Clod Hopper

Meanings of “Clod Hopper”‎

The phrase “clod hopper” means an awkward or foolish person. the phrase is often used to describe some unsophisticated from a rural area or the countryside, who does not know the niceties of urban culture.

Origin of “Clod Hopper”‎

The phrase “clod hopper” according to A New Dictionary of the Terms Ancient and Modern published in 1690 was used for farmers as it shows thus; “Clod-hopper, a Ploughman.” However, in the 19th century, it is stated that these were the names of the boots of the farmers, though, presently, it is used for uncouth and rustic people.

Examples in Literature

Example #1‎

1829: A Poem by Edward William Cox

Amid the multitude with mincing mien;
Clod-hoppers who have crack’d some twenty score
Of slip-slop verses, join the dreadful roar,
and love-sick girls and sentimental youths
Carry thier second-and poetic truths.
Here foams and frest a little lord, whose lays
the world will read not, though reviewers praise;
Here in seraphic mood lay lady stands;
And now far off, her maid presents a third.

William Cox talks about the scene of the year 1829 when some clod-hoppers met some girls of those times and wrote poetic lyres in their praises. He then, speaks about their nature, the poetic truths, and their moods at that time that the reviewers were expected praise books having such themes. The phrase has been used for the poor and rustic people in its literal sense.

Example #2‎

A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There by Aldo Leopold,

“Acts of creation are ordinarily reserved for gods and poets, but humbler folk may circumvent this restriction if they know-how. To plant a pine, for example, one need be neither god nor poet; one need only own a shovel. By virtue of this curious loophole in the rules, any clodhopper may say: Let there be a tree – and there will be one.”

The writer compares gods with the poets saying that both of them are creators of things. If the gods create the folks, the poets create poetry and poems. However, the simple people can do better than both by planting trees. He presents this beautiful similarity between the two, using this phrase without hyphen by which he means that it is being used for the simple rustic people who are not very smart like the poets and gods.

Example #3‎

For Edmund Hardy by Nisha Ramayya

I close my eyes
to change the weather
as moonstone must
be seen to sing with spite
lappered thick
and filthily stinked
oh dirty feet blood-clotter
oh grease monkey clod-hopper
oh cloud-devourer spit
out the tricks of the light
out the dreams of bookworm-in-bothy
out with the hawthorn hedge

The poet believes that whenever she closes her eyes, she sees a change in the weather as if the monsoon has arrived. She not only sees things clearly but also sees animals, giving her a reason to write about their tricks but then it occurs to her that it is all a trick of the lightening of the monsoon. The phrase clod-hoppers occurs in the sense of rather monkeys than the people.

Example #4‎

Surprised by Laughter Revised and Updated: The Comic World of C.S. Lewis by Terry Lindvall

Inch by inch, all the lout and clown and clod-hopper in him was revealed to his reluctant inspection; the coarse, male boor with horny hands and hobnailed shoes and beefsteak jaw, not rushing in – for that can be carried off – but blundering, sauntering, stumping in where great lovers, knights and poets would have feared to tread … how had he dared.

This passage about comedy in the works of C. S. Lewis, a famed British author. She has used the phrase in the very first line with a hyphen to show that Lewis has used all sorts of characters in his works including the rustics to show that he has presented realistic characters to create comedy. The phrase shows its literal meanings.

Example in Sentences

Example #1‎: Whether they are the urban youths or clod-hoppers, it does not matter here; what matters is that they should complete the task at hand.

Example #2‎: “When I came to my senses, I immediately saw many clod-hoppers standing on my door, making me almost feel amazement. It has never occurred to me that I was being taken over there to meet those people.”

Example #3‎: “Ronnie might be from the countryside but he’s not a clod hopper. He knows the difference between and a microwave and a grill oven.”

Example #4‎: “Whether you like it not, I do not feel any difference when standing by a clod-hopper, for they could be civilized like us or not like you.”

Example #5‎: “Mr. John Bernstine is a very civilized clod hopper, except when he is in a party eating and drinking.”