Peckerwood (or simply Wood) is a racial slur 19th century southern Black Americans used to describe poor whites. Blacks saw blackbirds as a symbol of themselves, and the redheaded woodpecker as a representation of working class whites. They considered them loud and troublesome like the bird, and sometimes with red hair like the woodpecker’s head plumes. This word is still widely used by southern blacks to refer to southern whites.
I’ve often heard this word before, but never really knew the origins or even the real meaning of it.Â Now I do, and so do you!