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[hoo-ver-vil] /ˈhu vərˌvɪl/
a collection of huts and shacks, as at the edge of a city, housing the unemployed during the 1930s.
Origin of Hooverville
H. Hoover + -ville, suffix in place names (< French: city < Latin; see villa) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Word Origin and History for hoovervilles


1933, American English, from U.S. president Herbert C. Hoover (1874-1964), who was in office when the Depression began, + common place-name ending -ville. Earlier his name was the basis of Hooverize "economize on food" (1917) from his role as wartime head of the U.S. Food Administration.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hoovervilles in Culture

Hoovervilles definition

The encampments of the poor and homeless that sprang up during the Great Depression. They were named with ironic intent after President Herbert Hoover, who was in office when the depression started.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for hoovervilles



A slum of makeshift shacks where unemployed workers live

[1930s+; fr President Herbert Hoover, who was president during the early years of the Great Depression]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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