The word pumpkin originates from the word pepon, which is Greek for “large melon.” The French adapted this word to pompon, which the British changed to pompion and later American colonists changed that to the word we use today, “pumpkin.” The origin of pumpkins is not known, although pumpkins are thought to have originated in North America.
…Pumpkins are commonly carved into decorative lanterns called jack-o’-lanterns for the Halloween season in North America. Throughout Britain and Ireland, there is a long tradition of carving lanterns from vegetables, particularly the turnip, mangelwurzel, or swede. Not until 1837, however, does jack-o’-lantern appear as a term for a carved vegetable lantern, and the carved lantern does not become associated specifically with Halloween until 1866.
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