For some time now, I’ve been part of a loose group of seekers trying to find the origin of the word Cackalack or Cackalacky or Kackalack or some variation thereof.
@radiomayonnaise alerts me that Word Detective is now on the case. Here. Dr. Connie Eble, Dr. Glenn Hinson, and in particular Bonnie Taylor-Blake offer good information but no final answer.
Bonnie pushes the documentation date back to Kathleen Kimball’s play “The Meat Rack” in 1972. It should be noted that although the line in the play refers to South Cackalacky and Charleston in particular, that Kimball was living in Asheville, NC when she wrote it.
One thing that Dr Eble and Bland Simpson and I were able to recall but not document is that during the mid-1960s both Bland, who was living in Coastal NC, and me, living in Charlotte, heard the term Cackalack used. Those who used the term in both cases were enlisted men — Marines from Jacksonville or Soldiers from Fayetteville — who were unhappy about being stuck down here in Cackalack.
I’ve seen no written evidence of this usage, but would love to hear/see anything anyone finds.