for a person from the state of South Carolina
magazine, founded in 1967
, seems to have popularized it; their web site says one of the earliest known references is from an "1865
diary. The chronicler described as a 'piney-woods sand lapper' a backwoods woman in western SC
in public." An Arkansas
history uses the term also, as an insult mountain
dwellers used for those who lived in the bottomland
I can't find any particularly complimentary origins, but South Carolinians seem to be willing to reclaim the term.
In third grade, my school there watched a TV show on South Carolina history which had a theme song with these lyrics (and from a few online lesson plans and the testimony of my ten-year-old brother, this is still being taught almost twenty years later):
We are good sandlappers,
Yes, we're good sandlappers,
And we're mighty proud to say
That we live
Yes, we live
In the very best state
Of the USA!