potter's field

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potter's field

A place where the indigent or the unknown are buried. A reference to the Bible, "So they conferred together and bought the potter's field with it as a burial place for foreigners" (Matthew 27:7). Primarily heard in US. The work was so grueling that a great number of immigrant laborers who built the railroads across this country ended up in some potter's field or another before the job was complete.
See also: field
References in periodicals archive ?
potter's field may be observed at City Cemetery on New York City's Hart Island, which was opened in 1869 and brings the efficiency and scale of the Industrial Revolution to the medieval pauper's grave.
A change in burial practices favoring cremation will not in most cases, however, divert the road away from potter's field.
Although more inexpensive burial practices only marginally affect the volume of indigent burials, a social worker may be called on to intervene in a more subtle manner; a crematory may itself become a sort of potter's field.
Similarly, in 1893 Lucius Nieman of the Journal granted the request of a delegation of newsboys who showed up in his office, "hands washed and hair combed," to borrow money to save fourteen year-old Freddy Munk, one of twenty-five Journal newsboys, from burial in a potter's field.
This caring is best symbolized by their efforts to save each other from the potter's field.
I thought of my own precious mother, whose remains had slumbered for years in a quiet and beautiful spot, marked with a clean and tasteful slab of marble; and then of my dear father, who was buried in a very different way almost uncared for, in the Potter's Field.