Many fans of old cartoons fondly remember Huckleberry Hound. Fans of classic literature almost always know Huckleberry Finn. Of course, all of this begs the question: exactly what is a huckleberry?

Huckleberries might sound a bit like a made-up creation for books or cartoons, but we assure you they’re real fruits. In fact, they’re the state fruit of Idaho.

Throughout North America, people use the name “huckleberry” to refer to several different plants from the Ericaceae family. Some species of huckleberries fall into the genus Gaylussacia, while others are part of the genus Vaccinium.

Huckleberries are edible and quite tasty. The small, round berries resemble blueberries. In fact, in some parts of the United States, huckleberries might be called blueberries and blueberries might be called huckleberries. They’re not the same fruit, though.

The various species of huckleberries range in color from bright red to dark purple to blue. Red huckleberries tend to have a tart flavor, while purple and blue huckleberries taste sweeter. In addition to humans, many animals enjoy huckleberries, including bears!

Huckleberries grow wild in many different parts of the U.S. Perhaps this is why the huckleberry inspired many different phrases dating back to the 1800s.

Because huckleberries are small, the word “huckleberry” was often used as a nickname for something small, unimportant or insignificant. Scholars believe this was the meaning Mark Twain had in mind when he named his Huckleberry Finn character. People at that time would have understood that “Huck” Finn’s name was a clue that he was a small boy who was of a lower class than his companion, Tom Sawyer.

Huckleberries were also often compared to persimmons, which are much larger, to express the idea of something small against something big. This usage eventually led to the popular phrase “a huckleberry over my persimmon,” which meant something was just beyond one’s abilities.

One of the most famous huckleberry phrases, though, was “I’m your huckleberry.” If you said “I’m your huckleberry,” it meant you were expressing that you were the right person for a particular job. A similar phrase today might be something along the lines of “I’m your man.”

No one knows for sure how that phrase came to be so popular or how it got its meaning. Scholars suspect it evolved over time out of the idea that huckleberry was often used as a term of endearment or friendship.

 

60 Join the Discussion

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars  (12 votes, avg. 4.33 out of 5)
Loading...Loading...
    • Hi, Graham! Thanks so much for being the very first Wonder Friend to leave us a comment on today’s Wonder of the Day®! :-)

  1. Dear Wonderopolis,

    Thanks for the great video. I really enjoyed it. I look forward to trying huckleberries one day. I haven’t seen them in the state of Pennsylvania.

    Sincerely,
    Steven

    • We’re so glad you enjoyed the video for today’s Wonder, Steven! Thanks for letting us know! We hope you get to try some yummy huckleberries one day soon! :-)

    • Thanks for letting us know how much you like to eat huckleberries, Wesley! We think they are good to eat, too! :-)

    • YUM! A huckleberry pie sounds really AWESOME, Andrea! Thank you for sharing Wonderopolis as a family today…it makes us SUPER happy to hear about that! :-)

  2. Hey, wonderopolis. Great video, now I want to try a huckleberry. I really wonder what it tastes like. Everything sounds good, mostly the chocolate video.

    • Happy Friday, Ella! We’re so glad you stopped by today’s Wonder and let us know you want to try a huckleberry now! Trying new foods is lots of FUN! :-)

  3. Man, this is the best website everrrrrr, and I just wanna say I think whoever made/runs this website is the coolest person everrrr. I just can’t wait to get online every morning and read my daily wonder, it opens my mind up to so many crazy things that I never knew before. Whoever runs this site, keep up the GREAT work.

    • THANK YOU so much for this super nice comment, Josh! We really appreciate all the awesome things you said about Wonderopolis and we are happy that you like visiting and learning here! :-)

    • Hello, Sierra! Thanks for letting us know you learned something new about huckleberries today! We appreciate your comment! :-)

    • We thought that was really neat to learn, too, Selina! We bet people in Idaho make some really yummy dishes using huckleberries! :-)

    • We really like watching Huckleberry Hound cartoons, Jared, and we’re glad you do, too! They make us laugh a lot! :-)

  4. I think huckleberry plants are cool. At my school, we learned about Mount Saint Helens and in the book it talked about the huckleberry plant and how it was a colonizer.

    • Thanks for sharing the background knowledge you had about today’s Wonder, Taylor! We really liked hearing the connection you made to something you already knew about huckleberries! :-)

  5. I think this wonder is awesome, I even heard that Huckleberry Finn was named that because he was short and not as good in school.

    • Well, we think YOU are AWESOME, Rylan! Thanks for sharing what you thought about today’s Wonder and also that cool fact about Huckleberry Finn! :-)

  6. I never knew that huckleberries can be blue and red! That’s very cool! I read the things you guys put under the video.

    Bye

    • We thought that was a really cool fact about huckleberries, too, Tiarra! We hope you have a WONDERful day today! :-)

  7. Yay. We noticed that the video said Montana. We live in Montana. Mr. Fines has had a piece of pie from the Huckleberry Patch too! He said it was delicious. We are hungry now. “SEND PIE” please ;)

    Have a good day Wonderopolis!

    • We were kind of hoping you guys might send US a nice, big slice of pie, KF Dragons! Thank you for sharing that super cool connection Mr. Fines has to today’s Wonder…YUM! :-)

    • We’ll both have to do some more WONDERing about the law, but we thought the pie in the video looked amazing, too, Colin! Thanks so much for visiting Wonderopolis today! :-)

  8. Dear Wonderopolis,
    We really like the video on huckleberries because they look tasty and delicious. We learned that huckleberries grow in pretty colors. Have a very berry good day!
    Sincerely,
    Kids in Room 305

    • Thanks for this WONDERful comment, Mrs. Kennedy and Room 305 Kids! It really made us smile! We had a BERRY good day and we hope you guys did, too! :-)

    • We WONDER the same thing, Mr. P. and Mr. Spain’s 2nd graders! Maybe the punishment is not getting to eat huckleberry pie for a WHOLE year! That sounds like torture to us! Thanks so much for visiting Wonderopolis today! :-)

    • We think you would like huckleberries, Ashlyn! They can be sweet, sour…and delicious! We hope you get to try one soon! :-)

  9. I did not know that about huckleberries! That is like the coolest thing ever! I’m here with my friend “Kiley” who really likes this website! We both did not know that about huckleberries! “Kiley” really likes sugar and gets really hyper when she had it! I gave her some sugar and she started to scream! (in a good way though! )
    See you tomorrow, Mak

    • Thanks for hanging out in Wonderopolis together, Mak and Kiley! We think it’s SO COOL that you guys are learning new things about huckleberries! We hope you BOTH have an AWESOME weekend! :-)

    • We hope you had a great day hanging out with Kiley, Mak! We think it ROCKS that you visited Wonderopolis together and learned some cool facts about huckleberries! :-)

    • Thanks for sharing what you thought about this Wonder of the Day®, Joe! Part of the fun of visiting Wonderopolis is finding out a little bit about something and then being inspired to WONDER more about it on your own! We encourage you to set out on your own WONDER adventure to learn more about huckleberries! :-)

  10. Hi, wonderopolis team!

    This comment is about huckleberries. Huckleberries are very popular in Idaho and Montana, (I was there a couple of years ago) but I had ssssoooooooooooo many huckleberry chocolates and huckleberry smoothies. I think the smoothies were the best.

    • Thanks for sharing about the yummy huckleberry treats you got to try in Montana, Adam! We think they both sound AWESOME! We will have to try a huckleberry smoothie sometime soon! :-)

  11. Dear Wonderopolis,
    Cool wonder! A huckleberry is a kind of berry that you can make into a pie. I think tomorrow’s wonder is about bugs.
    XOXOXOXOXO,
    Paige ;)

    • Thanks for sharing what you learned about huckleberries today, Paige! We always appreciate your AWESOME comments! :-)

  12. One of the good wonders. This was not my favorite. My Aunt Krissty lives in Idaho. When I go visit her we bake huckleberry pie. Idaho is a really cool state. Aunt Krissty <3s huckleberry juice, all natural.

    • Huckleberry juice sounds yummy, Food Allergy Girl! We really appreciate you letting us know what you thought about this Wonder of the Day®! :-)

    • We have heard from LOTS of Wonder Friends who say they do taste great, Amaya! Thanks for stopping by Wonderopolis today and leaving us this SUPER comment to let us know you were here! :-)

  13. Hey wonderopolis! Thanks for the great video and article about huckleberries! I never knew about them…..I really want to try one!

    Ashley

    • We tried a huckleberry just the other day, Claire, and it was AWESOME! We hope you get to try one, too…VERY SOON! :-)

  14. Oooh sounds good!:) Have you ever had vegimite? It’s a popular Australian snack. But most people don’t like it because it has a salty taste. You have to adjust to it. I love it!!!!:)

    • WOW! Thanks for sharing about that awesome Australian snack, Liam! We have never heard of vegimite, but now we are WONDERing more about it! It’s GREAT to have Wonder Friends (like you) in other parts of the world…we like learning about new cultures and foods and you are helping us do that! THANKS! :-)

  15. Once I was at my aunt’s house in Quebec, Canada in a fruit patch. I saw some huckleberries.
    I tasted them right from the bush and it tasted really good! The pie on the video that the people were eating looked really good! I would like to try it someday!

    • You’re right, Julie! That pie DID look really good! We could go for a slice of yummy huckleberry pie right now! We WONDER if the Wonderopolis Bakery has any huckleberry pies for sale today? We might just head over there later to find out! :-)

  16. I never knew about huckleberries. Thank you for the information. I do know that berries are very good for you, I found them to be a great antioxidant. My mother uses berries to help her with her gout!! It’s very good for you. Adding berries to your diet is extremely healthy and good for you.
    This site is so informative. It’s like going to school all over again. Thank you so much!!

    • We are so glad to hear you have learned something new about these nutritious berries, Jeff! How right you are about a healthy diet and making sure you get those antioxidants in there! Glad to hear the berries have been helpful to your mom, too! So happy to have you learning with us– thank you for joining! :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Share

  • Wonderopolis on Facebook
  • Wonderopolis on Pinterest
  • Print

Have you ever wondered…

  • What is a huckleberry?
  • Are huckleberries the same as blueberries?
  • What does the phrase “I’m your huckleberry” mean?

Wonder Gallery

Try It Out

Ready to have a berry good time? Whether or not you have access to huckleberries where you live, your local grocery store probably has a variety of berries available throughout the year.

When they’re in season, fresh berries—from blueberries and raspberries to strawberries and blackberries—taste great and are a healthy part of a nutritious diet. Berries aren’t in season year-round, though. Luckily, most grocery stores carry a variety of frozen berries in the freezer section all throughout the year.

Browse the berry-licious recipes below online and choose one or two to try at home. Invite a friend over to help, if you want. If necessary, make a trip to the store for any berries or other supplies you may need. Have fun and save some for your Wonder Friends!

 

Still Wondering

Huckleberries and other fruits can be part of a nutritious diet. Explore Science NetLinks’ Nutrition 2: Good Food, Good Health lesson to learn about ways in which food provides energy and nutrients for our bodies.

 

Wonder Categories/Tags

Wonder What’s Next?

Dance on over to Wonderopolis tomorrow for a Wonder we hope won’t bug you too much!

Upload a Photo or Paste the URL of a YouTube or SchoolTube Video.