American English student slang 1954; perhaps navy slang before that. Expert sense popularized in the Clinton administration, 1993. Origin uncertain, possibly from wonky (“shaky, unreliable”) or wank, wanker , or simply expressive.
wonk (plural wonks) (derogatory) An overly studious person, particularly student; a nerd. (by extension) A policy wonk or other intellectual expert.
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