The Punkin Patch

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,



ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
  1. Aw, this was a very good post. In concept I wish to put in writing like this moreover ?taking time and precise effort to make an outstanding write-up?but what can I say?I procrastinate alot and undoubtedly not appear to get one thing done.

  2. […] mamas’ collective, contented sighs from the parking lot.  Every project from our precious punkins is perfect:  sunflower seeds glued haphazardly to garish yellow construction paper, life-sized […]

  3. Just found your blog from the Parents- best blog contest. Loving this post and I will be taking my triplets to the “Punkin Patch” this weekend. Oh, I just voted for your blog. I am in the crafts for kids section, if you wanted to vote for me 🙂 wink wink

    1. you can melt crayons? I must check me out this post!

      1. It’s true! You must, Carina.

        What a great project! (And fantastically cute triplets.) A great site, and of course you have my vote!

        1. we’re on ‘fall break’ right now and rain’s acomin’, so I’m gonna get right on this!

  4. What’s ‘Balderdash’? (I know, I could Google it, but this is just so much more fun and well, good for making contact with the peeps on the other side o’the world which I’m all about, you know that 😉 )

    1. @ Carina: Balderdash – The Game: take an uncommon word. The person drawing the word writes the correct definition; the other players write bogus definitions. Submissions are commingled, then drawn at random. Points are awarded for guessing the correct definition and for fooling others into accepting your definition. Example: “Cosmogony” (a) hair styles for astronauts and cosmonauts (b) a theory or story of the origin and development of the universe (c) sexual liaisons formed by mixed-gender space station crews (d) cultural and historical anthropological studies of constellations. Balderdash, using the same rules, is also played by politicians and government bureaucrats. Balderdash is also a regular on the popular “Five Kids Is A Lot of Kids” blog. (PS: In answer to a previous post… in regards Dutch beer [bier], “Yes, please.”

      1. Thanks Old Marine (a little late, sorry…) and in regards to your ps: I’ll be sure to bring you some good ‘bier’ when we visit Oregon! 🙂

  5. I am so missing “the patch” this year. There are none up here – it is about to snow.

    1. That makes me feel better about Oregon rain. 😉

  6. This is why you’re so good at Balderdash. You make me proud.

    1. You know you’re the perfect dad for me when “making crap up” is what makes ya proud. 😉

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