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n. Chiefly Southern US
1. A woodpecker.
2. Offensive Slang Used as a disparaging term for a poor white person.

[Alteration (by transposition of the two members of the compound) of woodpecker.]


1. (Animals) a woodpecker
2. Black slang offensive a White person, esp one from the southern states of the United States

poor′ white′

usage: This term is usually used with disparaging intent and perceived as insulting. However, sometimes it is merely a neutral descriptive term.
Usually Disparaging and Offensive. (a term used to refer to a white person, esp. of the southern U.S., having low social status and little or no money, property, or education.)
[1810–20, Amer.]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.peckerwood - bird with strong claws and a stiff tail adapted for climbing and a hard chisel-like bill for boring into wood for insectspeckerwood - bird with strong claws and a stiff tail adapted for climbing and a hard chisel-like bill for boring into wood for insects
piciform bird - any of numerous nonpasserine insectivorous climbing birds usually having strong bills for boring wood
family Picidae, Picidae - woodpeckers
green woodpecker, Picus viridis - woodpecker of Europe and western Asia
downy woodpecker - small North American woodpecker with black and white plumage and a small bill
flicker - North American woodpecker
Campephilus principalis, ivorybill, ivory-billed woodpecker - large black-and-white woodpecker of southern United States and Cuba having an ivory bill; nearly extinct
Melanerpes erythrocephalus, redheaded woodpecker, redhead - black-and-white North American woodpecker having a red head and neck
sapsucker - small American woodpecker that feeds on sap from e.g. apple and maple trees
wryneck - Old World woodpecker with a peculiar habit of twisting the neck
piculet - small woodpeckers of South America and Africa and East Indies having soft rounded tail feathers
References in periodicals archive ?
At the heart of the property is Peckerwood Lake, a 4,000-acre refuge.
Tracking Harry Plotnick (Martin Priest, who had a small role as a peckerwood in Nothing but a Man)--a Bronx-born numbers runner who, failing to put his enterprise back together after nine months behind bars, tries to buy his way into middle-class respectability--Roemer's comedy is enriched by its quasi-documentary style.
They've got no protection, and any peckerwood who wants can go out and shoot himself one, and we'll free him" (qtd.
Gaines said in court that he identified himself as a peckerwood -- which is both Southern slang for a poor white person and a common name for white street gangs -- after the stepfather called him a ``n .
Shit man, I might not have started skateboarding until I was 43, but that doesn't mean I'm not just as into it as the next peckerwood.
For Byrd the term peckerwood probably rolls off the tongue much easier than any combination of 'against,' 'government,' and 'waste.