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Punk

I was taught by my English Lit professor, whilst studying Chaucer and Shakespeare that the old definition of the word “punk” was “Prostitute”. Is this true? The only references I can find will only give me stuff related to The Sex Pistols & co. Any help? Thanks!

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According to Merriam-Webster it is true:

http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dict...

this is what it says:


Main Entry: 1punk
Pronunciation: 'p&[ng]k
Function: noun
Etymology: origin unknown
1 archaic : PROSTITUTE
2 [probably partly from 3punk] : NONSENSE, FOOLISHNESS
3 a : a young inexperienced person : BEGINNER, NOVICE; especially : a young man b : a usually petty gangster, hoodlum, or ruffian c : a youth used as a homosexual partner
4 a : PUNK ROCK b : a punk rock musician c : one who affects punk styles

AC January 23, 2005, 5:23pm

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AC February 1, 2005, 1:51pm

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The word occurs 4 times in 3 plays (see http://www.opensourceshakespeare.com/concordance/) and does evidently mean prostitute.

chertiozhnik February 19, 2005, 11:00am

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