Pumpkin Grinner vs Jack o’lantern

We had a bit of a discussing going on facebook yesterday when I asked the question: Have you heard of a pumpkin grinner or are they just jack o’lanterns to you?

Some people were familiar with the term Pumpkin Grinner while others had never heard of it before. It varied within the provinces. While I grew up hearing the word pumpkin grinner, some in Nova Scotia were familiar with it, while others were not. I can’t even say it’s just a rural thing. While it seemed no city folks had heard of it, there were some from rural areas who hadn’t either.


While I might be inclined to say jack o’lantern or even Halloween pumpkin, I prefer to use the term pumpkin grinner.


Happy Halloween!

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  1. We just called ’em punkins. Used to cut through the woods & sneak into a field & steal ’em from a cranky old farmer who fired his shotgun at us. Had to watch out for the pigs too. He raised some faaaast pigs that old boy did.

    Lemme tellya – a headfirst dive over a fence, holdin’ a punkin’ ain’t an easy thing to do when you’re a 10 year-old.


    • ah yes, some people around these parts have been known to call them “punkins” as well.. hehehe

      As I was reading your comment, Dave, I could see it all happening, and it made me giggle. Something tells me you’re full of such great stories..


  2. I’ve never heard “pumpkin grinner” before…must be a Nova Scotia thing…

    Happy Halloween, Laura!



  3. Yes, it looks like a pumpkin grinner, although I’ve never heard the term. Have a great Halloween!


  4. Melanie

     /  October 31, 2010

    That most certainly is a pumpkin grinner! 😀 Happy Hallowe’en!


  5. I’ve never heard that term, but it definitely fits. Of course, not everyone wants their pumpkin to grin, so maybe those would be pumpkin growlers. 🙂


  6. I never heard the term pumpkin grinner, but I like it!


  7. Corey Nordin

     /  December 22, 2011

    I’m from just outside of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. I never heard of this term before. I always called them jack o’lanterns. I live near New Minas, NS now. My wife is from the Canning area. She has been calling out nine month old boy a pumpkin grinner. Instead of asking, I googled it, and your site is what I found.


    • One never knows what will come up when they use Google. I grew up calling them Pumpkin Grinners. It seems to be certain places here and there in the province that uses the term.



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