gone pecan n. a person who is doomed, defeated, or beyond rescue; a goner. Editorial Note: As noted in the 2003 citation, pecan is pronounced in this expression to rhyme with gone, so it’s something like “puh-KAHN” rather than “PEE-kann,” which is another common pronunciation of pecan used throughout the United States. This expression is particularly common in Louisiana. Similar terms given by the Dictionary of American Regional English are gone goose, gone gosling, gone coon, and gone beaver. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

10 Responses

  1. Like most words, the origin is unknown. Also, like most words, if we did know the origin it would probably be both useless and boring.

  2. Anyone can grasp the meaning from the context.  What I’d like to know is the origin, please.

  3. Scott says:

    I grew up with this phrase – it was one of my father’s favorites.  I thought he was the only one to actually use it, but the fact that we’re from Louisiana (he’s from Lake Charles, in particular) jibes well with the citation above.  We really do have a lot of pecans.  And indeed, “puh-KAHN” is how we pronounce it.  “PEE-can” is for yankees, and hearing it drives us batty.  Especially if it has that super-nasal, midwestern “a” sound.  Yeesh.

  4. pablo says:

    So the pecan trees that I can’t get to grow down in the Ozarks are a gone pecan, eh? That works for me.

  5. adam ology says:

    “Like most words, the origin is unknown. Also, like most words, if we did know the origin it would probably be both useless and boring.”

    Could two statements be more incorrect?

    Most English words *can* be traced back to their ancestors in an older language, and the Oxford English Dictionary cites the first known usage of every word in every sense, giving a history of each word’s evolution for almost 1000 years.  (Of course, the origins of *those* essentially foreign roots is in most cases a mystery, but that is not what you were talking about.)

    As to your suggestion that word origins are “useless and boring”—you’re just nuts.

  6. You’re talking completely out of your ass, Adam. As someone who has worked for Oxford University Press as a lexicographer and dictionary editor and knows a dozen OED editors professionally and personally, including etymologists, I can tell you with no equivocation that the OED cites are in no way conclusive nor exhaustive. Most terms and expressions have not been, cannot be, and will never be traced back to their absolute origins, even in the written record. The best we have is educated guesswork and traces in an incomplete written record. Not only that, but the OED is nowhere near complete: it does not have “every” word nor “every” sense of the words it does have. It is, as every OED editor will tell you, an incomplete work in progress. You’d best go somewhere else to tell people how to suck eggs.

  7. Aaron says:

    The origin has to do with the rhyme it creates in southern Louisiana.  “Gone Pecan,” much like the rhyme “later alligator,” the alliteration “dead as a door nail,” or the LSU football cheer “hot boudin, cold cous-cous, come on Tigers, push, push, push!”

  8. EmmettRedd says:

    Could it also mean gone nuts? After all, a pecan is one.

  9. deaconB says:

    Sounmd like it would share roots with looking peaked? (Pronounced pee-kid. not piqued)

  10. Robert says:

    Etymology incomplete is just as nagging as not knowing the origin of the universe.  But here the why part seems to suggest itself:  it’s how trivial one considers pecans to be, for their great profusions in locales of Louisiana.