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

  • And he walked on the caper, white trash chutzpah carrying him through, no one informing the police powers that be that a dead man robbed the Happy Time Liquor Store, drove a stolen La Salle up to the front door of Sergeant Turner “Buzz” Meeks, then shot out his living room wall and escaped on foot.

    The Big Nowhere

  • We fancied ourselves “Alpine Bohemians,” and not the white trash we would have appeared to most people.

    Roseanne Archy

  • You forget, I know the kind of cur you are - I heard you that day at Greystones, when my husband and his white trash caught you, and you whimpered and grovelled like a whipped nigra wench! "

    Flashman and the angel of the lord

  • Danny pegged her as bad cop stuff: the Department’s mandatory eighteen-month jail tour would probably send her off the deep end and into the arms of the first male cop who promised to take her away from dyke matrons, Mex gang putas and white trash mothers in for child abuse.

    The Big Nowhere

Comments

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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