from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person (usually a man) who is supposed to take sins of a deceased person upon himself by means of eating a piece of bread, laid for him on the breast of the dead one.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a man who (according to a former practice in England) for a small gratuity ate a piece of bread laid on the chest of a dead person, whereby he was supposed to have taken the sins of the dead person upon himself.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


    Sorry, no example sentences found.


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • If you'd like to be bad to the bone and more evil than most people could possibly imagine, you might consider becoming a sin eater. If you're a dark underworld type who is terrified of going to heaven, read on ...

    As a sin eater, you will be responsible for consuming the evil and sins contained within the corpses of normal decent folk. When one of the godly community pops their clogs without getting the chance to own up to their wrongdoings, the sin gets trapped inside. As long as those bad things remain in there, St Peter's going to turn that individual away.

    This position involves going to the house of such a dead person and sitting down to a bread and beer supper served up on the bare chest of the dearly departed. The idea is that the sins of the dead are absorbed by the bread. So as you tuck in, you get to fill up on evil and so cleanse the stiff. You'll get a sixpence for your trouble, but don't expect to make many friends. And you'd better make yourself scarce when any witch-finding commissions come to town as you'll be one of the first on their list.

    July 8, 2008