Open main menu
See also: -punk and Punk

Contents

EnglishEdit

PronunciationEdit

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

Etymology 1Edit

Of uncertain origin. Possibly from the application of the sense punk (rotten wood dust used as tinder) (attested since 1678) to anything worthless (attested since 1869) and then to any undesirable person (since 1908).

The word is alternatively sometimes suggested to derive from Spanish punto (prostitute). This is supported by the much earlier attestations of the word in its senses of "prostitute" and "catamite"), but is phonologically unstraightforward.[1]

NounEdit

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, p. 137:
        They'd pick up youngsters as, well—as their playthings. These kids were called punks.
    5. (US, LGBT, derogatory, now 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 & al., Really the Blues, Payback Press 1999, p. 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, p. 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", p. 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, p. 9:
        He said the prisoner called them ‘punk’... He admitted that he shouted ‘punk’ to them.
      • 1963, Thomas Pynchon, V, p. 145:
        There was nothing so special about the gang, punks are punks.
      • 1971, Harry Julian Fink & al., Dirty Harry:
        I know what you're thinking, punk. You're thinking, "Did he fire six shots or only five?" Well, to tell you the truth, I've forgotten myself in all this excitement. 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 a question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?
    3. (derogatory) Synonym of sissy: a weak, timid person. [1939]
      • 1950, Harlan Ellison, Tomboy, p. 12:
        Do you think a little thing like a scratch would bother me? I'm no punk.
    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, p. 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.
  4. (countable) Short for punk rocker, a musician known for playing punk rock or a fan of the genre. [1976]
  5. (uncountable) The larger nonconformist social movement associated with punk rock and its fans.
Usage notesEdit

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

SynonymsEdit
Derived termsEdit
  • punker (as a prostitute's client)
TranslationsEdit

AdjectiveEdit

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.

VerbEdit

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

  1. To pimp.
  2. To forcibly perform anal sex upon an unwilling partner.
    Ricky punked his new cell-mates.
  3. 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. (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 ellegedly 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 notesEdit

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.

SynonymsEdit

Derived termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

Perhaps a reduction of spunk (tinder); compare funk (rotten wood). Alternatively, perhaps from Unami punkw (dust).[2][1][3]

NounEdit

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.
    • 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, [2]:
      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!

ReferencesEdit

CitationsEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 punk” in Dictionary.com Unabridged, Dictionary.com, LLC, 1995–present.
  2. ^ Lenape Talking Dictionary, punkw
  3. ^ Robert K. Barnhart (editor), The Barnhart Dictionary of Etymology (H. W. Wilson, 1988), page 864: "Probably borrowed from Algonquian (Delaware) ponk, literally, living ashes."

BibliographyEdit


CatalanEdit

NounEdit

punk m (plural punks)

  1. punk

FrenchEdit

 
French Wikipedia has articles on:
Wikipedia fr

EtymologyEdit

From English punk.

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

punk m (plural punks)

  1. punk

AdjectiveEdit

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

  1. punk

Norwegian BokmålEdit

Alternative formsEdit

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

punk m (definite singular punken, uncountable)

  1. punk music

PortugueseEdit

EtymologyEdit

Borrowed from English punk.

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

punk m (uncountable)

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

QuotationsEdit

For quotations of use of this term, see Citations:punk.

NounEdit

punk m, f (plural punks)

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

QuotationsEdit

For quotations of use of this term, see Citations:punk.

AdjectiveEdit

punk (invariable, comparable)

  1. 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.

SpanishEdit

EtymologyEdit

Borrowed from English punk.

NounEdit

punk m (plural punks)

  1. punk

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit

Further readingEdit