While reading my Serious Eats newsletter this morning, I got a little too excited when I read this:
Oh sweet Jeebus. When it comes to pumpkin, all I can say is, “Yes please.”
I thought it would be smart to come up with a term for my pumpkin obsession, and because I actually have a lot of work to do today, I decided it best to waste the morning sipping my coffee (the dollar pumpkin late from Dunkin Donuts will come later) as I sat and thought, “Hmmm. What two words could I mash together to exemplify my obsession? Was there already a word for such a thing?”
I pushed ahead. After skimming the comments on the Serious Eats article, fellow pumpkin lovers wrote comments such as, “This is why I love fall! Suddenly everything is pumpkin flavored!” and “I love anything pumpkin flavored!” but not, I am a ______________ (fill in the blank with the word I am now on a mission to find).
It was time to self-diagnose, to find a name to call my people. If you are obsessed with France, you are a francophile. If you have a thing for shoes, some say you have a shoe fetish. What did I have??
One of my favorite things on my computer is my dictionary widget on my Mac. Yes, I know what having a fetish means, but sometimes, even when you’ve heard a word all your life out of context, I think its refreshing to look up true dictionary definitions to words. Plus, I get to giggle at my dancing hula Homer Simpson widget that’s next to my dictionary widget.
My mission became clear. Latin author Gabriel Garcia Marquez said that he prefers at times to write in the English language rather than Spanish because the English language is quite a melting pot. We have so many words for one thing. Would I need to stick with English or cross a border to find the perfect word??
Since English is my first language, I’ll stick with that for now. I look up fetish:
An inanimate object worshipped for its supposed magical powers or because it is considered to be inhabited by a spirit.
Nope. Try definition #2.
A form of sexual desire in which gratification is linked to an abnormal degree to a particular object, item of clothing, part of the body, etc.
Hmmm. Nah. I love pumpkin, but I don’t loooove pumpkin. I’ve thought about marrying it though. But then again, I vowed to marry my Tide-Wipe Out Pen when it literally wiped out a coffee stain I got on a dress right before I had to report at a trade show.
I was stuck. I looked up phile:
-phile: combining form, denoting fondness for a specified thing
Bingo! OK, I had the suffix, but now what to use for pumpkin. Do I have to be all scholarly and find out the Latin term for pumpkin? Is there one?
Oh, but of course. Found in a NYTimes article from 1991:
The name pumpkin is believed to be derived from a Greek word, pepon, or a Latin word, pepo, which is also used to describe melons.
Am I a pepophile?? Oh. Well. The end of my research appears to be somewhat anticlimatic. That word doesn’t sound as glamourous as I had hoped…
If I were to post on Meetup.com for pepohiles in the NYC area to get together, I doubt I’d get any replies. Well knowing NYC, I’d probably get a few, but definitely not anything pumpkin related.