See also: -punk and Punk

English edit

Pronunciation edit

  • (UK) IPA(key): /pʌŋk/
  • (US) IPA(key): /pəŋk/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌŋk

Etymology 1 edit

Uncertain. Possibly from punk ("rotten wood dust used as tinder", attested since 1678; see Etymology 2 below) to anything worthless (attested since 1869) and then to any undesirable person (since 1908).

Noun edit

punk (countable and uncountable, plural punks)

  1. (countable) A person used for sex, particularly:
    1. (now historical and rare) Synonym of prostitute: a person paid for sex. [1575]
    2. (LGBT, obsolete) Synonym of catamite: a boy or younger man used by an older as a (usually passive) homosexual partner. [1698]
      • 1698, Womens Complaint to Venus:
        The Beaus...
        At night make a Punk of him that's first drunk.
    3. (chiefly US, LGBT) Synonym of bottom: any passive or effeminate homosexual male.
    4. (US, LGBT, slang) A boy who accompanies a hobo, especially as used for sex. [1893]
      • 1973, Barry Broadfoot, Ten Lost Years, 1929-1939: Memories of Canadians who survived the Depression, page 137:
        They'd pick up youngsters as, well—as their playthings. These kids were called punks.
    5. (US, LGBT, derogatory, chiefly African-American Vernacular) Synonym of faggot: any male homosexual. [1933]
    6. (US, LGBT, prison slang) Synonym of bitch: a man forced or coerced into a homosexual relationship, especially in prison. [1946]
      • 1946, Mezz Mezzrow, Bernard Wolfe, Really the Blues, New York: Random House, page 15:
        A punk, if you want it in plain English, is a boy with smooth skin who takes the place of a woman in a jailbird's love life.
      • 2001, Joseph T. Hallinan, Going Up the River: Travels in a Prison Nation, page 106:
        If he is small and weak, he may decide to become a ‘punk’ and allow himself to be raped by the inmate most likely to protect him.
      Because he was so weak, Vinny soon became Tony's punk.
  2. (countable, US slang) A worthless person, particularly: [1904]
    • 1933, Ernest Hemingway, Winner Take Nothing, page 94:
      This fellow was just a punk... a nobody.
    1. (humorous, rare) Synonym of fellow: any person, especially a male comrade. [1904]
    2. (derogatory) A petty criminal, especially a juvenile delinquent. [1908]
      • 1908 October 18, New York Times, page 9:
        He said the prisoner called them ‘punk’... He admitted that he shouted ‘punk’ to them.
      • 1963, Thomas Pynchon, :w:V., page 145:
        There was nothing so special about the gang, punks are punks.
      • 1971, Harry Julian Fink et al., Dirty Harry, spoken by Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood):
        I know what you're thinking. "Did he fire six shots or only five?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I've kinda lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?
    3. (derogatory) Synonym of sissy: a weak, timid person. [1939]
      • 1950, Hal Ellson, Tomboy, page 12:
        Do you think a little thing like a scratch would bother me? I'm no punk.
      • 2006, Kali James, Can U Get Away?, page 17:
        Taking him home she hemmed him up soon as they stepped in the door. Now Tony was a bad dude in the streets but when it came to his mama, he was a punk. A few cuss words on her part had him spilling everything.
    4. Synonym of amateur. [1923]
    5. (circus slang) A young, untrained animal or worker. [1926]
  3. (uncountable, music) Short for punk rock, a genre known for short, loud, energetic songs with electric guitars and strong drums. [1970]
    • 1972 November, L. Bangs, Creem, page 68:
      Who else... would have the nerve to actually begin a song with the line ‘Whatchew gonna do, mama, now that the roast beef's gone...?’ Man, that is true punk; that is so fucked up it's got class up the ass.
    1. Any of the punk genres: dieselpunk, solarpunk, steampunk etc.
  4. (countable) Short for punk rocker, a musician known for playing punk rock or a fan of the genre. [1976]
    • 1995, Nick Hornby, High Fidelity, London: Victor Gollancz, →ISBN, page 22:
      But I still felt a fraud. I was like all those people who suddenly shaved their heads and said they'd always been punks, they'd been punks before punk was even thought of []
  5. (uncountable) The larger nonconformist social movement associated with punk rock and its fans.
Usage notes edit

In its sense as a punk rocker, sometimes given the informal plural form punx.

