AskDefine | Define panhandle

Dictionary Definition



1 a relatively narrow strip of land projecting from some larger area; "Wheeling is located in the northern panhandle of West Virginia"
2 the handle of a pan v : beg by accosting people in the street and asking for money

User Contributed Dictionary


Etymology 1

pan + handle


  1. The handle of a pan.
  2. On a map, where a part of a political entity forms a longish extension such that it resembles the handle of a pan, as with a frying pan.
    The three counties that form the Oklahoma panhandle were originally part of the Cimmaron Strip.
    The very wide Texas panhandle butts up, at its north, against the Oklahoma panhandle.
    The Forida panhandle is the area west, along the Gulf coast, of the Florida Peninsula.
    Part of Fairfield County, Connecticut consitutes a panhandle, extending into Bronx County, New York.

Etymology 2



  1. To beg for money, especially with a container in hand for receiving loose change, especially on the street, and particularly, by a bum.

Extensive Definition

globalize USA A panhandle is an informal geographic term for an elongated tail-like protrusion of a geo-political entity, such as a subnational entity or a sovereign state. The term derives from the analogous part of a cooking pan and its use is generally confined to the United States. A panhandle is similar to a peninsula in shape, but unlike a peninsula it is not surrounded by water on three sides and connected to a geographical mainland. Instead, a panhandle is delimited by a land border on at least two sides and extends out from the larger geographical body of the administrative unit. The panhandle shape is the result of arbitrarily drawn international or subnational boundaries, although the location of some administrative borders takes into account other considerations such as economic ties or topography. In the United States, a protrusion with a less elongated shape is informally called a bootheel.

Panhandles outside the United States

Outside of the United States, the term is not in common usage, with the arguable exception of the nearby New Brunswick Panhandle. Nonetheless, some people would describe the following characteristic territorial protrusions elsewhere as a corridor or an arm extending into an administratively different territory. Such shapes of territory can be a result of linguistic (or ethnic) lines, in addition to geographic features and other reasons.
panhandle in Esperanto: Patotenilo (geografio)
panhandle in French: Queue de poêle
panhandle in Portuguese: Cabo de frigideira
panhandle in Simple English: Panhandle
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