peckerwood

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peckerwood

offensive slang A derogatory term for a white person, especially a man, usually used to imply that they are poor or uneducated. Derives from an obsolete term for a woodpecker. Primarily heard in US.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

peckerwood

and wood
n. a poor white person. (Very old southern term for a woodpecker.) What’s that peckerwood want in this hood?
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
If you ask me, no one sets out to be a low-life peckerwood, but if it happens, as apparently it has to me, I bet most of those down-on-their-luck, Christ-what-do-we-do folks keep thinking, like I do, that just around the corner everything's going to be okey-doke.
During the great Southern racial struggles of the 1960's, the late Homer Bigart filed a story in which he wrote that the courthouse at Philadelphia, Miss., where the sheriff and staff were accused in the kidnapping and murder of three civil rights workers, was surrounded by "rednecks and peckerwoods." According to local community beliefs the crowd was instead made up of irate citizens out to protect their sheriff from undue "outside interference."
"Those peckerwoods can rot for all I care," he continued, "but after a while they're going to look for someone to blame their troubles on, and when that happens, the four of us had better duck." Throughout that strange autumn of storms and drenchings, Master Yehudi seemed distracted with worry, as if he were contemplating some unnameable disaster, a thing so black he dared not even mention it to us.
I called out his name, and those peckerwoods heard me.
And you know there's just one thing wrong with encouraging one of those peckerwoods to kill a n--.
In this case, however, the frustration of the South and Southern Midwest over the rise of godless modernity at the hands of the North and the Easterners built up over a century and a half during which Southerners were derided as "peckerwoods and rednecks," as the former segregationist governor of Alabama, George Wallace, once put it.
Even when the "peckerwoods" protest Bob's beating as too severe and possibly fatal, the president, supported by two policemen, orders them to continue, and the workers remain paralyzed under the multiple threat of the police force, the military, and their boss.