Diddley Squat

This year marks the 60th anniversary of one of the greatest contributions by the state of Arkansas to the American way of life.

In 1959, fraternity brothers at the University of Arkansas were suffering from a shortage of chairs. In protest, they took to “hunkering,” or squatting, or what you might call Ozark yoga. It’s a fine example of American ingenuity, of making do with less, or in this case, making do with nothing at all. Hunkering quickly became a fad that spread to other Southern campuses, warranting coverage in Time magazine, where the Southern squatters showed themselves fine examples of collegiate style.

As in yoga, there were different names depending on what you were doing while hunkering. According to Time, squatting while drinking beer is called Hunkerin’ and Hookin’. Time does not disclose the term for hunkering while eliminating beer.

When studying, it’s called the Horace Hunker:

Cigarette-smoking piano players did the Hoagy Hunker:

On dates, it’s the 35-cent Hamburger Hunker:

Students at the University of Arkansas are known as Razorbacks, or Hogs…

Ero, the Hunkerin’ Hogs. — CC

19 Comments on "Diddley Squat"

  1. Love the photos. I want to try wearing white athletic socks with my loafers. Haven’t try that in the past, but have seen people wearing that many times.

  2. Vern Trotter | June 2, 2016 at 11:46 am | Reply

    The hunker was used for many decades by good ol’ boys, especially in the rural areas across the country. Wherever men would hang out; service stations, sidelines, picnics, anywhere there was a shortage of chairs and outside.

  3. I think you can find this kind of squatting, even today, all over Asia. I doubt there are very many in Arkansas who can manage that today.

  4. So, this is the origin for the term hunkering down, as in a storm approaching.

  5. Rico Boothman | March 7, 2019 at 8:51 pm | Reply

    Didn’t notice any black students. If tqhere were any African-Americans at that subtropical hellhole, they’d almost certainly been subjected to “squatting” from first grade onward, if not before

  6. Old School Tie | March 8, 2019 at 6:30 am | Reply

    Squatting is considered very Eastern European this side of the pind…

  7. I did not know there were so many soviet spies at the University of Arkansas

  8. Burger 35, malts & shakes 30 – I assume cents not dollars. This was a while ago.

  9. I recommend heather(ed) gray athletic socks with loafers.

  10. Off the subject, but I have to share my wonderful experience from alterations.com and personally thank you Christian very much because I found that place here from your blog. They successfully and beautifully altered all my Brooks square suit jacket and navy blazer. I couldn’t even go there since I live in Kentucky. I just sent them a couple of pictures and my written request. They altered exactly the way I wanted, which is natural shoulder. They look much better than Brooks natural shoulder. My apology breaking in, but have to say thank you!

  11. Ivy: the official style of BMOC’s, squatting or not.

  12. I recommend heather(ed) gray athletic socks with loafers.

    I am not from Arkansas, but did attend an Ivy school during the
    Golden Age and the sox of choice were wool crew and wool raggs
    with loafers or sneakers.

  13. Charles Hammersmith | March 9, 2019 at 2:00 am | Reply

    I’d like to ask a question that may seem off-topic: CC, what do you and readers of this site think about gray chinos?

  14. Besides khakis and jeans, I prefer grey trousers. No navy or brown for me. With that in mind some years ago I shared a photo of some gray chinos, and was told they look like auto mechanics pants. Now I don’t think I give off an auto mechanic vibe, but there you go. For what it’s worth, I no longer have them.

    Unusual, but I don’t think wrong in and of themselves.

  15. Old School Tie | March 9, 2019 at 12:32 pm | Reply

    Grey chinos – not a good choice for those with prostate problems.

  16. Charles Hammersmith1 | March 13, 2019 at 6:56 am | Reply

    @Old School Tie:
    Still trying to understand the intended humor.

  17. Unfortunately, most westerners no longer possess the requisite hip or ankle mobility to fully squat. Hit the gym folks! #ass2grass

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