Green’s Dictionary of Slang

punk adj.

[punk n.1 ]

1. (US, also punko) of people and things, second-rate, inferior, distasteful, worthless, unimportant.

[US]Ade Artie (1963) 19: This crowd up there was purty-y-y punk; very much on the hand-me-down order.
[US]H. Green Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 224: That’s the punkest piece of queer I ever saw.
[US]Hopkinsville Kentuckian (KY) 20 July 6/3: Did you have any success in promoting that Punko Mining Company?
Butler Wkly (MO) 9 Sept. 9/3: Bob Meredith [...] states that the countrey is punk ands that is all there is to it [...] The postal service in this section of the country is almost too punk to put up with.
H. Green ‘Disillusions of Flossie’ in McClures June 78: It was punk-lookin’ by day, but night-times it seemed a reg’lar fairy scene.
[US]Day Book (Chicago) 31 Oct. 3: [cartoon caption] ‘Well, brother True, what did you think of my sermon this morning?’ ‘Punk!!’.
[US]J. Lait ‘Pics’ in Beef, Iron and Wine (1917) 255: [They] up and wished to know how it came about that reporters were such wild-fire deliverers when dramatized or projected, and showed such punk results in the native columns of their own papers.
[US]Ogden Standard (UT) 3 Aug. 2/1: [cartoon caption] These punko fumadoras soitnly make a pile o’ smoke.
[Aus]C.J. Dennis ‘Nocturne’ in Rose of Spadgers 54: An’ then ’e chats me, with the punkest tale / That ever got a bad man into jail.
[US]J. Lait Broadway Melody 32: ‘He should o’ seen the finish,’ he observed, ‘even if the act was punk’.
[UK]E. Glyn Flirt & Flapper 17: Flapper: Those punk Princes and Counts don’t register any more.
[US]R. Chandler ‘Red Wind’ in Red Wind (1946) 54: You punk peepers always did make me sick.
[UK]A. Christie Sparkling Cyanide (1955) 110: The band was punk – they just couldn’t seem to swing it.
[US]Kerouac letter 3 Dec. in Charters I (1995) 240: Punk hoodlum grabs my arms from behind and throws himself back on the wall with all his might.
[US]M. Braly Felony Tank (1962) 17: He was a hillbilly who wore his Levis too tight, and combed his hair like some punk movie star.
[NZ]G. Slatter Pagan Game (1969) 87: I want you to look at the footballs [...] The punk bladders they put in them these days.
[US]L. Bangs in Psychotic Reactions (1988) 61: Only to turn up years later in some song by a punko English rock group.
[US]A. Brooke Last Toke 63: Got that punk mother’s white ass busted fo’ D&D. Should o’ killed him right there.
[US] Ice-T ‘Six in the Morning’ [lyrics] She started actin’ stupid simply would not quit / Called us all punk pussies said we all weren’t shit.
[US]Dr Dre ‘Fuck Wit Dre Day’ [lyrics] Punishing punk motherfuckers real quick.
[US]G. Pelecanos Night Gardener 8: Punk motherfucker [...] got that witness killed.
[US]‘Dutch’ ? (Pronounced Que) [ebook] Punk muhfucka, you gonna disrespect me like that?

2. weak, effeminate.

[US]Ade Artie (1963) 98: It’d be a dead lucky thing if some more people around the shop’d change a little. They could n’t be any punker’n they are now.
[US]C. McKay Home to Harlem 287: Youse a punk customer, then, I tell you [...] and no real buddy o’ mine.
[US]J. Lait Gangster Girl 180: No punk copper or rube sheriff looking for a quick rep was going to put over on him an unexpected frisk.
[US]‘Hal Ellson’ Rock 3: I’ve known a lot of rocks. Some of them are punk inside.
[US]F. Salas Tattoo the Wicked Cross (1981) 290: He was no punk fink.
[US](con. 1940s–60s) H. Huncke ‘Alvarez’ in Eve. Sun Turned Crimson (1980) in Huncke Reader (1998) 183: Come out swinging in the morning, you punk bastard.
[US]Simon & Burns Corner (1998) 248: I ain’t afraid a yo’ punk ass.

3. unwell, out of sorts.

[US] in J.L. Kornbluh Rebel Voices (1964) 76: Things are dull in San Francisco [...] Rawther punk in cultured Boston.
[US]S. Lewis Babbitt (1974) 14: I feel kind of punk this morning.
[US]E. Hemingway letter 28 Dec. in Baker Sel. Letters (1981) 336: Got here Christmas eve and am still feeling pretty punk.
[US]‘Ed Lacy’ Men from the Boys (1967) 101: Marty, where you been? Still feeling punk?
[US]S. King Stand (1990) 174: Wouldn’t have done, either, if I didn’t feel so punk. My chest’s all clogged up.
[US]S. King It (1987) 334: Bill himself had still been feeling too punk to work up a really good quarrel with George.
[US](con. early 1950s) J. Ellroy L.A. Confidential 232: Jack started feeling punk: achy teeth, chest pings.
[Aus]E. George ‘The Surprise of His Life’ Evidence Exposed (1999) 188: I’m feeling punk [...] It may have been lunch.
[US]W.T. Vollmann Royal Family 749: If I’m so safe, how come I feel so punk?

4. young.

[US]D. Lamson We Who Are About to Die 198: I been hustlin’ for twenty years, ever since I was a punk kid.
[US]B. Appel People Talk (1972) 377: When I was punk I enjoyed it.
[US]J. Thompson Swell-Looking Babe 82: She ain’t some punk bobby-soxer.
[US](con. 1953–7) L. Yablonsky Violent Gang (1967) 31: We don’t fool with this punk gang stuff anymore.
[US]‘Red’ Rudensky Gonif 38: Solitary confinement is bad enough when you are a punk hoodlum with years ahead.