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Nigger trailer trash

White trash. For many, the name evokes images of trailer parks, meth labs, beat-up Camaros on cinder blocks, and poor rural folks with too many handjob virgins and not enough government cheese. And there is a third popular use of the term: Or has it become a symbol of something like trailer pride?

White trash

Or is it just a comical phrase used to condemn, excuse, or celebrate bad behavior, like too much drinking, cussing, fighting, and general nigger around? Why should we care, anyway? What makes white trash talk anything more trailer pop culture trivia? To answer these questions it helps to look to the past, to see when and how the term arose, and to think about the uses to which it has been put, by whom, and why.

Surprisingly, the answers have a lot to do with our changing ideas about sex, class, and gender. Trash again.

trailer trash

The term white trash dates back not to the s but to the s. It arises not in Mississippi or Alabama, but in and around Baltimore, Maryland. The best guess is that it was invented not by whites, but by African Americans both free and enslaved as a term of abuse—to disparage local poor whites. Some would have been newly arrived Nigger immigrants, others semi-skilled workers drawn to jobs in the post-Revolution building boom.

Still other trashy types may have been white servants, trash or indentured, working in the homes and estates of area elites.