Podunk

noun

Po·​dunk ˈpō-ˌdəŋk How to pronounce Podunk (audio)
: a small, unimportant, and isolated town

Did you know?

I hear you ask, 'Where in the world is Podunk?' A correspondent asked that question of the editors of the Buffalo, New York, Daily National Pilot in 1846, then answered himself: "It is in the world, sir; and more than that, is a little world of itself." That writer may have introduced America to the concept of Podunk as an insignificant Anywhere, U.S.A., town, but the place isn't just imaginary; towns with that name have actually existed in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Iowa (and probably elsewhere) over the years. The exact origin of the name is murky, but it appears that "Podunk" comes from an Algonquian word, either the name of a tribe that inhabited an area near Hartford, Connecticut, or a more generic term meaning "swampy place."

Example Sentences

folks who move to the big city from Podunk

Word History

Etymology

Podunk, village in Massachusetts or locality in Connecticut

First Known Use

1846, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Podunk was in 1846

Podcast

Dictionary Entries Near Podunk

Cite this Entry

“Podunk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Podunk. Accessed 29 Jan. 2023.

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