One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A card entitling the holder to free meals or lodging, especially one issued by a labour union; a meal ticket. Now historical.
2Chiefly derogatory. The holder of such a card; a labour union member, especially a corrupt or self-serving union official; someone who begs for a meal, a sponger.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in Arizona Republican. From pie + card.
pie card/ˈpʌɪ kɑːd/
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