[ pek-er-woo d ]
/ ˈpɛk ərˌwʊd /


Midland and Southern U.S. woodpecker.
Southern U.S. Slang: Disparaging and Offensive. poor white.


Southern U.S. small or insignificant: He makes a living farming and running a peckerwood sawmill.

Origin of peckerwood

1825–35, Americanism; pecker + wood1; inversion of woodpecker Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for peckerwood

  • Perhaps I didn't quite believe in the red-headed Peckerwood myself just then, and felt unable to incarnate him to Matthew.

    The Golden Bird|Maria Thompson Daviess
  • Matthew lingered behind the others and helped me feed the old red ally and Mrs. Ewe and Peckerwood Pup.

    The Golden Bird|Maria Thompson Daviess

Word Origin and History for peckerwood



1859, U.S. Southern black dialectal inversion of woodpecker; in folklore, taken as the type of white folks (1929) and symbolically contrasted with blackbird.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper