follow Dictionary.com

It’s about time. We are now on Instagram!

peckerwood

[pek-er-woo d] /ˈpɛk ərˌwʊd/
noun
1.
Midland and Southern U.S. woodpecker.
2.
Southern U.S. Slang: Disparaging and Offensive. poor white.
adjective
3.
Southern U.S. small or insignificant:
He makes a living farming and running a peckerwood sawmill.
Origin
1825-1835
1825-35, Americanism; pecker + wood1; inversion of woodpecker
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for peckerwood

peckerwood

noun
  1. A poor Southern white, esp a farmer; cracker, redneck
  2. Any white Southern man: Any white man from the South is a ''peckerwood''

[1929+ esp black; fr rural black use of the red-headed woodpecker, with dialect inversion of the word elements, as a symbol for white persons in contrast with the blackbird as a symbol for themselves; the red head may be the semantic base, suggesting redneck]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for peckerwood

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for peckerwood

22
0
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for peckerwood