Pumpkin or pumpkin, the fruit of the vine, is a popular name given to various species of plants of the family Cucurbitaceae (order Cucurbitales ), particularly those classified in foodstuffs:
- Abobra – a single species, native to South America
- Cucurbita – genus that includes the most common types of squash and zucchini (courgette/zucchini).
The word pumpkin comes from the word pepon (πέπων), which is Greek for “big melon”, something round and big. The French adapted this word to pompon, which the British switched to pumpion and later to the American colonists became known as a pumpkin.
The term pumpkin has no botanical or scientific meaning and is used interchangeably with “pumpkin” and “pumpkin”. In North America and the United Kingdom, the squash traditionally refers to only a few round varieties of winter squash, predominantly derived from Cucurbita pepo, while in Australian English the squash can refer to squash of any appearance.
In New Zealand and Australian English, the term pumpkin commonly refers to the broader category called winter squash elsewhere.