1813, "large piece cut off," of uncertain origin; according to OED "not frequent in literature before 1850." Possibly from West Flemish hunke (used of bread and meat), which is perhaps related to Dutch homp "lump, hump" (see hump (n.)). Meaning "attractive, sexually appealing man" is first attested 1945 in jive talk (in Australian slang, it is recorded from 1941).
disparaging U.S. slang term for "immigrant laborer from central or Eastern Europe," 1896, probably ultimately a shortening of Hungarian, though the name was applied as well to Lithuanians, Poles, South Slavs, etc.
updated on September 11, 2015