from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun New England Any of several thick stews, originally an oatmeal porridge.
  • noun A spicy stew made of poultry, game, other meats, and vegetables, usually cooked outdoors.
  • noun A picnic featuring such a stew.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A seamen's term for a dish made of boiled oatmeal seasoned with salt, butter, and sugar; gruel.
  • noun A kind of soup made with many different kinds of meat and vegetables, highly peppered and served very hot: popular in Kentucky and other places, especially at barbecues, picnics, and other outdoor feasts.
  • noun A barbecue, picnic, or woodland feast at which the soup burgoo is served.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A kind of oatmeal pudding, or thick gruel, used by seamen.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun nautical a seafaring dish from the days of sail; a sort of porridge seasoned with sugar, salt and butter

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a gathering at which burgoo stew is served
  • noun porridge made of rolled oats
  • noun thick spicy stew of whatever meat and whatever vegetables are available; southern United States


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Perhaps alteration of ragout.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Dialectical burgood ("yeast"), perhaps from Welsh burym ("yeast") + cawl ("cabbage, gruel").


  • The burgoo was a mixture of oatmeal and scraps of beef fat that had simmered all night on the galley stove.

    Sharpe's Trafalgar

  • As soon as this meeting was over, I took the midnight train for Dayton, where a "burgoo" feast was to be held the next day on the fair grounds.

    Recollections of Forty Years in the House, Senate and Cabinet An Autobiography.

  • I wondered if Jack was still "cleaning up" at pontoon, if Fred was getting his parcels again, and if Charley was still making those famous "burgoo" puddings.

    The Memoirs of a Swine in the Land of Kultur

  • His most recent venture, a collaboration with the National Archives called America Eats Tavern, is a place where historic dishes like Kentucky burgoo and mock turtle soup serve as a love letter to his adopted country.

    José Andrés Wants to Feed the World (And You)

  • Stews such as Brunswick stew and its spicier Kentucky cousin, burgoo, were a nineteenth-century hodgepodge of whatever was at hand, including small game such as squirrel and rabbit, beans, and shoe-peg corn.

    One Big Table

  • And in the FOR ME column of our imagined list, not in the treasured top slots but up there, would be the gift of Joycean spam upon a digital reemergence: boltmaker stippled scrapy heartedness burgoo overplentiful unended hydrophobous.

    Eveline | Miette's Bedtime Story Podcast

  • “It reminds me of the burgoo we had in Louisville,” Graham said.


  • “It reminds me of the burgoo we had in Louisville,” Graham said.


  • Chowder still means New England, Kentucky is burgoo, and the low country is Frogmore stew.

    One Big Table

  • Looking for a weekend full of more "cultured" events than eating burgoo and frolicing through Canberra's flowers?

    Jaunted - The Pop Culture Travel Guide


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  • "...the steward gave them each a hot bowl of burgoo, a kind of liquid porridge."

    --Patrick O'Brian, The Far Side of the World,

    February 23, 2008

  • also spoon-meat; loblolly

    July 7, 2009

  • "But shake out a palmful of flaked almonds and you'll see they closely resemble fingernails that have come away from a hand which has just seen the light of day.

    Black jam and blanched fingernails, slowly sinking into the oozing burgoo!"

    Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett, pp 5-6

    April 17, 2017