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[pek-er-woo d] /ˈpɛk ərˌwʊd/

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

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


[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]


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