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Old 02-11-2008, 02:17 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,199,962 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymous View Post
ani, I know what you mean.

Growing up, I was not allowed to use the word "redneck" in the negative way that many people use it. When you talked about rednecks, you were talking about the hard working people who grew your food, built your house, fixed your truck; like you said, the fella who would give you the shirt off his back. The unsophistication that characterized a 'redneck' was simply not something to make fun of or mock.

I don't see it as a north/south thing. I have some southern friends who grew up privileged, and they have that same, "Ewww.. rednecks" attitude that many transplants have. So to me it isn't the difference between someone from the north and someone from the south, it is the difference between someone who is humble, and someone who is arrogant.
Wonderful post! I think Loves has hit on it- the word has been "co-opted" by others to mean something different than the original meaning - and what we all grew up with. The elitist thing - the difference b/n someone who is humble and someone who is arrogant - very well put.

All I know is . . . good hearted, hard working people that I know . . . I am sure others would label "rednecks" meaning - ignorant and unsophisticated. Well, I for one enjoy being around people who speak from the heart, who enjoy their lives, regardless of socio-economic status . . .and who care about their families and communities - will give others a helping hand and take pride in doing a good well done. I guess to me, they are the salt of the earth and don't deserve being mocked or disparaged.

Seems to me Southerners are the only group left in this country that it is still okay to stereotype.

 
Old 02-11-2008, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,269 posts, read 88,588,589 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scorp200 View Post
Yeah, apparently so!

It's kind of one of those things though where because it's been co-opted, the word HAS changed meaning and is now a perjorative term, always will be used in that way. (there were some good points brought up in that other hot topic thread regarding this phenomenon).
BINGO Exactly what has happened.
 
Old 02-11-2008, 02:19 PM
 
3,353 posts, read 4,039,150 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymous View Post
You generally didn't call someone a redneck, but when you did, you were talking about the hard working people who grew your food, built your house, fixed your truck; like you said, the fella who would give you the shirt off his back.
This is really interesting...because the northerners would NEVER call that type of guy a redneck. In fact, it's that type of guy that has given the northeast a very romantic idea of southern hospitality, and is causing half of the state of New Jersey to move here! (well that...and cheaper housing)

Fascinating thread.

That seems to be the literal definition - if he's outside working he will get sunburn on his neck...but SO different than what it's become.
 
Old 02-11-2008, 02:21 PM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,269 posts, read 88,588,589 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scorp200 View Post
This is really interesting...because the northerners would NEVER call that type of guy a redneck. In fact, it's that type of guy that has given the northeast a very romantic idea of southern hospitality, and is causing half of the state of New Jersey to move here! (well that...and cheaper housing)

Fascinating thread.

That seems to be the literal definition - if he's outside working he will get sunburn on his neck...but SO different than what it's become.
Sad, huh? Isn't it interesting how the meanings of some words can be just taken over and changed that way. Look at the word "gay" for instance.
 
Old 02-11-2008, 02:23 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,199,962 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scorp200 View Post
This is really interesting...because the northerners would NEVER call that type of guy a redneck. In fact, it's that type of guy that has given the northeast a very romantic idea of southern hospitality, and is causing half of the state of New Jersey to move here! (well that...and cheaper housing)

Fascinating thread.

That seems to be the literal definition - if he's outside working he will get sunburn on his neck...but SO different than what it's become.
It has been a fascinating thread! I have thoroughly enjoyed everyone's responses!

I think I am seeing that the Jeff Foxworthy "celebration of Redneckhood" is a response to the word having changed meanings to so many people . . . and so it is a "let's celebrate" all the things that make us proud to be labeled "rednecks."

I dont think it is proper to label someone a 'redneck' when really - they are just plain old trifling and trashy.
 
Old 02-11-2008, 02:34 PM
 
1,166 posts, read 3,549,758 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovesMountains View Post
Ani, here is the definition of rednecks by people I know who consider themselves rednecks:

The nickname "redneck" has for generations in the south been used to describe the man who physically works hard to feed his family - either laboring in his fields or out on off shore oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.

Basically, rednecks got sunburned on the back of their necks from being bent over their work in the sun all day long. To have a red neck was a sign of being a hard worker, not some lazy bum content to live off of welfare or other assistence. Rednecks take pride in their hard work, take care of their families no matter what, acknowledge God and practice their faith without fear of being politically incorrect. Rednecks are just salt of the earth people - the first to help out in a time of need.

