, conks required a considerable amount of effort to maintain: a black man often had to wear a do-rag of some sort at home, to prevent sweat or other agents from causing his hair to revert to its natural state prematurely. Also, the style required repeated application of relaxers; as new hair grew in, it too had to be chemically straightened.
Many of the popular musicians of the early to mid 20th century, including Louis Jordan, Little Richard, James Brown, and the members of The Temptations and The Miracles, were well known for sporting the conk hairstyle. The gatefold of the 1968 album Electric Mud shows blues legend Muddy Waters having his hair conked. The style fell out of popularity when the Black Power movement of the 1960s took hold, and the Afro became a popular symbol of African pride.
The conk is all but extinct as a hairstyle among African-American men today, although more mildly relaxed hairstyles such as the Jheri curl and the S-curl were popular during the 1980s and 1990s. Notable exceptions to this generalization are Al Sharpton and Michael Jackson.
References in popular culture
beak, beezer, belfry, cash in, check out, chump, croak, decease, defrauder, diddler, die, dome, gyp, head, headpiece, hit, kick in, kick off, knock, lick, noddle, noggin, noodle, pass, pass away, pecker, poll, pop off, proboscis, rap, schnozzle, sharper, sharpie, shill, smeller, snitch, snoot, snout, swat, swipe, trickster, wipe