The Great Depression saw the collapse of the United States' economy, rampant unemployment and a broad sense of hopelessness. At that time, President Herbert Hoover increasingly became, in the eyes of many Americans, a grim and inept leader. In turn, a new lexicon came into being -- words like "Hoovervilles," "Hoover blankets" and "Hoover hogs."

Words of Desperation

President Hoover quickly became one of many scapegoats for the Depression; his name was quickly attached to the the stark circumstances to which America's poor became accustomed. The newspapers draped over men and women sleeping in the streets became "Hoover blankets." Makeshift communities filled with shacks of tin and and cardboard became "Hoovervilles." Empty pockets pulled inside out became "Hoover flags." And all over the South, as starving families resorted to eating almost anything they could find, animals once seen only as pests became "Hoover hogs." These creatures included squirrels, jackrabbits and, most famously, armadillos.