I know what you’re thinking, punk. You’re thinking “did he fire six shots or only five?” Now to tell you the truth I forgot myself in all this excitement. But being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and will blow you head clean off, you’ve gotta ask yourself a question: “Do I feel lucky?” Well, do ya, punk?
— Dirty Harry, 1971
The word “punk” nowadays is used to refer to music, a prank or even as a friend of mine says, “that punk kid is getting fresh!”
The root of the word “punk” isn’t truly known. According to the video by PBS Bongo Bongo, it could come from the Native American algic word “ponk”, which means dust or the Irish spong meaning “tinder.”
Historically, the word had a different meaning. In the 1590s in England, punk meant prostitute. And in America in the late 1600s a punk was rotten wood was used to start a fire.
For more on the history of the word “punk” and how its meaning changed over the years, check out the video below.
PBS Bongo Bongo