Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Jan 16 05:25:32 UTC 2007

"Peckerwood" as used in BE has no reference to "penis," because
"pecker" does not have the meaning, "penis," among black people.
Indeed, the word "pecker" itself has no use or existence among black
people, to the best of my knowledge. Of course, it could the case that
some BE speaker has invented "pecker" as a slang term for penis and I
simply haven't yet heard it through the grapevine. However, even if
that be the case, the use of "peckerwood" as "white man" still clearly
antedates the use of "pecker" as "penis."

My point was that the suggestion by Spears that "peckerwood" with the
slang meaning, "white man," may be an elaboration of "pecker" in the
meaning "penis" is totally devoid of content. It doesn't even rise to
the level of WAG.

BTW, in what sense is "whickerbill" parallel to "peckerwood"? Is it a
dialect form whose standard form is "billwhicker," with the sole
meaning, "a kind of bird"?


On 1/15/07, Grant Barrett <gbarrett at worldnewyork.org> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Grant Barrett <gbarrett at WORLDNEWYORK.ORG>
> Subject:      Re: Spears/peckers
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Perhaps it's worth mentioning that there is a parallel to
> "peckerwood" in "whickerbill." It, too, can be a bird, a penis (or
> the foreskin of it), or a yokel, with the bonus meaning of "a thin,
> raised edge on a airfoil or fan blade that adds downward force."
> I did a bit of digging on the term in 2005. I did not define the bird
> portion of the term, as that is widely covered elsewhere.
> http://www.dtww.org/index.php/dictionary/whickerbill/
> "Scissorbill" may also share some meanings.
> Grant Barrett
> Double-Tongued Dictionary
> http://www.doubletongued.org/
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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