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The word Tar Heel (or, Tarheel) is the nickname given to someone who is a native or resident of North Carolina, the Tar Heel State.

The term allegedly comes from the Colonial Era in which tar was one of North Carolina's major products. It came from the workers who walked through the forrest accumulating the tar on their shoes.

A more colorful explanation comes from the Civil War in which North Carolinian soldiers were abandoned by other retreating soldiers to fight alone. Upon returning to the retreaters, the "Tar Heel Boys" told the other soldiers, "Next time we'll put tar on your heels to make them stick," insinuating that they won't be able to flee.
"God bless the Tar Heel boys," General Robert E. Lee exclaimed, on hearing the story.
by Giskard July 13, 2004
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2
Name for the athletics teams at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dean Smith was the coach of the basketball Tar Heels and is regarded as the greatest coach in the history of college basketball. He compiled 879 career victories as well as 2 national championships.
The Tar Heels kicked the crap out of the Duke Blue Devils and Coach K last night. I see back pain in Coach K's future.
by bmw5233 September 10, 2006
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3
someone who lives in the state of north carolina, but more commonly someone who goes to UNC..one kick ass school. most known for their mad skills in college bball, their biggest rivals are dookies, or alumni/students of duke u. aka the biggest losers in the world. the fans are loyal, the campus is gorgeous, and the colors are hot. (white and light blue)
the north carolina tar heels won the national championship in college basketball this year.
by rashad lover July 31, 2005
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4
An occupant of UNC-Chapel hill. A fairly smart, pretentious hick. Someone who probably couldn't make it in to Duke.
My brother hates when Duke wins, because he is a Tar Heel
by prole guy March 01, 2005
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5
Faggot polesmokers who worship the queerest color under the sun and swear it's a virtue. To wit: "God must love Carolina, he made the sky Tarheel Blue." Fucking Biff and Buffy wannabe East Coast effeminate types who routinely switch gender roles in twisted rituals involving strap-ons. Often preceded with the word "fucking".
by Muck November 03, 2004
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6
someone that is so full of shit that every time they take a step a brown spot is left from where their foot hit the ground, thats not tar on their heels, thats definitly some shit
I was walking on franklin street and i noticed it smelled bad, really bad, my friend looked at me and said "man, its just b/c all the tarheels, here take this gas mask and breath in some good air" to which i responded "thanks, this place is full of shit"
by andy w. from cary March 12, 2005
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7
Tar Heels were militia men from North Carolina who never ran from battle and always stood their ground, as if they had tar on their heels, so they were given the name Tar Heels. The Tar Heel is also the mascot of the University of North Carolina, which is a great school.
The Tar Heels fought bravely in the battle.
The Tar Heels won the national championship in basketball.
by been jammin June 25, 2005
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