From: Eric Bohlman
Subject: Re: Papers [How did we get here from 100R ?]
Date: 22 Dec 2002 17:40:00 GMT
Organization: OMS Development
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"John Jardine" wrote in
> These "Rednecks" I often read about. Do they regard themselves as
> that?, or are they just what I'd (in UK) generically know as
> 'scumbags' 'twats' and 'wankers'. E.g aggressive, uneducated rubbish?.
It's a poorly defined term, but in general usage it implies sort of what
you say, along with being from the Southern part of the US or at least from
a rural area, and holding racist, anti-intellectual and possibly
religious fundamentalist attitudes. If young, they may be fairly popular
in school and often athletes; they aren't generally regarded as "losers" in
their own communities, even though outsiders (particular urban Northerners)
may think of them that way. It's applied mostly to males, exclusively to
whites, and hardly ever to someone who grew up in an urban area.
The etymology of the term is that when the Confederacy lost the US Civil
War and slavery was abolished, a fair number of fairly spoiled young white
men found themselves having to work in the fields performing labor
previously performed by slaves. The slaves usually wore loose, floppy hats
to protect themselves against UV exposure, but the spoiled kids refused to
wear them because they didn't want to "act black." Therefore, their necks
turned red from the UV, and long-term non-spoiled white field workers (who
didn't share their hangups) dubbed them "rednecks."
The term is a fairly offensive pejorative, and is especially offensive when
applied to someone solely on the basis of where they live and/or grew up
without regard to their behavior and attitudes.