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PUMPKIN

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PUMPKIN

Postby Dr. Goodword » Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:23 am

• pumpkin •


Pronunciation: pêmp-kin • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. A large, usually orange, gourd-like squash with a thick flesh used for making pies and cattle fodder. Its seeds are eaten roasted and fed to birds uncooked. At Halloween, they are also carved into funny faces, which makes them jack-o'-lanterns. 2. Darling, precious: a term of affection and endearment.

Notes: Although today's word is a lexical orphan with no relatives, it does undergo variations. A pumpkin-head, of course, is a dolt, a stupid or foolish person. It is not uncommon to drop the second P, leaving the M next to K, where it naturally becomes N, giving us punkin. This form is particularly prevalent in the southern US.

In Play: Today's Good Word, for some strange reason, is a term of affection in the US: "Pumpkin, would you make one of your wonderful pumpkin pies for the tailgate party?" An interesting side note to today's word is that, while most fruit and vegetables grow in gardens, orchards, or fields, pumpkins (a fruit) grow in patches: "Jack O'Reilly picked the biggest pumpkin in the patch from which to carve his jack-o'-lantern."

Word History: Today's Good Word is the diminutive and affectionate form of an older word, pumpion, borrowed from French pompon. The suffix -kin is no longer active in English but we still find it on words referring to small or lovable things: lambkin, napkin (small apron), boykin, mannikin, munchkin. The word pompon remained in French but acquired the meaning "pompom", tempting English to adopt it again later on. French pompon evolved from Latin pepon, peponis "melon", from the same source as Greek pepon "ripe". That source also provided Russian pech' "stove, to bake". Apparently, the oldest meaning of this root was "to cook or ripen".
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Re: PUMPKIN

Postby LukeJavan8 » Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:25 pm

"boykin"? That is a new one to me.
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Re: PUMPKIN

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Nov 24, 2012 1:40 am

Wikipedia says surnames ending in kin or kins come from the English diminutive. I know many people with Welch ancestry whose surnames end in kin or kins. Is this practice Welch, English or both? I know a name with the prefix Ap is most likely to be Welch.
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Re: PUMPKIN

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:38 pm

"ap" is something akin to -sen,-son in Scandanavia, or
"O' " or "Fitz" in Gaelic, or von,van in German/Dutch.
As Llewelly ap Griffidd was last Welsh Prince of Wales.
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Re: PUMPKIN

Postby MTC » Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:40 pm

The pumpkin is not alone in its patch. Strawberries, beans, cabbage, and briars all grow in patches.

And rabbits love patches: for instance, Peter Rabbit in Farmer McGregor's cabbage patch, and Brer Rabbit in that briar patch he so wished not to be thrown into.

According to the dictionary, a "patch" is "A small plot or piece of land, especially one that produces or is used for growing specific vegetation: a briar patch; a bean patch."

If pumpkins have any superior claim to patches it is because because of alliteration.
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Re: PUMPKIN

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:09 pm

And their sincerity! Don't forget the sincerity.#Linus
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Re: PUMPKIN

Postby MTC » Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:39 pm

Sincerity or foolishness? Linus' unrewarded annual vigil for the Great Pumpkin has been interpreted as a parody of Christian evangelism, or a statement of existential angst as in Waiting for Godot who, by the way, never showed either. Probably for this reason Charles Schultz commented: "There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin."

Smashing Pumpkins, anyone?
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Re: PUMPKIN

Postby Philip Hudson » Sun Nov 25, 2012 1:23 am

Luke you wrote "As Llewelly ap Griffidd was last Welsh Prince of Wales." Talk about selling refrigerators to Eskimos or buying something with a wooden nickel, the English really pulled one on the Welsh when they promised them the future kings of England would always be the sitting (Yes I used this from another thread) Prince of Wales. Then they declared the current heir to the English throne to be the Prince of Wales. It has lasted until this day. When do you think the Welsh will figure out they have been duped?

Hey! When I type, I get a lot of detritus due to typos at the end of my work. I usually delete it but I just discovered I have accidentally written a Welsh word so I will leave it in.
"Senncechihariwshencritoheritomadetheheitoengspirsors!"

