Green’s Dictionary of Slang

craw-thumper n.

[SE craw, the stomach + SE thumper, lit. breast-beater; Catholics were heavily represented among the founders of the colony that became the state of Maryland]

1. a Roman Catholic.

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[UK]‘Peter Pindar’ ‘Odes to the Royal Academicians’ Works I (1812) 93: We are no Craw-thumpers, no Devotees.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]W. Perry London Guide 221: A clergyman (of the thump craw kidney) was F.R.S. (i.e. Fellow Remarkably Sharp;).
[Ire]‘A Real Paddy’ Real Life in Ireland 14: The craw thumpers and soap-board crawlers denounced him as a miserable sinner.
[UK]Kentish Gaz. 8 Aug. 2/2: There certainly never was a fitter deputy for Diabolus [...] than the immaculate craw-thumper Dan.
[UK]Westmorland Gaz. 10 Aug. 4/5: ‘It is the cause,’ says this craw-thumper, ‘of genuine religion’. The Mass [etc.].
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[UK]Sl. Dict.
[UK]Public Ledger (Phila.) quoted in S. J. and C. 279: Wanted a servant-maid. No pulings or craw-thumpers need apply [F&H].
[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 78: Those crawthumpers, now that’s a good name for them, there’s always something shifty looking about them.
[Ire](con. 1890s) S. O’Casey Pictures in the Hallway 269: With Brodar shoutin’ at him for an oul’ crawthumper to get up an’ meet his doom.
[Ire](con. 1940s) B. Behan Borstal Boy 13: The others, the craw-thumpers, could not say anything against me.
[Ire]T. Murphy Crucial Week in the Life of a Grocer’s Assistant (1978) Scene ii: I’ve had enough of the knockers and the craw-thumpers after four days in this place.
[Ire]B. Quinn Smokey Hollow 99: He was always referring to Holy Joes and crawthumpers.

2. (US, also claw-thumper) a native of Maryland.

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[US]St Louis (MO) Reveille 14 May 2/4: The inhabitants of [...] Maryland [are called] Craw-thumpers [DA].
[US]Walla Walla Statesman 6 June 1/7: The inhabitants of Maryland are called Claw Thumpers [DA].
[US]Semi-Wkly Louisianan 31 Aug. 1/3: The Nicknames of the States [...] Maryland,crawthumpers; Michegan, wolverines; Minnesota, gophers; Mississippi, tadpoles; Missouri, pukes.
[US]North Amer. Rev. Nov. 433: Among the rank and file, both armies, it was very general to speak of the different States they came from by their slang names. Those from [...] Maryland, Claw Thumpers.
[US]Daily Trib. (Bismarck, ND) 11 June 2/2: Marylanders are ‘craw thumpers,’ a slang name for lobsters.
[US]C. McWilliams Southern Calif. Country 172: Marylanders are ‘crawthumpers’; Kentuckians, ‘corncrackers’; Mississippians, ‘tadpoles,’ and so forth [DA].

3. (Aus./Irish) an overtly pious individual.

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[Aus]Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 3 Oct. 1/1: The crooks, cronks and crawthumpers that are always gunning on the game.
[Ire]P.W. Joyce Eng. As We Speak It In Ireland.
[Ire]P. O’Keeffe Down Cobbled Streets, A Liberties Childhood 127: ‘I’ve no time for craw-thumpers,’ he said, resisting my mother’s efforts to have him attend what he called a ‘fire and brimstone’ preacher.
[Ire]Sun. Trib. (Dublin) 9 July n.p.: The Craw Thumper. Not as numerous as it once was, this noisy menace to public health has made a bit of a comeback lately [...] often congregates around the houses of rural ministers [BS].