"Redneck: - Define This Term

Just as the title implies. I’ve having an argument on can.politics as to what the term is, today, usually used to refer to. When you say this word, what sort of person are you referring to?

A redneck is a lower-class white of the south. The kind of guy who hangs up a gun rack in his pickup and puts the Stars and Bars on the hood of his truck. Politically, they are very Theocratic Conservative, and many resent what they see as a Liberal-Atheist Government in Dee-Cee trying to run their lives, make their kids gay potheads, and complete the New World Order/One World Government (yes, black helicopters). They may not all be racist, but don’t be shocked if some listen to racist ‘shock-jocks’ or belong to anti-black, anti-gay, etc. groups. They can be amazingly friendly if you are in their clan, but don’t you dare differ from them in any way. The pack mentality runs strong in them, young one, fight them at your own peril.

Yup. ::spits a mouthful of tobacco juice:: Whut Derleth said. Damn straight.

Sayyyyyy, whut the fuck kahnda name is “Derleth,” ennywey? Yew ain’t wunna them Funnyboys, is ya? [sub]Psst, BillyBob, git the rope.[/sub]

Although strictly speaking a redneck may be a “lower class white of the south,” it’s also used for lower class whites anywhere. Also, redneck has a very strong rural connotation.

As, so far as I can tell at this point, the only one from the south to post to this…

A couple corrections to the above post, rednecks are not restricted geographically, they can be found most anywhere. [sub]thanks JeffB, you type faster[/sub] And, all of us here in the south aren’t rednecks. “Bubbas” don’t have an exclusive on redneck-ness, there’s plenty of redneck “bubbettes” out there.

IIRC the term comes from people who worked out in the fields all day, possibly as stoop labor (that’s bent over, not a comment on intelligence), and got sunburned.

Redneck letter to Dear Abby
If me and my wife git divorced, are we still brother and sister?


Just in case any dopers from the DC/MD/NOVA area happen to check in here, is it just me & my family that call the town in MD about 50 miles north on I-270 “Fredneck” instead of Frederick?

I know that not all Southerners are rednecks. I have relatives down there in Dixie, and I visit every so often. But what most people (at least, most people I know) think when they hear the term ‘redneck’ is what I described.

And to fend off accusations of being anti-South, I love the region as a whole. There are few things that can compare to fried catfish and spicy ribs with collard greens and blackeyed peas on the side and ice-cold Coke to drink. And the North lacks the warm rains at night and the hot, humid summer storms the South’s climate is so adept at pulling off, two weather phenomenon I miss up here in Montana. Finally, even rednecks can be nice people. If you get accepted into a certain town’s ‘clan’, you need fear neither beast nor man nor Act of God for as long as you live there, and you get invited to some great rib BBQs.

Did I mention I liked good ribs? :smiley:

Me. I’m a redneck. As in I work in the sun and my neck is red (actually it’s a dark tan now). I guess that would make me a roughneck now. Maybe a redneck is a fledgling roughneck. I also happen to have a 4x4 (two of them, both Jeeps). I don’t have any guns here, I left them in Ontario. I think the southern idiot definition goes to white trash. Around here rednecks are the hard working salt of the earth types that would give you the shirt off of there backs if you needed it. True, our grammer is usally poor (see dangling participle in previous sentance)and our spelling isn’t all that hot either. Most in my area (southwest Louisiana) could be easily compared to the midwest farmers. Good folks.

And my soon to be father-in-law makes some great ribs.

Derleth, please be careful using the term “clan” when referring to groups of southerners, esp. rednecks. Change the first letter and you have a truly hateful group (actually several) that, unfortunately, colors (!) the opinions of non-southerners about the rest of us. Yes, I know that c clan has a noble Scotch-Irish heritage. But a bunch of idiots have sullied the word, altho intentionally spelt wrong. Surely there is a synonym. Group?

I don’t think rednecks have to be from the South. Also, although it did used to mean someone who was a farm worker with a sunburnt neck, the practical definition has since expanded. I would call a redneck someone who lived in a rural area and was lower-class.

