Etymology Corner- Skunk

Etymology corner time! *`\_^u^_/`* for Wonderful! episode two.

I was gonna do bar, because the first half of the episode today was basically just Griffin saying the word bar in various ways, but that’s a pretty boring etymology. Instead, let’s talk about one half of the components for that strong strong butt!

Skunks should still be spelled the way they first were, as “squunck” in the early 1600s cuz who doesn’t want to write and exaggerate the pronunciation of squuuuuunck? Anyway it comes from an Algonquian word because of course skunks are native to the Americas. The “seganku” was basically made up of the word for urine and the word for fox. It’s a piss fox! I guess the Algonquians thought skunks smelled like pee.

In the nineteenth century, skunks were also known as “essence-peddlers” which is the most nineteenth century shit anybody has ever heard of. Traveling snakey medicine show folks were also called essence-peddlers, probably cuz they sold stinky stuff and were generally unpleasant, like our favorite pissfoxes.


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