PANKs Tend to Spoil Their Nieces and Nephews

November 29, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. surplus [SUR-pluhs, -pluh s] (n.) – the excess from the amount needed
Example: We should return the surplus from the shopping money.

2. coin [koin] (v.) – to come up with or create new phrases or words
Example: The word Blook is a recently coined word that means a book written by a blogger.

3. enamor [ih-NAM-er] (v.) – to attract; to charm
Example: The man was enamored with his nephew’s cuteness.

4. childbearing age [CHAHYLD-bair-ing eyj] (n. phrase) – the age in which a woman can become pregnant
Example: The lady can no longer have babies because she is already past the childbearing age.

5. smother [SMUHTH-er] (v.) – to entirely cover
Example: His aunt smothered him with so much love and affection.


Read the text below.
Sociologists have recently coined a new term known as PANKs or professional aunts with no kids.

With no kids of their own, PANKs tend to shower their nieces and nephews with love, advice, and more importantly, expensive gifts. Recent studies even show that more and more PANKs spoil their nephews and nieces.

According to the Office for National Statistics, one in five British women is childless by the age of 45. This may be because more women decide to have children later in life to focus on their careers. As a result, some women get past the childbearing age, leaving them with no children. Thus, PANKs express their nurturing and caring side to their siblings’ or friends’ children.

Without children, professional women use the surplus of their money to pamper their nieces and nephews without second thought. Euromonitor, a global marketing research firm, revealed that American PANKs even spend around £6 billion a year for their nephews and nieces.

One of the well-known PANKs is Cameron Diaz. She could not resist giving her nieces so much love and smothering them with gifts. Another PANK is Jennifer Aniston, who plays like an aunt to friend Courtney Cox’s daughter, Coco.

As the number of PANKs increases, the number of PUNKs or professional uncles with no kids also grows. One of the devoted PUNKs is Hollywood actor Jake Gyllenhaal, who has long been enamored with the joys of being an uncle. He even spends most of his evenings babysitting his sister’s children.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Why else do you think PANKs like spending their money on their nephews and nieces? Please explain your answer.
·         If you were a parent, would you want other people to spoil your children with gifts and toys? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         In your opinion, is it appropriate to spend so much money on other people’s children? Why or why not?
·         How else can aunts and uncles show their love for their nephews and nieces?


November 29, 2013