Peckerwood is a term used in the Southern United States for a woodpecker which is also used as an offensive epithet toward white people, especially poor rural whites. Originally an ethnic slur, the term has been embraced by a subculture related to prison gangs and outlaw motorcycle clubs. The term originates in Jive and was in use as an inversion of woodpecker by the 1830s, with the sense referring to white people documented from the 1850s. African-American folklore in the 1920s contrasted the white "peckerwood" bird with the African-American blackbird.
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