One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
adjectiveEnglish Regional, Yorkshire, Northern
Especially of grain and crops: fat, plump; well-grown.
Mid 16th century; earliest use found in Thomas Drant (c1540–1578), poet and Church of England clergyman. Origin uncertain; perhaps a transferred use of puble, variant of pebble, the original sense hence perhaps being ‘rounded (like a pebble)’, or alternatively perhaps compare German regional (Low German: Mecklenburg) Pümpel small fat person, Pumpel (Berlin, Brandenburg) small fat, homely, poor, or clumsy person, carelessly dressed woman, (East Prussia) fat child, small person, (East Friesland) fat burly person, fat person wearing scruffy or wide-cut clothes (all of uncertain origin, perhaps ultimately imitative).
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