Now... unfortunately, other folks from other regions of the nation have co-opted this name and turned it into something it isn't - which is where some of the confusion comes from on the part of non-southerners. Outsiders now use this term as a way to stereotype anyone they see as ignorant, lazy, uneducated, etc. The reality of who rednecks are is actually just the opposite.
Loves, I like your definition.This is the definition that I taught my kids when they were growing up in Charlotte. I hate these facile epithets that we give people in order to put them down. I understand why many of my
former ESL students used this term so frequently. It was recognized as being derogatory even though they couldn't explain exactly what it meant. They didn't have enough control of the language to be precise about what they meant.

Just a thought. It is sad how we have come to disparage manual labor.
 
Old 02-11-2008, 02:39 PM
 
70 posts, read 215,973 times
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I currently live in west central Florida (for about three weeks before moving to the Charlotte area). Have lived here for about fourteen years and would say I have been exposed to the "redneck culture". First, I agree that the original term has been radically reapplied with a different meaning.

My current house here took about 26 months to build a couple of years ago. My house in Ft. Mill took 92 days.

I have used the term "redneck" to describe some of the people who sort of worked on my house. They would show about about 9 and leave when they earned enough for a six pack. Their pickups did have the Confederate Flag, their bumper sticker was "we don't care how you did it up North", they did not show up during hunting season. When the roofers left, there were more Skoal cans strewn about the property than I have ever seen.

Do you think there is some correlation about the time it took to build a house in the two locations and the work ethic of those involved?

Here it has pretty much become a derogatory term as has another not PC word used by and directed at African Americans. I think the same rationale applies, if you belong to that particular group, you can use the word differently (I still don't think it should be in the lyrics of songs though.) I don't think it should be used at all by anyone - we stopped seeing friends since they had to use it several times every time we saw them.

So work ethic, responsibility, certain cosmetic things (e.g., cars in the front yard) and values all come into play. I don't feel it is total snobbery for someone to use the term - just a display of values. Maybe different motivation as well. Obviously, what is important to one person is not as important to another.

I think Foxworthy's success is directly related to playing up the stereotype that the word has come to mean to so many people.

So, Ani, still not a definition but my two cents worth.

And a final line to make Ani smile: "Paddle faster, I hear banjo music". (From a T-shirt at the Olympic Whitewater Center in Ocoee, TN)
 
Old 02-11-2008, 04:13 PM
 
197 posts, read 617,204 times
Reputation: 70
For us -foreigners- this lessons are priceless.
Thanks ;-)
 
Old 02-11-2008, 04:20 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,199,962 times
Reputation: 22375
Quote:
Originally Posted by larry77 View Post
I currently live in west central Florida (for about three weeks before moving to the Charlotte area). Have lived here for about fourteen years and would say I have been exposed to the "redneck culture". First, I agree that the original term has been radically reapplied with a different meaning.

My current house here took about 26 months to build a couple of years ago. My house in Ft. Mill took 92 days.

I have used the term "redneck" to describe some of the people who sort of worked on my house. They would show about about 9 and leave when they earned enough for a six pack. Their pickups did have the Confederate Flag, their bumper sticker was "we don't care how you did it up North", they did not show up during hunting season. When the roofers left, there were more Skoal cans strewn about the property than I have ever seen.

Do you think there is some correlation about the time it took to build a house in the two locations and the work ethic of those involved?

Here it has pretty much become a derogatory term as has another not PC word used by and directed at African Americans. I think the same rationale applies, if you belong to that particular group, you can use the word differently (I still don't think it should be in the lyrics of songs though.) I don't think it should be used at all by anyone - we stopped seeing friends since they had to use it several times every time we saw them.

So work ethic, responsibility, certain cosmetic things (e.g., cars in the front yard) and values all come into play. I don't feel it is total snobbery for someone to use the term - just a display of values. Maybe different motivation as well. Obviously, what is important to one person is not as important to another.

I think Foxworthy's success is directly related to playing up the stereotype that the word has come to mean to so many people.

So, Ani, still not a definition but my two cents worth.

And a final line to make Ani smile: "Paddle faster, I hear banjo music". (From a T-shirt at the Olympic Whitewater Center in Ocoee, TN)

Enjoyed your comments, Larry!!! And yes - I have seen a T-shirt w/ that statement on it and I laughed so hard . . . after I figured out what it meant!!!!

I am so serious - wouldn't go near a kayak/canoe/tube for a long time unless I was w/ a very large group w/ athletic guys who could beat someone up . . .
 
Old 02-11-2008, 04:35 PM
 
4,222 posts, read 6,730,633 times
Reputation: 1560
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerseygirl34 View Post
I equate "redneck" with people that don't take care of their bodies or their property. When i see someone chain-smoking or living in a house with a pile of crap and ten cars in the yard, I see red.
Americans in general are notorious for not taking care of their bodies all over.
No monopoly there.
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