Wednesday’s Word: goober

Do you know what a goober is? I’ve only associated the word with some uncouth expulsion of a bodily substance. Is a goober what you pick out of your nose. Or, if you were to hold your finger over one nostril and shoot something out of the other one is that a goober? (Something I’ve never done by the way.) Or, maybe it is a goober that you spit over the railing while you’re sitting in a rocker on your front porch with an early morning can of beer. (Also something I’ve never done. My porch is screened in.)

nose picker

You can imagine my surprise when I looked up the definition of goober and didn’t find anything about snot rockets. A quick Google search brought up two definitions.

  1. A peanut
  2. A foolish person
Bill Clinton

So if you’re short and a fool it’s sort of a double goober. There’s also a regional thread as you are more likely to be a goober if you are from Georgia or Arkansas. I was looking for a word for Newt Gingrich. And what about when that goober from Arkansas dropped a goober on Monica Lewinsky’s blue dress.

But that’s not all. There is a disgusting concoction of peanut butter and fruit preserves that goes under the brand name of Goober and another Nestle product called Goobers which are chocolate covered peanuts.


As usual, I turned to the Urban Dictionary for more elaboration. There I found “basically a goober is just a kindhearted, rather oblivious goofball. It’s a term of endearment really. It comes from the ancient Scottish verb ‘to goob’, which has to do with doing a dance and smiling sheepishly while doing so, exposing the goubs in one’s teeth. Basically a goober is just a kindhearted, rather oblivious goofball.”

Unpacking all that leaves you with a vision of a doofus doing some sort of jig with a big smile on his face so you can see the stuff stuck between his teeth. That brings us back full circle to the uncouth bodily substance issue.

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6 Responses to Wednesday’s Word: goober

  1. Donna Janke says:

    I’ve always associated goober with the foolish person definition, a synonym for doofus, and heard it used that way. Given that and the other uncouth association, though, I’m surprised anyone would use the word to name a product.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Haha, I only know goober in the same way that you do! I can’t imagine buying a snack called Goober!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sam Gridley says:

    I’ve eaten Goobers (the Nestle sort). Not bad, actually.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. M.B. Henry says:

    I actually did know this – but only because of the Civil War-era song called “Goober peas.” Give it a listen sometime, it’s pretty hysterical.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love the humor! It’s in such short supply these days…

    Liked by 1 person

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