It is a well-known fact that the poor, or “The Great Unwashed” as they like to be called, prefer to eat the crude remnants of meals that their betters, “The Mostly Washed” and “The Squeaky Clean,” find gracing their dinner tables on a regular basis.
The poor, it has been found, do remarkably well on a diet of gruel, rinds, crusts and scraps —and on special occasions enjoy dishes concocted entirely from foraging weeds, wild roots, and hedgerow berries, perhaps seasoned with a mouse or starling the cat has brought in.
The Criminal Element aren’t content to wait for the charity basket, and are often caught poaching larger game such as raccoons and squirrels from the vast tracts of private property owned by God’s Chosen People. For their crimes they are whipped and placed in stocks in the town square so that Honorable Guildspeople can pelt them with excrement.
Hence the name.
A Plain Cookery Book for the Working Classes, Charles Elmé Francatelli, The Scolar Press, 1852