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clay eater

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noun Usually Disparaging.
(in the South Atlantic States) a term used to refer to a poor, uneducated person from a rural area.
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Origin of clay eater

An Americanism dating back to 1835–45

usage note for clay eater

This term refers to the eating of clay-rich dirt, a persistent custom among poor white and Black people in some rural areas of the South.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

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