Without denying the possible other roots given in the article, there is another simpler one which was indirectly explained to me by a Black friend.
Back in high school, when the term began to gain currency, I asked my friend Larry if he would enlighten me about the term. Larry looked at me for a while, obviously starting to speak on several occasions. He finally said “If you don’t already know, I couldn’t possibly explain it.” :rolleyes:
Fast-forward several years. I’m listening to myself on a recording. I think to myself “Gosh I sound honky.” Cue floating light bulb. :smack:
Persons of European descent, more-or-less equal to “White”, tend to have longer nasal passages than other races and sound - all together now - Honky.