Po·​dunk | \ ˈpō-ˌdəŋk How to pronounce Podunk (audio) \

Definition of Podunk

: a small, unimportant, and isolated town

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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."

Examples of Podunk in a Sentence

folks who move to the big city from Podunk

First Known Use of Podunk

1846, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for Podunk

Podunk, village in Massachusetts or locality in Connecticut

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Dictionary Entries Near Podunk

pod spot



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Cite this Entry

“Podunk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Podunk. Accessed 28 Sep. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of Podunk

: a small, unimportant town

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