Posted by ESC on June 16, 2003
In Reply to: "I'm Your Huckleberry" posted by Henry on June 15, 2003
: : Does anybody know the origin and meaning of this phrase? Am assuming it's related to Huckleberry Finn, but not sure. Thanks!
: What it means is easy enough. To be one's huckleberry-usually as the phrase I'm your huckleberry-is to be just the right person for a given job, or a willing executor of some commission. Where it comes from needs a bit more explaining.
It's older than Huckleberry Finn.
The "Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, H-O" by J.E. Lighter (Random House, New York, 1997) lists several meanings: 1. minuscule amount. 2. a fellow; character; boy. "one's huckleberry," the very person for the job. 3. bad treatment. "the huckleberry" is similar to "the raspberry." 4. a foolish, inept or inconsequential fellow.
From meanings 1 and 4, you can see the word can have opposite meanings. I guess you'd have to judge from how a person says it.
Another huckleberry phrase: "above one's huckleberry" -- beyond one's abilities. And "huckleberry train," one that stops at every station.