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woodpecker

woodpecker n Also woodpeck, woodpicker
Forms. Cf peckerwood n

1885 Harper’s New Mth. Mag. 71.400 GA, Nancy’s head’s red, red as a woodpeck’s. 1965 Carmony Speech Terre Haute 37 IN, The only alternative offered for the general woodpecker . . was woodpeck, a term suggested by the oldest informant in the study. 1966 Dakin Dial. Vocab. Ohio R. Valley 2.397 sIN, Woodpicker is scattered across southern Indiana from Clark’s Grant westward to Edwards County, Illinois. The fact that in every instance this term is attested by a female informant and that no male informant uses it suggests that it may be a deliberate evasion of pecker. 1986 Pederson LAGS Concordance, 3 infs, Gulf Region, Woodpeck(s). 2007 DARE File—Internet PA, You sure got the woodpecks in your garden! 2008 Ibid ME, Our pair of Piliated [sic] woodpecks are making their daily visits now to the peanut butter suet.
Senses.
Std: a bird of the family Picidae. For other names of var spp see billy whicker n, black-backed woodpecker n, brown creeper n 2, California woodpecker n, carpenter n, carpintero n, downy woodpecker n, flicker n1 1, Gila woodpecker n, golden-fronted woodpecker n, groundhog n 3, hairy woodpecker n, hammerhead n 6, hard-faced bird n, hardhead n 5b, headshrinker n, heel-taps n, high-holer n 1, ivory-billed woodpecker n, jack hammer n, knocker n 1, knothead n 5, ladder-backed woodpecker n 1, Lewis’s woodpecker n, loggerhead n 10, marshal n, mountain woodpecker n, mundiner n, nail-pounder n, pecker n 1, peckerhead n 1, peckerwood n 1, pileated woodpecker n B, pique bois n, rain crow n 1d, red-bellied woodpecker n, red-cockaded woodpecker n, redhammer n, red-headed woodpecker n, ringneck n 6, riveter n, sapsucker n 1, soldier n B4, three-toed woodpecker n, ticktack bird n, tree-pounder n, tree surgeon n, trip-hammer n, whicker n2, wood chicken n 2, woodchuck n 2, woodcock n 2, wood hen n 2 yellow-bellied woodpecker n Cf five-toed woodpecker n, topknot woodpecker n, weathercock n 2
Used as a derog term for one who fells trees. Cf beaver n 3
1905 U.S. Forest Serv. Bulletin 61.53 [Logging terms], Woodpecker. . . A poor chopper. 1995 DARE File cMA (as of 1920s–30s), When the Quabbin Reservoir was being built, people forced out of their homes in the area to be flooded called the axemen who were brought in to cut down all the timber “woodpeckers.” This was before the time of chain saws; all the trees were felled by hand. (The term was not complimentary.)
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