Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Offensive Slang Used as a disparaging term for a poor white person or poor white people.
  • n. Offensive Slang Used as a disparaging term for a white person or white people perceived as being lazy and ignorant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Poorly educated white people of low social status.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (slang) an offensive term for White people who are impoverished

Etymologies

A shortening, first attested in 1850, of poor white trash, which black slaves in the Southern United States were said to call white individuals who worked in servile positions (for example as butlers). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • Infectious word like swine flu. My friend is a cultural antropologist/librarian, Native Americans being her main subject and she loves this word. I have grown to love it, too, I noticed. White trash has left the building on Capitol Hill... Woohoo! Life is good.

    May 2, 2009