Synonyms edit
Translations edit

Adjective edit

punk (comparative punker, superlative punkest)

  1. (US, colloquial) Worthless, contemptible, particularly [1907]
    1. Bad, substandard.
      • 1922, Sinclair Lewis, “3”, in Babbitt, page 30:
        Babbitt boomed on: "Pretty punk service the Company giving us on these car-lines. Nonsense to only run the Portland Road cars once every seven minutes. Fellow gets mighty cold on a winter morning, waiting on a street corner with the wind nipping at his ankles."
    2. Thuggish, criminal.
    3. (chiefly African-American Vernacular) Cowardly. [1930]
      • 2018, Damon Jones, “Just Remember That Your Punk-Ass President Would Never, Ever, Ever Call LeBron James Dumb to His Face”, in The Root[1]:
        ... Donald Trump is also a coward. For all of his tough talk and bluster, the president of the United States is a punk ass bitch.
    4. Poorly, sickly.
      • 1922, Sinclair Lewis, “1”, in Babbitt, page 10:
        With the subtleties of dressing ran other complex worries. "I feel kind of punk this morning," he said. "I think I had too much dinner last evening. You oughtn't to serve those heavy banana fritters."
    5. Inexperienced.
  2. Of or concerning punk rock or its associated subculture. [1971]
    You look very punk with your t-shirt, piercing, and chains.
    • 2017 March 26, Rob Davies, “BrewDog accused of hypocrisy after forcing pub to change name”, in The Guardian[2], →ISSN:
      BrewDog, the craft beer company that prides itself on a “punk” ethos, has been accused of acting like “just another multinational corporate machine” after forcing a family-run pub to change its name or face legal action.

Verb edit

punk (third-person singular simple present punks, present participle punking, simple past and past participle punked)

  1. (slang) To pimp.
  2. (slang, transitive) To forcibly perform anal sex upon (an unwilling partner).
    Ricky punked his new cell-mates.
    • 1934, James T. Farrell, chapter 19, in The Young Manhood of Studs Lonigan:
      "Hell, Haggerty, with that caved-in chest you got, and with your guts pickled in alcohol, and a leg and a half in the grave, the Navy wouldn't even take you for punkin', Barney sourly said.
    • 2022 April 30, @GisUsIsReal, Twitter:
      If you start to stare at men's asses, to try & punk them in their moments with God; you are an enemy of God! Anyone looking upon a man as though a woman is in danger of judgement! -<><
  3. (slang, transitive) To prank.
    I got expelled when I punked the principal.
  4. (especially with "out") To give up or concede; to act like a wimp.
    Jimmy was going to help me with the prank, but he punked (out) at the last minute.
  5. (transitive, often with "out" or "up") To adapt or embellish in the style of the punk movement.
    • 1992, Dana Stabenow, A Cold Day for Murder, →ISBN, page 60:
      Suzy, a pump young woman with sparkling brown eyes and punked hair tucked behind her ears, said blankly, "What?"
    • 2011, David Nichols, The Go-Betweens, →ISBN, page 60:
      Like the Apartments, the supports hadn't written many songs of their own. They ran on that old standby, “fun,” in the form of “punked up” versions of pop songs like “It's my Party,” alongside obscure new wave/punk covers such as Lene Lovich's “Cuckoo Clock.”
    • 2016, Michael Croland, Oy Oy Oy Gevalt! Jews and Punk: Jews and Punk, →ISBN, page 59:
      Their raucous take on the beloved, iconic Israeli folk song allegedly drew the ire of the songwriter, Naomi Shemer, and inspired Yidcore to punk up Jewish culture in myriad ways over the course of the next decade.
Usage notes edit

The relatively tame 21st century usage of punk to mean "prank" was popularized by the American television show Punk'd. Until as recently as the late 20th century, punk still connoted rape or submitting to anal rape (punk out). The second use of the term punk-out is now comparable to acting like a pussy and mildly implies submissive behavior in general.

Synonyms edit

Derived terms edit

Etymology 2 edit

Unclear; first attested circa 1680 in writings about Native American practices,[1][2] probably from Unami punkw (dust),[3][4] though it has also been suggested it could be an alteration of spunk (tinder) (compare funk (rotten wood)).[2]

Noun edit

punk (countable and uncountable, plural punks)