Take no offense. I joke. I love Wales and the Welsh. I have spent many happy weekends there, from Brecon Beacon, north to the River Dee, west to Snowden and down the coast to Swansea. I wish my Celtic ancestors had held on to some of their language as the Welsh have done.
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Re: PUMPKIN

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sun Nov 25, 2012 1:46 pm

Well, I don't know the word you placed in your post,
but I have been to Wales only twice. I do however receive
Wales OnLine (I believe it is called) and keep up with
world news and local as well. (Our media is so stilted
and tunnel-vision'ed that I want a well rounded view
of events.) I know they are concerned about Scotland
and it's possible secession and lots of discussions
about the possibility/ability to go it alone. I do remember
when Bonnie Prince Charlie was invested as Prince of
Wales in Cardiff(?) castle. I most remember the
god-awful hat Her Majesty wore at that event.
And there is much discussion over making sure Welsh
is kept alive in Wales.
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Re: PUMPKIN

Postby Philip Hudson » Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:11 pm

Some of my friends think Heaven will be like Ireland, and some of my friends think we will speak Spanish in Heaven. A deep, narrow Welsh valley is heavenly to me. It reminds me of "Brigadoon", but that is in Scotland.

If I had another fifty years to live on earth, I would learn Welsh. It is such a difficult language that it would take me that long to learn. I love to hear Welsh spoken. It is like nothing else I have ever heard. In Wales there is a TV channel in Welsh. I once watched a documentary on lancing abscesses in the leg muscles of cattle in Welsh. Even that was fascinating, especially when the pus erupted all over the camera and the cameraman.

Welsh choirs are ubiquitous and sing beautifully. The great number of people named Jones gives rise to many jokes and quips. Check out the movie, "The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill but Came Down a Mountain." Everyone in the town was named Jones.

Breckon Beacons is a hilly area just north of Cardiff. While I was climbing Breckon Beacon Mountain, a young lady fell in step with me and we began talking. I pointed to a church below and remarked that there were no Joneses buried in the church cemetery. The young lady promptly replied, "Of course not! That is an Anglican church and all of us Joneses are Baptists."

I didn't make it all the way to the top but the young lady sturdily strode on. She said she climbed it once a week except in the coldest days of winter.
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Re: PUMPKIN

Postby LukeJavan8 » Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:35 pm

I landed by ferry from Ireland to Anglesey and then
we made a tour of the North including the 58
letter town of Llanfair PG. I had a boy eating lunch
with classmates on a slag wall, inscribe the town's name
on a piece of slate for me, and sign it on the back.
You guessed it Gwynedd Jones.
Then we progress south pass Snowdon and all over
the south to Swansea and Cardiff, then into England.
I have some magnificent pictures, and I love Wales.
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Re: PUMPKIN

Postby MTC » Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:20 pm

Back to the "heron priested" shore of Dylan Thomas...
Perhaps some of you have attended the Eisteddfod, a Welsh festival of poetry, language, and culture?
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eisteddfod
Somehow, I managed to miss this extravaganza in my tours through Wales.

The Welsh language (Cynraeg), with its 28 letters, conjugated prepositions, and voiceless lateral fricatives is as formidable as Caenorfon Castle, and is best left to the Welsh. Though of Welsh ancestry I much prefer the Byronic to the Brythonic.
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Re: PUMPKIN

Postby Philip Hudson » Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:49 pm

Speaking of poetry, Byronic is some of the best. Speaking of lifestyle, not so good.

As for Welsh blood, as a genealogist, I am pretty sure I have none. So I envy you MTC. As for the Welsh spirit (not the liquid kind), I am imbued with it.
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Re: PUMPKIN

Postby MTC » Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:53 pm

"As for the Welsh spirit (not the liquid kind), I am imbued with it."
A rib tickler, Philip!

A Welsh proverb states, "To be born in Wales is to be born with music in your blood and poetry in your soul." The rest of us will have to work for it, I guess...
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Re: PUMPKIN

Postby bamaboy56 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:54 pm

I have no Welsh blood in me (alas!). The geneology I've done leans more toward a mixture of Latin, American and polecat. Proudly, I say. I have to mention I have never seen the word "mannekin" spelled that way. I have seen it spelled "mannequin", though. I've not seen boykin, either. You learn something new every day.
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