Hunker down

From the Oxford English Dictionary (abbreviated):

“hunker; (noun) A member of the conservative faction of the Democratic Party (orig that in New York in the 1840s); transf. (colloq.) a person of old-fashioned or conservative outlook.”

“hunker: verb intransitive: Chiefly Sc & N. Amer. — Squat (down0 so that the haunches nearly touch the heels; crouch down for shelter or concealment. Also, station oneself in a hunched or huddled position. 2.  fig. Followed by down. Apply oneself, knuckle down. Orig. U.S.”

I’ve been told by the Governor, the Mayor, and the news media that I should hunker down. Since they seem to be saying I should wait out the storm in my house, and not go outdoors… I suspect the phrase “hunker down” has crept in as a phrase from US Football. As long as we have power and are being told this phrase, this will be a source of merriment (the Mayor, bless her, even said “for those of you keeping count of how many times I’ve said it, ‘we need to hunker down'”). The news media, meanwhile, are engaged in hurricane hazing (youngest weather newscaster gets to stand out on a sand dune during 50 mph winds).

So, anyone have more info than the abbreviated OED about this sudden use of the phrase “hunker down”?

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