Hunk-handsome

  • thehung1724

    Senior Member
    VN
    This is full of sentence (in "Da vinci code") book:

    "Although Professor Langdon might not be considered hunk-handsome like some of younger awardees, this forty-something academic has more than his share of scholarly allure."
     

    Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    Thanks, this is why we always ask for a source and some context before we try to guess what an expression means.

    Here, it means "as handsome as a hunk" or "handsome in a hunky way." Yes, it is being used as an adjective.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    There must be hundreds, if not thousands, of adjectives formed from nouns plus adjectives or participles, sometimes hyphenated, sometimes not: roadworthy, waterproof, middle-class, midlife, half-inch, well-educated, sight-seeing and so on.
    I wouldn't advise a learner to start making them up.

    I don't think 'hunk-handsome' is a standard one in general use, but the native speaker understands the general concept of the formation and knows that it means " handsome in a 'hunky' way", a 'hunk' being a physical type of man that's considered attractive by many.
    There's "finger-licking good" an adjective made up for a sort of fried chicken considered delicious by many. That's a noun + participle, as is 'record-breaking' or 'thought-provoking'.

    Informally they occur spontaneously - one that comes to my mind is 'mind-blowingly' : I might say "That woman is mind-blowingly rude" instead of saying she's so rude it 'blows your mind', which is slang for unbelievable, I suppose. That would be about the same register of informality as 'hunk- handsome'.
    Look up "compound adjectives" for lots of them.
    Compound Adjectives in English
     
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