Posted by: Jack Henry | April 23, 2020

Editor’s Corner: Pumpknots and Goose Eggs

Dear Editrix,

So, I just gave myself a “pumpknot.” Before I send anything to Editor’s Corner, I try to Google it first. Well, Googling “pump knot” led me to “goose egg.” I don’t know if “pump knot” is even the right term. Heck, I just hit myself in the head by trying to pull a cork from some coconut water thing I bought from Shop N’ Save. Anyway, pump knot and goose egg—Where do those terms come from?


No More Coconut Water

Dear Water Woman,

Well, what an interesting question! I have never heard of the term “pumpknot,” but it sounds perfect for a lump on the head. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any resources that told me where the phrase comes from. Merriam-Webster says it is from the middle part of the United States and that it means “a lump or swelling on the head, usually from a blow.”

You mentioned “goose egg,” too, and I was a little luckier with that. A goose egg is both a term for a lump on the head and a score of zero in a sporting event or competition. As far as where this term comes from, it is based on the shape of a goose’s egg (oval) and the number zero, thus the description of the lump on your noggin’ and the zero at the sporting match.

Sorry I couldn’t find anything more exciting, but maybe some folks from midland USA can shed some light on pumpknot?

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

Symitar Documentation Services

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