The Punkin Patch

Oct 12 2011

etymology (noun) – the history of a word that traces its
development by analyzing its component parts


The Punkin Patch

Like many people, you may be under the false impression that the correct name for the location depicted above is the pumpkin patch.

I assure you, you couldn’t be more wrong.

The accurate term is punkin patch.

No, I’m not being cutesy.  (Yeah – cutesy is SO not how I roll.)

Truly, an analysis of empirical etymological data will prove it’s true.

Let’s discuss.  I’ll even give you the word “patch,” as it’s not in contention.

Definition #1: pumpkin (noun) – a fruit of the gourd family that is typically round and orange that is grown for its fibrous pale flesh used especially in baking or as feed for livestock

Well, that certainly appears to be accurate.  And I won’t deny that the patch is full of pumpkins.

But is it the most accurate definition?

Definition #2: punkin (noun) – derived from the parts “punk” and “in”

  • punk (noun) – inexperienced youngster
  • in (preposition) – position within limits


My research led me through dusty libraries to forgotten manuscripts.  I found that, in ancient times, the “punkin patch” was once called the “punks-in-the-patch.”  As language evolved (which language is ever wont to do), we shortened the phrase to “punkin patch” and then to the more common, but misused, “pumpkin patch” due to the mistaken belief that the phrase referred to the harvest of gourds, rather than the human chaos we unleash upon it.

I rest my case.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is clearly a punks-in-the-patch.

Happy October to you!

Wishing you and your very own punks the very best,