punk

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See also: -punk and Punk

English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

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

Etymology 1[edit]

Of uncertain origin. Possibly from the application of the sense punk (rotten wood dust used as tinder) (see below) to anything worthless (that sense being attested since 1869), and then to any undesirable person (since 1908). The word is alternatively sometimes suggested to derive from Spanish pu(n)to (prostitute); this is supported by the sense development (it originally meant "prostitute", then "bottom, catamite"), but is phonologically unstraightforward.[1]

Noun[edit]

punk (countable and uncountable, plural punks)

  1. (countable) A juvenile delinquent; a young, petty criminal or trouble-maker; a hoodlum; a hooligan.
  2. (countable) Any worthless person.
    • 1971, Harry Julian Fink, R.M. Fink, Dean Riesner, 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. (uncountable) A social and musical movement rooted in rebelling against the established order.
  4. (uncountable) The music of the punk movement, known for short songs with electric guitars, strong drums, and a direct, unproduced approach.
  5. (countable, sometimes as informal plural punx) A person who belongs to that movement and/or listens to that music, a punk rocker.
  6. (obsolete, countable) A prostitute; courtesan.
    • c. 1603–1604, William Shakespeare, “Measvre for Measure”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, (please specify the act number in uppercase Roman numerals):
      , V.i.
      My lord, she may be a punk; for many of them are neither maid, widow, nor wife.
    • 1663: Samuel Butler, Hudibras.
      And made them fight, like mad or drunk,
      For Dame Religion, as for punk.
    • 1936: Like the Phoenix by Anthony Bertram
      However, terrible as it may seem to the tall maiden sisters of J.P.'s in Queen Anne houses with walled vegetable gardens, this courtesan, strumpet, harlot, whore, punk, fille de joie, street-walker, this trollop, this trull, this baggage, this hussy, this drab, skit, rig, quean, mopsy, demirep, demimondaine, this wanton, this fornicatress, this doxy, this concubine, this frail sister, this poor Queenie--did actually solicit me, did actually say 'coming home to-night, dearie' and my soul was not blasted enough to call a policeman.
  7. (countable, uncommon) The bottom in a male-male sexual relationship, especially in prison. [since the 19th century]
    Because he was so weak, Vinny soon became Tony's punk.
    • 1946, Mezz Mezzrow & Bernard Wolfe, 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.
Usage notes[edit]
  • The most common use of the term is in the term punk rock (for a certain social and musical movement). In the UK, this is the only common usage.
Translations[edit]

Adjective[edit]

punk (comparative punker, superlative punkest)

  1. Of, from, or resembling the punk subculture.
    You look very punk with your t-shirt, piercing and chains.
  2. (Canada, US, informal) Weak or unwell; not in good health.
    • 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."
  3. (Canada, US, informal) Inferior; bad.
    • 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."
  4. (African American Vernacular) cowardly.
    • 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]:
      But a part of the Trump package that isn’t discussed as frequently — perhaps it’s addressed with the instructions booklet we neglected to read — is that 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. And this has also been apparent for as long as we’ve known who he is.

Verb[edit]

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 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]

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

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.
    • 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!

References[edit]

  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."

Catalan[edit]

Noun[edit]

punk m (plural punks)

  1. punk

French[edit]

French Wikipedia has articles on:
Wikipedia fr

Etymology[edit]

From English punk.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

punk m (plural punks)

  1. punk

Adjective[edit]

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

  1. punk

Norwegian Bokmål[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

punk m (definite singular punken, uncountable)

  1. punk music

Portuguese[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from English punk.

Pronunciation[edit]

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 of use of this term, see Citations:punk.

Noun[edit]

punk m, f (plural punks)

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

Quotations[edit]

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

Adjective[edit]

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.

Spanish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

English

Noun[edit]

punk m (plural punks)

  1. punk