“Redneck mentality” is something which greatly varies.

I’m proud to say I’m partly from Christiansburg, Virginia, home of the Mysterious Misaligned Mosque and the site of the last rifle duel in the East (IIRC, both duellers died). The first thing you need to know is this:

I ain’t no damned redneck.

And that’s the answer you’re going to get from every ‘backy spittin’, pickup drivin’, overall wearin’, cow-tippin’ snipe-huntin’ last one of 'em. Why?

Rednecks do not exist in the first person.

More properly expressed, you will likely hear this statement from someone you might suspect to be an Agro-American: “I ain’t no redneck, but I shore knowed some who was.”

And therein lies the conundrum. Nobody in Southern Virginia is a redneck, though they might have purchased a satellite dish simply to get better reception for Hee-Haw Night, or keep a cigarette-lighter powered spotlight for late-night hunting opportunities, or get confused when Bud and Bud Light are not the only two tap options at the local bar. There is always someone more red of the neck than yourself.

The definition is infinitely pared. Your buddy Ace is a redneck because he crashed his F-150 into the Epperly’s fox pens. Ace is not a redneck in his own mind because his buddy Bobby was the dumbass who spilled the Bacardi 151 all over the bench seat. Bobby ain’t the redneck because it was Cletus who decided to light the bowl in his lap after Bobby spilled 151 all over him. Cletus ain’t the danged redneck because it was his cousin Darrel (on both sides) who decided to change the oil in his Ranchero by simply draining it onto the street that evening there at the decreasing radius turn in the road, and hell, it was Ace who got bit on the nose by that fox anyway. And he’s an Epperly, too, and you know them sonsabitches is redneck through-and-through. Who in hell grows foxes but rednecks?

I suppose if you found the most forlorn hope for humanity, no doubt spending the weekend in jail after being yet again laid off as a waste-disposal officer of the Corning factory and getting picked up for his eleventh DWI, you might be able to get him to point in the direction of The One, True Redneck. But that guy would pump your ass full of rock salt from a twelver before you could pull your Honda out of the first set of ruts leading up to the cabin. And if he did bother to tell you something while lewdly eyeballing your daughter of any age, he’d likely say, “I ain’t no damned redneck.”

So there y’are.

Traditionally, “redneck” was used to describe southerners of the sort Sofa King so vividly described. Non-Southerners of similar socio-economic backgrounds were described as “white-trash”. That phrase is no longer considered PC in polite society, so today, “redneck” is used for everyone.

Down here, in PEI, we’ve been known to use redneck to refer to folk who look as if they were born wearing ball caps. What financial strata of society a person was born into, or occupies now, don’t have shit to do with whether they’re a redneck or not. An attitude of intolerance fueled by ignorance defines the redneck.

I’ve known some who learned their way out of redneckness – still working on that, myself.


Sure, that’s what they all say :slight_smile:

Well if you’re from Christiansburg, you probably know where Giles County is, where I live. There are bunches o’pickup trucks here with “Redneck” decals in the “No Fear” font colored in the stars and bars. Invariably, these trucks also have a a peeing Calvin sticker, NRA sticker, and a “vote yes on hunter’s rights” sticker.

I only have one sticker on my truck, a farm bureau “Pride in Agriculture, Virginia’s #1 Industry”. Hmm.

Is the Mysterious Misaligned Mosque still there? It’s that Floyd County influence, I tell you! Them Floyd County folks grow good stuff, but they are a little, um, different.

I like barbeque, light beer, bluegrass, civil war history, the mountains, etc. I have a Jeep on blocks in my yard, and an old Cadillac convertible (I swear it runs!) My garage is a lovely shade of faded tarpaper. I have a wood-fired hot-tub made from a 720-gallon galvanized cattle stock tank. I burn a wood stove almost all winter. I wear a ballcap, and drink the local shine. I’ve jumped cars on a ramp in a fallow 13 acre cornfield. I actually know a fella named “Fatback”.

