Sin-eater

Definitions

  • Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • ns Sin-eater one of a class of men formerly employed in Wales to eat a piece of bread and drink a cup of ale placed on a bier, and so symbolically take upon themselves the sins of the deceased—due to the notion of the Levitical scapegoat (Levit. xvi. 21, 22)
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Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. syn, sinn; Ice. syn-d, Ger. sünde, L. sons.

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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