Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (1896-1953), Cross Creek
, 14 (Toady-frogs, lizards, antses, and varmints
Martha," I asked, "just exactly what is a varmint?"
"Why, a wild-cat be's a varmint, Sugar," she said. "Skunks be varmints, an' 'coons an' foxes an' 'possums. Minkses, too. A panther be's a varmint, an' a bear. All them wild things, Sugar, out in the woods. Tigers be varmints, an' lions. A lion," she said earnestly, "he'll kill you right now. We ain't got tigers an' lions, praise God, but did we have, they'd be varmints."
"But a cow, now, Sugar, hit ain't a varmint. Nor a hog. Them's beas'es."
"Heap o' folkses be varmints," she said.
A varmint then, is any one of the wild things in the woods either definitely predatory or of no domestic service. A human varmint is one who possesses skulking qualities and may be expected to be "low down."