Am I a redneck?

I am tolerant: I am not a racist and am tolerant of gays wiccans, whatever. I have a gay wrench-turning buddy and have been roommates with a lesbian. Like of the hillbillies around here, I subscribe to the “live and let live philosophy.” We might surprise you citified folk–if you gave us a chance. As a whole, we are not more or less ignorant or intolerant as any other group of people.

But, of course, Giles County is not Christiansburg, and

We ain’t no damned rednecks!

Many people I know resent the word “redneck” as applied by the mainstream media, and to these people it is as offensive as using “nigger”. I’m sure I’ve been stereotyped as a redneck by some, but I’m not ignorant, or intolerant. Basically:

I ain’t no damned redneck.

Nevertheless, we sometimes apply it to our friends, as SofaKing mentioned. “Fatback, you damn redneck, are you letting your horse drink your beer again?” I have actually uttered this sentence. I know a lot of redneck jokes.

I’ve heard tell that some blacks similarly use “nigger” to describe each other on friendly terms, but I cannot vouch for this.

Sofa King: do you seriously know someone raising fox?

I refer you to Jeff Foxworthy, master of the definition of the term “Redneck”. Being one, he should know.

“If you spent the weekend with your richest relative taking the wheels off his new home, you might be a redneck.”

“If vintage champagne comes in a pop top can, you might be a redneck.”

He has about a million of them.

I also refer you to the humor of the late Jerry Clower, who is one man who could crack me up in a second. His tapes and CDs are still on sale.

And anyone who thinks Fredrick, MD is “Fredneck” should visit it (as I did with my wife last night). It has a downtown area that is congenial and distinctive. One memory: a cigar and British goods store, with a unique and very personal selection of goods for sale. My own town of Leesburg has a much better claim on the term “redneck”, thank you very much.

[hijack] Brunswick, MD is a strange little town. It looks for all the world like a seaside town picked up by aliens and dropped in the foothills of the Blue Ridge. If you want a town that looks more redneck than either Fredrick or Leesburg, try Brunswick, a truly unique little place. [/hijack]

I like the term “hillbilly” myself, in that it encompasses both of the above, as well as alludes to having a long ZZ Top beard and a jug of moonshine. (“XXX” on the side optional.)

Don’t you mean RC cola? Followed by dessert----moonpies!

What’s a redneck? My neighbor. Outward appearance: jeans with the hem shredded, t-shirt covered with flannel shirt with the sleeves ripped off two inches below the shoulder seam, turkey platter for a belt buckle, hair below the collar but bald on top, covered with ballcap (always nascar, john deere, snap-on, or bass fishing), scraggly wanna-be beard, 6’3", 160 pounds wet. Dreams: to be the first combination country singer/pro-wrestler. (Says he’s currently considered accepting a 3 million dollar wrasslin contract… but that would pull him away from his job at Midas Muffler) Nighttime activities: Drinking beer, watching wrassling tapes, and going around to the neighbors trying to bum money, smokes, ice, etc. (asked Turbo Dog if he could borrow his sweatpants for his first week of wrassling practice… that was an interesting exchange, btw…) But apparently around here, rednecks aren’t rednecks… they are hoosiers cuz rednecks live in the south. West coast we just called em cowboys. Turbo Dog says that rednecks are in the north too, but they are referred to as The Finnish, at least by the Norwegians.

Sorry if I offend, but I just used a word that implies close-knit unity beyond simple fraternization without directly implying family relations.

From watching a lot of cheesy biker movies, I gathered that there was another meaning of “redneck”: clean-cut, cowboy hat-wearing dudes who would rather die than have long hair. It seemed that there was a clear distinction between “bikers” and “rednecks”, two groups who hated each other and usually got into a big brawl accompanied by rockin’ guitar on the soundtrack.

I guess this definition has been left in the past huh? Damned if I know; I’m in Toronto and I’ve never really heard “redneck” at all, except in a jokingly pretending way.