Date: Fri, 13 May 1994 08:53:00 CDT From: Edward Callary Subject: peckerwood Re; Peckerwood. My Oklahoma/New Mexico experiences (I'm not a native peckerwood user, but I picked it up there and found it a most useful term. A number of my academics colleagues are classic peckerwoods). Anyhow, I came to the word with no emotional involvement nore native intuition, so I curiously looked at its usage. There, in at least Western Oklahoma and eastern new mexico, in at least the more rural areas (I taught in a very small, very rural, very typical school. Peckerwood was often used by the staff there, even to a student's face, to refer to a student who was a little dickens, a skeezix, a loveable rascal, someone who even was a pleasant diversion. 'That so and ao, what a peckerwood,' said with a smile upon one's face. With adults it had a different connotation: someone (always a male; it was never used to refer to females) who was shiftless, engaged in borderline legal activities, if indeed any activities at all. And the borderline activities are not the accepted ones like bootlegging, but theft, etc. I picked the word up there and find it useful especially to refer to mischivous children, cute but 'a handful.' There I knew of no racial distributions, but that was 20 years ago; now it might be a considerable slur.