November 22, 2012
pumpkin (noun)
\PUMP-kin\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : the usually round orange fruit of a vine of the gourd family widely used as food; also : a fruit (as a crookneck squash) of a closely related vine2 : a usually hairy prickly vine that produces pumpkins3 : a strong orange color
How do you use it?
Aileen beamed as her family raved about the pumpkin pie she had made from pumpkins she grew in her own garden.
Are you a word wiz?

What do you think the ancestor of our word "pumpkin" is?

Answer B is ripe for the picking! "Pumpkin" stems the Greek noun "pepon" which meant an edible gourd and which derived from the Greek adjective "pepon," meaning "ripened." The word spread from Greek to Latin and on to French where it became "popon" or "pompon," referring to a melon or pumpkin. From there it took root in English as "pumpion." Not long after the first Thanksgiving at Plymouth in 1621, English speakers changed the word to "pumpkin." While "pumpkin" can also refer to other members of the gourd family, in the United States it usually means the round orange fruit that is a familiar autumn sight.
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