Sin eater

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Sin eater a man who (according to a former practice in England) for a small gratuity ate a piece of bread laid on the chest of a dead person, whereby he was supposed to have taken the sins of the dead person upon himself.
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Usage

In literature:

Yes, I was a doer of evil, and I became an eater of sin.
"Visionaries" by James Huneker
The first reference to the Sin-eater anywhere to be found is in the Lansdowne MSS.
"British Goblins" by Wirt Sikes
Well, someone saw you trampling the heather down the slope that is in front of the house, and said, 'It is the Sin-Eater!
"The Best Psychic Stories" by Various
OLD CUSTOM OF SIN-EATERS AT FUNERALS.
"Curiosities of Christian History" by Croake James
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In news:

Argyle the sin -eater came the day after— a narrow, hungry man whose laughter and the wicked upturn of his one eyebrow put the local folks in mind of trouble.
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