Etymology of ‘Fort Dork’

For my excitable ginger friend!

The nickname Fort Dork refers to the Canadian Broadcasting Centre. Didn’t jDoyle coin the phrase? I asked: “Far as I know, yes, I coined it. It is a play on Fort York. I started using it during the lockout when the CBC management antics were particularly dorkish.” (And there I was thinking it was coined by analogy with Fort Book and Fort Jock.)

It’s true, though. He used the phrase in the lockout context on 2005.08.22: “Here in Toronto there’s a historic place called Fort York. Well, I’ve started referring to CBC headquarters here as Fort Dork.”

But actually! jDoyle used it as far back as 2 October 1999 (in “Old Dog, New Tricks,” Globe and Mail BroadcastWeek): “There are times when I look over at the CBC building on Front Street and think, ‘Fort Dork.’ Then, sometimes, I look on it quite fondly.” (Classic!)

The next month (on 1999.11.06), jDoyle and Henrietta Walmark kicked the football at Slawko, who went topshelf. (Or whatever the hell the soccer lingo is. jDoyle would know that better than I would.)

— [John Doyle] called CBC headquarters “Fort Dork.” What do you call the Globe and Mail?

— Canada’s other national newspaper.