Puzzler's Corner

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 21, 2019 is:

pungle • \PUNG-gul\  • verb

1 : to make a payment or contribution of (money) — usually used with up

2 : pay, contribute — usually used with up


Residents have been pungling up to send their little league team to the national championship; donations can be made via credit card or PayPal on the town’s Sports and Recreation website.

"In December 1849, Coffin formed Coffin & Co. and contracted with a New York builder for a … side-wheel steamer to ply the waters between Portland and San Francisco. When he and his partners failed to pungle up the final payment, however, the vessel was sold." — John Terry, The Sunday Oregonian (Portland, Oregon), 19 Aug. 2007

Did you know?

Pungle is from the Spanish word póngale, meaning "put it down," which itself is from the verb poner, meaning "to put" or "to place," and, more specifically, "to wager" or "to bet." The earliest uses of pungle are from the mid-1800s and are in reference to anteing up in games of chance. It did not take long for the word to be used in other contexts. We find it, for example, in Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884) when Huck's father says: "I'll make [Judge Thatcher] pungle, too, or I'll know the reason why." Nowadays, pungle is mainly used in the western part of the United States.

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