[ yoh-kuh l ]
/ ˈyoʊ kəl /

noun Informal

an unsophisticated person from a rural area; a country bumpkin.


Origin of yokel

First recorded in 1805–15; origin uncertain
Related formsyo·kel·ish, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for yokel

British Dictionary definitions for yokel


/ (ˈjəʊkəl) /


derogatory (used chiefly by townspeople) a person who lives in the country, esp one who appears to be simple and old-fashioned
Derived Formsyokelish, adjective

Word Origin for yokel

C19: perhaps from dialect yokel green woodpecker, yellowhammer
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

Word Origin and History for yokel



1812, perhaps from dialectal German Jokel, disparaging name for a farmer, originally diminutive of Jakob. Or perhaps from English yokel, dialectal name for "woodpecker."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper