Horn That Bugger!!

How many times have you heard someone swearing at a rude driver who had just overtaken your car? Do you hear your passenger say something like: “Horn that bugger, la!!!” to you – and then you’d hear a loud continuous blare coming out from the car? I think you have experienced this before 🙂

Anger aside, the word “horn” is inappropriate in this context. It’s supposed to be “honk“. So, what’s the difference? Both appear to have the same function, but they’re absolutely not.

horn (n.) and honk (v.)

Horn” refers to the device (not the action) on the steering wheel of your car that is used to scare chickens away or to tell someone to get out of the way. The horn is a replacement for your voice – your anger. “Honk“, however, is the loud sound made by the horn (of a car), or the sound of certain animals like the geese.


  • You need to replace the horn as the sound is weak.
  • Honk at that cow before it crosses the road and blocks your way!

Take note:
This same word also means the pointed, curved part of an animal that grows on the head. However, you cannot say that “The goat is a horny animal.” just because it has two horns. 😀 Horny means sexual excitement or attraction.


Posted on October 21, 2009, in Word Power and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Sir, can we say “That bugger is horny?” lol..

  2. Refering to your last post dated 19Oct fully and totally subscribe to your title that ‘Engrish’ is really complicated for me (speaking for myself). Was reading the above and ‘horny’ came into my mind and no sooner than I thought its there in between my eyes. Why must it be a different meaning when horn and horny is concerned? Always kept playing the joke on good, gooder, goodest or good, better, betterest and why must it be good, better, best.??? Wait a minute bad,???, worse.? What’s the center word? Oops just slip my mind?

    • It’s bad, worse, the worst 🙂

      Thanks for your feedback. It is the challenge of learning English well that makes it “fun” to some of us but I can’t deny that it’s a really difficult language to learn, let alone to master. There are just too many rules and inconsistencies. Perhaps one day, English could be as easy to learn as Bahasa Malaysia – maybe in a hundred years from now. Who knows? After all, every language has evolved.


  3. Thanks for pointing this out. I can sure curse when in driving but horn or honk, a bugger is a bugger! LOL!

    Have a nice day ahead!

  4. Hi Kevin, Gee thanks. That’s the worst of me forgetting “worse” in the wrong sequence some more. Could it the ‘brain washing’ part (pointing fingers to the motivational trainers haha) in the course of our working environment that we have to think, talk and do positively and no word of negativity should be uttered thus this outcome or just plain rusty? Think the latter sounds more appropriate. Our brains need to be oiled and thank goodness we found a treasured ‘oil can’ filled with every ready ‘oil’. All we need to do is to make the fingers do the clicking and let the oil flow with us. Once again from the bottom of my heart would sincerely thank you for your unselfish and unconditional sharing to raise the bar to a higher level. Kudos!

    • Thanks, Cheah 😀 I’m flattered. Hope more people find this blog useful, and would contribute in any way they can. Let these contributions contribute toward a better understanding and usage of one of the world’s most difficult languages.

      p/s: Hmm…come to think of it, even oil needs to be changed! 😛

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