• The popular etymology says that the term derives from such individuals having a red neck caused by working outdoors in the sunlight over the course of their lifetime. The effect of decades of direct sunlight on the exposed skin of the back of the neck not only reddens fair skin, but renders it leathery and tough, and typically very wrinkled by late middle age. Another popular theory stems from the use of red bandanas tied around the neck to signify union affiliation during the violent clashes between United Mine Workers and owners between 1910 and 1920. Some historians claim that the term redneck originated in 17th century Virginia, when indentured servants were sunburnt while tending plantation crops. An alternative origin of the term comes from Scotland. In Scotland, the National Covenant and The Solemn League and Covenant (aka Covenanters)signed documents stating that Scotland desired a Presbyterian Church Government, and rejected the Church of England as their official church. Many of the Covenanters Signed these documents using their own blood, and many in the movement began wearing red pieces of cloth around their neck to signify their position to the public. They were referred to as Rednecks. Many of the early inhabitants of the US South were of Scottish Descent, and according to this theory, this term was applied to many of the southern Scottish immigrants early on, eventually changing into the term we know today. "Redneck" and "Leatherneck" have also been associated with the U.S. Marine Corps. I would assume for the same reasons...working / staying outside for long periods of time.
  • in glasgow if u say "it was a ridkneck(redkneck)" then it means it was an embarssment!
  • My grandmother told me it originated in Michigan. Because of the red clay dust that collected on the workers sweaty necks. As a Marine, I know the term "Leatherneck" comes from when the Marines would board a pirate ship, they wore harness leather stocks around their necks to keep from having their heads cut off by the pirates they were fighting. Bill Walter Hickory, NC
  • Back in the day of Jesus and such, Witches were considered Rednecks and Hillbillies "because they hadnt gotten the "true word" (christianity) and that they lived in the hills" utter nonsense if u ask me
  • I think it's more of a southern term - referring to the color of a White farmer or other outdoor worker whose's upper body has become weather beaten or burnt by the sun. Initially it was a derogatory term that referred to the poorer Whites of the region who could not afford to slaves or indentured servants to till the land; whereas wealthy plantation owners could hire someone to work the land (or oversee those who did) and avoid the sun.
  • There is another little peice of history assioated with the term redneck. There was an uprising amoung miners in the early americas and a large number of miners marched to another mine in arms to stand up for the miners being abused at that mine. They wore red bandannas around their neck. I learned this in my american history class in high school... I wish I could find the information again if anybody knows please comment with a source.
  • I am not sure where the word originated from, but where I grew up if you were called a redneck it usually meant that you grew up on a farm on a dirt road that was about 10-20 miles away from the nearest main road. And that you dressed in nothing but jeans a tshirt and usually workboots and that you loved the outdoors and drive a dirty pickup. And your english wasnt the best and you do everything old fashioned and traditional. Just like a hillbilly, we grew up in the woods and hunting was a family sport. It was 'quality time' lol
  • In 1921, 10-15,000 unionized coal miners from West Virginia and Virginia marched on Mingo County, West Virginia to support the struggle of non-unionized miners. Legend has it that a reporter from New York (imagine that!) coined the term "redneck" beacause the union miners tied red bandanas around their necks to identify themselves. What resulted was the bloodiest battle fought on American soil since the Civil War- the Battle of Blair Mountain. The miners never made it to Mingo County- instead, the union uprising was put down in Logan County by a private army raised by the mine owners (complete with an air force!) as well as U.S. Army troops. Many of the union miners were brought to trial and were railroaded. So, when someone calls you a redneck, consider it a compliment. The name originally comes from working class people who put their lives on the line to defend the rights and dignity of other hard working people.
  • Heres my definition of a redneck women
  • The term "redneck" comes from, to my understanding, the answerbag's top answer's "alternative" definition. It does not originate from the sunburnt neck of a southern working man, but from the National Convenant and The Solemn League's religious struggles witht the English Church. Obviously, today, it is a term used much more loosely, but in all actuality, nobody today can accurately be deemed a redneck and it to be true to its original meaning.