  1. (uncountable) Any material used as tinder for lighting fires, such as agaric, dried wood, or touchwood, but especially wood altered by certain fungi.
    • 1707, John Clayton (botanist), Virginia in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London XLI, page 149:
      As the East-Indians use Moxa, so these burn with Punk, which is the inward Part of the Excrescence or Exuberance of an Oak.
    • 1756, John Bartram, edited by William Darlington, Memorials of John Bartram and Humphry Marshall, published 1849:
      If they attack a house that is pretty well manned, they [Indians in Pennsylvania] creep behind some fence, or hedge, or tree, and shoot red-hot iron slugs, or punk, into the roof, and fire the house []
    • 1899, H. B. Cushman, History of the Choctaw, Chickasaw and Natchez Indians, page 271:
      On one occasion a venerable old Indian man, who, in order to light his pipe, was trying to catch a spark upon a piece of punk struck from his flint and steel; ...
    • 1922, Harry Ignatius Marshall, The Karen People of Burma, page 61:
      The oil is mixed with bits of dry wood or punk and moulded into sticks about a cubit long and an inch in diameter by putting it into joints of small bamboo.
    • 2001, William W. Johnstone, War of the Mountain Man, page 116:
      He made him a little smoldering pocket of punk to light the fuses and waited.
  2. (countable) A utensil for lighting wicks or fuses (such as those of fireworks) resembling stick incense.
    • 1907, Jack London, The Road[3]:
      On the end a coal of fire slowly smouldered. It would last for hours, and my cell-mate called it a "punk."
    • 1994, Ashland Price, Viking Tempest, page 353:
      Then, without another word, he rose and left the shelter, apparently in order to light the vessel's wick with a punk from the dying campfire.
    • 2004, Shawn Shiflett, Hidden Place, page 221:
      He raised the cylinder high in the air with his bare hand, used a punk to light the fuse, and KABOOM!

References edit

  1. ^ punk”, in Dictionary.com Unabridged, Dictionary.com, LLC, 1995–present.
  2. 2.0 2.1 punk”, in Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster, 1996–present.
  3. ^ Lenape Talking Dictionary, punkw
  4. ^ Robert K. Barnhart (editor), The Barnhart Dictionary of Etymology (H. W. Wilson, 1988), page 864: "Probably borrowed from Algonquian (Delaware) ponk, literally, living ashes."

Catalan edit

Etymology edit

Unadapted borrowing from English punk.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

punk m (plural punks)

  1. punk (punk rock, punk rocker)

Related terms edit

Dutch edit

Etymology edit

Borrowed from English punk.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

punk m (uncountable)

  1. (music) punk, punk rock (rock genre)
    Synonym: punkrock

Derived terms edit

Noun edit

punk m (plural punks)

  1. (uncommon, music) a punk (member of the punk subculture, fan of punk rock)
    Synonym: punker

French edit

 
French Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia fr

Etymology edit

Borrowed from English punk.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

punk m (plural punks)

  1. punk

Adjective edit

punk (feminine punke, masculine plural punks, feminine plural punkes)

  1. punk

Norwegian Bokmål edit

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

Borrowed from English punk.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

punk m (definite singular punken, uncountable)

  1. punk music

Portuguese edit

Etymology edit

Unadapted borrowing from English punk.

Pronunciation edit

 
  • (Brazil) IPA(key): /ˈpɐ̃.ki/, /ˈpɐ̃k/
    • (Southern Brazil) IPA(key): /ˈpɐ̃k/, /ˈpɐ̃.ki/

Noun edit

punk m (uncountable)

  1. punk (a social and musical movement)
  2. punk; punk rock (a subgenre of rock music)

Quotations edit

For quotations using this term, see Citations:punk.

Noun edit

punk m or f by sense (plural punks)

  1. punk (a member of the punk movement or fan of punk rock)

Quotations edit

For quotations using this term, see Citations:punk.

Adjective edit

punk (invariable)

  1. (relational) punk (relating to punk music or culture)
  2. (Brazil, slang, of a thing or situation) complicated, difficult, tense
    Hoje o dia vai ser punk.
    Today is going to be complicated.

Romanian edit

Etymology edit

Unadapted borrowing from English punk.

Adjective edit

punk m or f or n (indeclinable)

  1. punk

Declension edit

Spanish edit

Etymology edit

Orthographic borrowing from English punk.

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /ˈpunk/ [ˈpũŋk]
    • Rhymes: -unk
    • Syllabification: punk
  • IPA(key): (nonstandard) /ˈpank/ [ˈpãŋk]

Noun edit

punk m (plural punks)

  1. punk (a member of the punk movement or fan of punk rock)

Derived terms edit

Related terms edit

Further reading edit

Swedish edit

Etymology edit

Borrowed from English punk.

Noun edit

punk c

  1. punk rock
    Synonym: punkrock
    De lirar punkThey play punk rock
  2. punk (nonconformist social movement)

Declension edit

Declension of punk 
Uncountable
Indefinite Definite
Nominative punk punken
Genitive punks punkens

Derived terms edit

  • punkare (member of the punk subculture)

See also edit

References edit