The armadillo (the little armored one) has had many nicknames. “Hoover Hog” was originally applied to the jackrabbit after Herbert Hoover’s Great Depression, but the nickname was also applied to the armadillo. “Poor man’s pig” or “poverty pig” also describe the armadillo as a dish for those who can’t afford better.
31 January 1931, New York Times, pg. 1:
The natural game of the country has vanished, been hunted to extinction, not a raccoon is left. And as for rabbits, they are so rare that they are called “Hoover hogs.”
19 October 1952, New York Times, Text of Addresses by Stevenson in San Antonio and Houston, Tex., pg. 82:
In those days, I’m told, there were people in Texas, one of the richest states in the nation, who actually didn’t have enough to eat. They went out on the plains and caught armadillos and ate them under the name of “Hoover hogs.”
6 July 1961, Hayward (CA) Daily Review, pg. 12:
As it happens, the armadillo is very good eating itself, so much so that it is known as the “poor man’s pig” throughout much of the South.
27 April 1962, Salisbury (MD) Times, pg. 2:
The armadillo is known as the “poor man’s pig” in parts of Texas.
6 May 1979, New York Times, pg. 26:
Called “Hoover Hogs” and “Poverty Pigs” during the Depression, armadillos are eaten by quite a few Southerners, although armadillo-lovers cannot seem to agree on whether they taste like pork, rabbit or venison.
20 September 1992, New York
Wildlife Chronicles “Armadillo—Poor Man’s Pig.”
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (1) Comments • Thursday, August 24, 2006 • Permalink
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