noun South Midland and Southern U.S.
TAKE THIS QUIZ IF A DAZZLING VOCABULARY IS YOUR DESIDERATUM!
Origin of goober
Words nearby goober
What does goober mean?
Goober is an informal name for a peanut.
The peanut is sometimes also called the goober pea. Goober is also used as a slang term for an unsophisticated, goofy person, especially one from a rural area, somewhat similar to the term bumpkin.
Goober is primarily used in the Southern and Midland United States.
Example: I can’t wait to get some boiled goobers at a roadside stand when I go back home to Georgia.
Where does goober come from?
The first records of the word goober in English come from the 1800s. It might sound like a silly slang word, but it’s actually of African origin, based on the word nguba found in many African languages, like Kongo and Kimbundu.
The peanut itself (which is not a nut but a legume) is probably native to South America, but it was eventually brought to Africa by trade, where it was grown as food. Both the peanut and the African word for it were introduced to North America by African people who were enslaved and forced to work on plantations there. As an informal word for a peanut, goober is mostly used in the region of the U.S. where the enslaved African people started to grow them: the Southern and Midland states. You’re most likely to find goober pie (or someone who even knows what that is) in the South.
As a slang word meaning something like “goofball” or “bumpkin,” goober may have been popularized by a TV character named Goober on The Andy Griffith Show who was the epitome of a goober: simple and naive but cheery and good-natured. Calling someone a goober can be an insult, but it’s more likely to be used fondly and endearingly.
Did you know ... ?
How is goober used in real life?
Goober as an informal word for a peanut is primarily used by those who live in the American South. As a slang term for a goofy person it’s more widespread outside that region.
— Kim Rosenberger (@OKie_Mom) October 26, 2015
#UGAvsGT Really missing boiled goobers & a cold Coke with my Daddy today!! And then trash talking with my GT uncle & cousins afterwards.😥🏈🦃
— Cherry🐾 (@CherryPinkJ1313) November 26, 2016
— Berly Laycox 🍕 (@RGBvCMYK) March 23, 2020
Try using goober!
Is goober used correctly in the following sentence?
Milly can be kind of a goober sometimes, but she’s fun to be around.
Example sentences from the Web for goober
“Shake It Off” and its accompanying music video are all about being a goober and dancing like an offbeat weirdo.Butts, ‘Bang Bang’ & Beyoncé: The Craziest MTV Video Music Awards Moments|Kevin Fallon|August 25, 2014|DAILY BEAST
What Goober lacks in intelligence he makes up for in impersonations.
Goober at the Auto Show Rarely one to leave Mayberry, Goober ventured out of town for the Raleigh auto show.
Goober Fills in for Andy When Andy is called away from the courthouse, an enthusiastic Goober volunteers to fill in.
After a little nudge from his enthusiastic cousin Gomer, Goober channels superstar Cary Grant with this “convincing” impression.
Thus Peter was done with the Goober case, and mighty glad of it he was.
Goober Glory heard and felt that her own heart was surely breaking.A Sunny Little Lass|Evelyn Raymond
They give old people potato patches and let the children have goober rows.Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves|Work Projects Administration
Peter would be a most important witness for the Goober defense, and they must take good care of him.
To begin at the beginning: the "Goober case" parallels in its main outlines the case of Tom Mooney.