What Is a Hoover Hog?

Before the Great Depression, impoverished families who dines on armadillos referred to them as
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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."

1 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.

Ruth Nix began her career teaching a variety of writing classes at the University of Florida. She also worked as a columnist and editorial fellow for "Esquire" magazine. In 2012, Nix was featured in the annual "Best New Poets" anthology and received the Calvin A. VanderWerf Award for excellence in teaching from the University of Florida.