Recently, I was reading about something related to geography. And then, I came across the word "pockets" which actually refer to some small areas in a larger area.

But can anyone tell me, why is the word "pockets" used when referring to certain sections of places in a large area.

  • 2
    This is a metaphor— because a pocket conjures up an image of something small.
    – user405662
    Jun 6, 2021 at 7:01
  • 2
    Also, in your question tell us what you found when you looked in a dictionary.
    – GEdgar
    Jun 12, 2021 at 23:18

1 Answer 1


The etymology of pocket is of a bag or pouch.

English word pocket comes from Proto-Germanic *puk-, Proto-Indo-European *bʰew-, and later Proto-Germanic *pukô (Bag; pouch.)


This gives us the concept of an identifiable volume that may be separate (Scottish “poke”, as of a bag of sweets) or attached (trouser pocket). Hence, one of the contemporary definitions relevant to your question:

Pocket =

a group, area, or mass of something that is separate and different from what surrounds it:

”Among the staff there are some pockets of resistance to the planned changes” (= some small groups of them are opposed).

”The pilot said that we were going to encounter a pocket of turbulence (= an area of violently moving air).”


  • 1
    Frost-free pockets often exist in an area that freezes periodically in winter, as an example. Many micro-climates exist.
    – Xanne
    Jun 6, 2021 at 8:16

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