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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).


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white trash (uncountable)

  1. (US, idiomatic, derogatory, ethnic slur) A poorly-educated white person or, collectively, white people of low social status.
    • 1919, H.P. Lovecraft, Beyond the Wall of Sleep[1]:
      Among these odd folk, who correspond exactly to the decadent element of “white trash” in the South, law and morals are non-existent; and their general mental status is probably below that of any other section of the native American people.
    • 2017, “Tonya Harding”, performed by Sufjan Stevens:
      Just some Portland white trash / You confronted your sorrow / Like there was no tomorrow / While the rest of the world only laughed
    This white trash can't pay for his own beer.
    These lowlife characters are white trash.



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