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[bur-goo, bur-goo] /ˈbɜr gu, bɜrˈgu/
noun, plural burgoos for 2b.
a thick oatmeal gruel, especially as eaten by sailors.
Chiefly Kentucky and Tennessee.
  1. a thick, highly seasoned soup or stew, usually made of chicken or small game and corn, tomatoes, and onions.
  2. a picnic or other gathering at which burgoo is served.
Origin of burgoo
1735-45; perhaps ultimately < Arabic burghul, burghūl cracked wheat (see bulgur), though immediate source is uncertain Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for burgoo
Historical Examples
  • All Kentuckians will vow they understand the true meaning of the word "burgoo."

  • When the burgoo is done dip it out and drink it from tin cups.

  • burgoo is made precisely in the same manner as mush, but with oatmeal instead of Indian.

  • “You shall have your breakfast soon,” continued his master, eating the burgoo between his addresses to the animal.

    Snarley-yow Frederick Marryat
  • He gave the men pea-soup and rice instead of burgoo and the wretched oatmeal mess which was the staple thing for breakfast.

    No Defense, Complete Gilbert Parker
  • Then came a merry clattering of tin cups as "Turkle" came by with buckets of burgoo, dipping it out with a long ladle.

    Shawn of Skarrow James Tandy Ellis
  • Major LeCroix gave a burgoo at his locust grove on the river, to which all the candidates were invited.

    Shawn of Skarrow James Tandy Ellis
  • "You shall have your breakfast soon," continued his master, eating the burgoo between his addresses to the animal.


    Captain Frederick Marryat
  • The burgoo and the barbecue belong to that era when food was plenty, feasts were generous and appetites good.

  • In retrospect I smell the burgoo a-cooking, and sympathetically my mouth waters.

    Those Times And These Irvin S. Cobb
British Dictionary definitions for burgoo


/ˈbɜːɡuː; bɜːˈɡuː/
noun (pl) -goos
(nautical, slang) porridge
(Southern US)
  1. a thick highly seasoned soup or stew of meat and vegetables
  2. a picnic or gathering at which such soup is served
Word Origin
C18: perhaps from Arabic burghul crushed grain
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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