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peckerwood

[pek-er-woo d]
noun
  1. Midland and Southern U.S. woodpecker.
  2. Southern U.S. Slang: Disparaging and Offensive. poor white.
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adjective
  1. Southern U.S. small or insignificant: He makes a living farming and running a peckerwood sawmill.
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Origin of peckerwood

1825–35, Americanism; pecker + wood1; inversion of woodpecker
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for peckerwood

Historical Examples of 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

n.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper