Cookout Meaning: What Does this Slang Term “Cookout” Mean?

What does Cookout mean? If you live in the Southern United States, it is important to know the meaning of this phrase because if you were thinking it meant the same thing as a barbecue then you would be incorrect. Below you will find the most accepted meaning of this slang term in all forms of communication, as well as some information about its origin and some other meanings if there are any to be found.

Conversation examples are given here in addition to this information so you can see how to properly use this phrase in the context of a normal conversation and hopefully gain a better understanding of this term’s definition. Lastly, you will discover some words or phrases that you can use in place of this term that will not change the meaning of the original term.

Cookout Meaning

What Does Cookout Mean?

This term is used most commonly on the internet and in text messaging to refer to a meal that is cooked outside, generally on a BBQ grill, that happens at someone’s home or in a public park. Generally, this event is attended by a group of people that consist of family and friends. In the northern United States, this is often referred to as a BBQ. However, this term is most widely used in the south. A barbecue in the southern states refers to a meal that is often much larger and much more complex in terms of food preparation.

Origin of Cookout

Although the exact origin is unknown regarding its first usage, the term originated in the southern states of the US as a means to tell a barbecue and this type of meal apart. In the south a barbecue means a whole different type of meal. Although barbecue is used in the West, Midwest, and the North to refer to the same type of meal as this slang term denotes, this term was necessary to tell the two apart in the South and thus this slang term was born. It is a simple compound word combining the words “cook” meaning to prepare and heat food and “out” referring to the outside.

Other meanings

There are currently no other known meanings for this slang term.

Conversation Examples

A conversation between two friends via text message.

  • Friend 1: Are you going to Mike’s cookout on the 25th?
  • Friend 2: Yes! I wouldn’t miss it!
  • Friend 1: Me neither! I will see you there then. It will be nice to have a get together to unwind before school starts again.

An online discussion between two Twitter users.

  • User 1: My family and I are having a cookout today! Do any of my friends want to come over for some hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill and maybe take a dip in the pool?
  • User 2: I do! I have nothing to do and your dad can cook some bomb food on that grill! What time should I be there?
  • User 1: You can come over whenever you want! It’s an all day thing! I will see you soon!
  • User 2: Okay that sounds awesome! I will call Joanne and see if she wants to come as well!
  • User 1: Great!

Synonyms for Cookout

There are some words and phrases that you can use to replace this term depending on the context that it is used in originally. Some words or phrases that you could use instead include:

  • barbecue
  • outside meal
  • outside party

Cookout Meaning Infographic