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hayseed

[hey-seed]
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noun
  1. grass seed, especially that shaken out of hay.
  2. small bits of the chaff, straw, etc., of hay.
  3. an unsophisticated person from a rural area; yokel; hick.

Origin of hayseed

First recorded in 1570–80; hay + seed
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hayseed

Historical Examples

  • “Damned if I will––hayseed,” he retorted with a meaning pause and accent.

    A Breath of Prairie and other stories

    Will Lillibridge

  • I allow you to—er—ornament my tree, and 'tain't every hayseed I'd let do that.'

    Cape Cod Stories

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • An' no jollyin' nor green money would change that hayseed's mind.

    Shorty McCabe

    Sewell Ford

  • He lives on hayseed,—everywhere he's found, But in the country he does most abound.

    A Phenomenal Fauna

    Carolyn Wells

  • Only a word now an' then about a farmer—an' somethin' about hayseed.

    The Panchronicon

    Harold Steele Mackaye


British Dictionary definitions for hayseed

hayseed

noun
  1. seeds or fragments of grass or straw
  2. US and Canadian informal, derogatory a yokel
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for hayseed

n.

1570s in the literal sense of "grass seed shaken out of hay," from hay + seed (n.). In U.S. slang sense of "comical rustic" it dates from 1875. To have hayseed in (one's) hair was a common mid-19c. way in U.S. to indicate a country person.

The opinion of the court was delivered by Justice Hunt; the chief justice, in whose hair the Ohio hayseed still lingers, delivering a dissenting opinion (etc.) ["The Chronicle," New York, Nov. 12, 1874]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper