Definition of shonky in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈʃɒŋki/
Australian /NZ informal

adjective (shonkier, shonkiest)

Dishonest, unreliable, or illegal, especially in a devious way: shonky political goings-on
More example sentences
  • I am really surprised that a New Zealand political party should advocate shonky protectionism against our trading partners.
  • Building workers have uncovered shonky immigration scams involving the employment and exploitation of illegal immigrants in the industry.
  • As I say, it is constitutionally very shonky and very dodgy.


(also shonk) A person engaged in suspect business activities: we need to rid the building industry of these shonkies quickly
More example sentences
  • Fortunately most of them are gone, the shonks have gone out of the industry and it's basically left to the farmers and the people doing the right thing to get the products out there.
  • There's a powerful message to middle class shonkies that it's not only street crime that may merit prison.
  • These shonks, often fly-by-night backyard operators, take full advantage of recent arrivals and just don't comply with minimum Award standards.


1970s: perhaps from English dialect shonk 'smart'.

Words that rhyme with shonky

conchae, donkey, honky, wonky

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: shonky

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