RARA-AVIS: Re: Punk: Stephenson after Mark

From: Todd Mason ( Todd.Mason@tvguide.com)
Date: 23 Apr 2004

For that matter, it hasn't actually lost that older meaning. Late punk-rock scenester Donnie the Punk enjoyed the understanding of all the implications of his handle. Dunno if he ever considered himself a loaf, rather than perhaps a loafer, though.

TM (mosquito punks not being underground in 1950...)

-----Original Message----- From:Jim Stephenson

Mark asked:

>I'm curious, anyone know at what point "punk" switched from meaning a
homosexual, especially in prison, to its later meaning of a juvenile delinquent?

My copy of the *Dictionary Of American Underworld Lingo" (1950) lists these definitions:

1. (Prison) A passive pederast or oral sodomist. "That kid chivved (knifed) three wolves (active pederasts) who tried to mugg him (employ a crushing headlock) and make a punk out of him."

2. (Rare, because of confusion with implications of degeneracy) A young boy.

3. (Prison and hobo) Bread

By implication, the early 50s is when the word began to shift meaning.

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