Posted by Word Camel on September 03, 2002
In Reply to: Trailer Trash - term origin? posted by ESC on September 03, 2002
: : : : I have been looking, without much luck, for the origin of the term "trailer trash". I am guessing it is relatively new and may even be linked with the development of the "manufactured home" market in the 80's and 90's. It's not listed in the 1981 edition of the American Heritage Dictionary.
: : : : It seems to be a catchier equivalent to "white trash", the derogatory term used to describe poor whites in the American south. So far the Internet has yielded nothing.
: : : I'll look in my references this evening. I've just heard it in recent years. It probably goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway. This is a really hateful term.
: : I don't know if I'd go that far. I'd like to reserve the category of Hate to those bigotries that are turly poisonous and tend towards injustice and, eventually, violence. "Trailer trash" seems to more like cultural intolerance and parochialism, snobbery, and disdain. It's got a bit of a nasty edge, but I don't think it rises to the level of hate. (Then again, maybe it's my
: : skewed values. I don't believe cultural intolerance is as irrational or potentially violent as racial or religious intolerance.)
: I stand by my statement and am ready to rumble. What I am talking about specifically is the impact on children who live in trailers. Hearing a term like "trailer trash" does damage that lasts forever.
I know what you mean, I always want to hit people when they use this term. My sister-in-law grew up in a trailer and where my folks live on the plains, wages are so low it's one of the only forms of housing people can afford. It's really snobby and vicious. Personally, I like the term "lumpen" for the most backwards sections of society - among which there many who throw around the term "trailer trash" because it makes them feel superior.
Avenging Angel Camel