Sunday, May 23, 2010

Goobering (in the car and elsewhere)

“Don’t goober up my car,” said my husband, as I spread cream cheese on my bagel in the passenger seat.

“What?” I asked. “What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

“I mean, don’t mess it up.”

I relayed the conversation to my mother-in-law when we reached her house. She laughed and remarked at Goober was a character on the Andy Griffith Show. All I remember about that show is some annoying and very repetitive whistling during the opening.

Todd, my husband, jumped in with the fact that Goobers are a candy, chocolate-covered peanuts to be exact.

But that still didn’t explain to me what the heck a “goober” really was and/or is. Turns out that “goober” has come to mean a silly goofball, a dimwit, someone with no common sense. By that definition, even I could at times be classified as a “goober.”

But this slang definition arose from the character of Goober Pyle in the Andy Griffith show. Goober served as Mayberry’s village idiot, acting in childish and foolish ways. In pop culture it has become synonymous with the word dork. (Which also has a double meaning, but we’ll save that for next time).

As for the chocolate covered peanuts? “Goober” is also a slang term for peanut, and was probably used as such long before the invention of the Goober Pyle character.

Now what about “hairy goomer?” Or is that “gomer”?

1 comment:

  1. Peas peas peas peas eating goober peas.

    Goodness how delicious! Eating goober peas!


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