One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
As a mass noun or in plural Originally in the language of African Americans of the southern United States: poor white people of low social status, especially when regarded as uneducated or uncultured.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in Port Folio. From poor white + folk, after white folks.
poor white folk/ˌpʊə ˈwʌɪt fəʊk//ˌpɔː ˈwʌɪt fəʊk/
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