a phrase for a small or rural town that was popularized by the movie "The French Connection" in 1971, starring Gene Hackman. The film was about a drug smuggling operation that had french connections in mid-state New York. This was all based on actual happenings and the small, rural town known as Poughkeepsie was the actual setting in both real life and in the movie. Countless times in the movie, they used slang phrases such as "podunk" or "pough town" to describe the area.
Today, the phrases have caught on with many individuals and spread throughout many states and towns all across America. By being spread through word of mouth, many people lost the true meaning of podunk and did not even realize it was originally used and first created for Poughkeepsie. The town of Poughkeepsie and city has now become less rural and more developed. Surrounding towns have all been overcrowded by many people coming from the suburbs of NYC due to the ripple effect. Too many people work in the city and live just outside of it, so they move a little bit farther out to escape the high density living. Even though Poughkeepsie may not even count as a podunk town anymore, it should always be credited for inspiring the popular phrase.
Guy 1: "So now that Poughkeepsie is no longer a podunk little town, what else can we call podunk?"
Guy 2: "Well Poughquag isn't that small, but it sure does have a lot of cows, so I guess we can call it podunk."
Guy 1: "Neighboring towns keep the word alive."