I’ve heard the word used in a friendly, joking way (especially amongst socializing teenagers), who say something like “You dork” when they’re commenting on a friend’s behavior that they consider weird or silly. The term isn’t being used in an offensive way and the speakers and the person performing the behavior are often smiling or laughing. I’ve also heard of the word being used to refer to someone with odd interests who doesn’t care what other people think about them. I’ve never thought of it as a derogatory term.
I don't think so...but I do think what it means depends on who says it for what reason. Plus, language changes. I guess I'm feeling a bit relieved that my being called a dork wasn't such a horrible thing, considering context and all that.
I've been called this derogatory term, dork, by a family member, but she was jesting. But I have also heard dork used in an ugly, mean way that caused a lot of hurt feelings. Our tongue can either build up or tear down is the lesson here.
Me too! I've never heard the pen*s connotation myself. I call myself a dork regularly. I use it to mean silly, odd, a little less than intelligent - but endearing. For example, I would NEVER use the word with someone who IS less than intelligent for fear of hurting their feelings. But, I'll use it on myself or my husband - neither of us finds it offensive.
But...then I have always had a bit of a sarcastic nature. When I found that the root of the word sarcasm meant 'to tear the flesh,' I made a conscious attempt to avoid sarcasm as often as possible. I may do the same with the word 'dork.'
The way I usually hear the word used is one friend says to another "You're such a dork." Usually after the person made a silly assumption or is behaving in a goofy manner. I generally do not take it to be their true opinion that that person is generally stupid or dull-witted. I really have not heard it used as a serious insult or put-down.
I'll agree I'm odd and can be a bit awkward at times. It's just part of my charm. ^_^ I too think it can sometimes be a compliment.
Here's another spin on it, too. Dad has a rather interesting sense of humor -- from our childhood, my sister and I would receive periodic notes in random places saying "YOU DORK" (my father writes in a "capitals" style handwriting). I got one about a month ago, actually -- after he patched a jacket of mine, I opened one of the pockets and found a Post-It bearing those very words, so I kept it in there. When I reach in that pocket without thinking and feel it there, I think of Dad.