Not considered to be related to obsolete funk (n.) "a spark," mid-14c., fonke, a general Germanic word (compare Dutch vonk, Old High German funcho, German Funke. The Middle English word is probably from Low German or from an unrecorded Old English form.
In reference to a style of music felt to have a strong, earthy quality, it is attested by 1959, a back-formation from funky (q.v.).
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "dust, vapor, smoke."
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit dhuma- "smoke, fume;" Greek thymos "spirit, courage, anger," thymiao "fumigate," thymin "incense;" Latin fumus "smoke, steam, fume;" Lithuanian dūmai "smoke" (plural); Old Prussian dumis "smoke;" Old Church Slavonic dymu "smoke;" Middle Irish dumacha "fog;" perhaps Old High German toum "steam, vapor."
1950, coined by U.S. writer L. Ron Hubbard (1911-1986). In "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health" (1950), the glossary connects the word to Greek dianoua "thought." "Self Analysis" by Hubbard (1951) quotes an etymology said to have been added to the Funk & Wagnalls New Standard Dictionary: "Gr. dianoetikos--dia, through plus noos, mind."
There was an earlier dianoetic (1670s) "of or pertaining to thought," from Greek dianoetikos "of or for thinking; intellectual," from dianoetos, verbal adjective from dianoe-esthai "to think," from dia- "through" (see dia-) + noe-ein "to think, suppose," from noos "mind," which is of uncertain origin.
Regarding an antithesis to 'promote,' the word universally in use in Cambridge, in Harvard College, is drop. The same word is in use in the leading schools here (Boston). I hope I may be counted every time against such barbarisms as 'demote' and 'retromote.' [Edward Everett Hale, 1892, letter to the publishers of "Funk & Wagnalls' Standard Dictionary"]
Related: Demoted; demoting.