  • Redneck originated in the coal fields of southern West Virginia when the miners wore red neckerchiefs in a show of solidarity to stand up to the coal companies and the Baldwin-Phelps detective agency, which were hired guns for the coal companies. This show of solidarity was the beginning stages for what is now the United Mine Workers Union. There is a movie called The Massacre at Matewan which covers some of the history behind this term. It as also a movie based on actual historical events that occured in these coal fields and mining towns.
  • Some may believe Jeff Foxworthy either developed the term “redneck” or it simply describes a poor, uneducated person from eastern Kentucky or southern West Virginia. It’s all simply not true. In fact, the term redneck originated in my home state of West Virginia, in an area known as the southern coalfields. In fact, it all concerns a large group of coal miners in protest to a murder and to become unionized – while wearing red bandanas around their necks – marched across the state and fought a bloody battle at Blair Mountain (West Virginia) in the fall of 1921. The protest is known as the largest armed uprising in U.S. history, while some 10,000-coal miners confronted state and federal troops in an attempt to unionize the coal miners of West Virginia. The month-long war was deemed the “Red Neck Wars” because of the red bandanas. And, one of the most notable of the battle’s union organizers was Mother Jones. To make a long story short…The spring of 1920 was a troubled time in the West Virginia Coalfields. A nationwide coal strike settled during the winter and won unionized miners a 27-percent wage increase. Unfortunately, the settlement didn’t help most miners in southern West Virginia, the largest non-unionized coal region in the country. When the United Mine Workers (UMW) stepped up its campaign to organize Logan (my hometown), Mingo and McDowell counties, coal operators wanted revenge and hired private detectives (Baldwin-Felts) to cancel all union activity. Miners who did join the UMW were fired and literally thrown from their company-owned houses. However, tension between the two sides exploded into deadly violence May 19, 1920 when 13 Baldwin-Felts detectives arrived in Matewan to evict union miners from houses owned by the Stone Mountain Mining Company. It was a time of anti-unionism and “yellow-dog contracts.” Before being hired by the Stone Mountain Mining Company, miners had to sign the contracts pledging never to join the mineworkers union or to associate with union members. In exchange for signing the contract and being committed to buying food and clothes from company-owned stores, mine workers and their families received jobs and homes to live in. As the coal industry began to boom, greedy company men began to pay less money to the mineworkers in order to make more money. To make things worse, the company would lower their payments to workers the same day they would raise the price of food and clothes in the stores where the workers had to shop. Folks opted to move to the area in order to make a nice life for themselves. But dealing with such gluttonous work politics on top of tough working conditions created turmoil. Well, Matewan Chief of Police Sid Hatfield became involved on behalf of the evicted families. And after the eviction of several families, the Baldwin-Felts detectives ate dinner at the Urias Hotel then walked to the depot to catch the 5 p.m. train to Bluefield, Virginia. However, Hatfield, who said he had warrants from the county sheriff, intercepted the detectives. Detective Albert Felts then produced a warrant for Hatfield’s arrest, which Matewan Mayor C.C. Testerman claimed to be a fake. All the while detective didn’t know they had been surrounded by armed miners, who were watching from windows and doorways all along Mate Street. During the face-off between the detectives, Hatfield and Testerman, more than 100 shots were fired. The bloody battle known today at the “Matewan Massacre” left seven detectives and four townspeople dead – including Felts and Testerman. Of course, Hatfield became a hero and was eventually acquitted of murder charges for his part in the massacre. However, in the summer of 1921 Hatfield and his associate Ed Chambers were shot to death by Baldwin-Felts detectives on the steps of the McDowell County Courthouse, where they were to stand trial for a shooting at a nearby coal camp. Learning of the murders, almost 10,000 united miners began the redneck march across the state of West Virginia to avenge the deaths and to drive Baldwin-Felts detectives out of the area once and for all. The march ended at Blair Mountain, where state and federal trooped defeated miners and halted the UMW’s campaign in southern West Virginia. Afterward, most of the southern coalfields remained non-union until 1933. So the next time you hear the word redneck, you can say it doesn’t have anything to do with being barefoot and pregnant nor does it describe a person living in a mobile home or in a trailer park. In fact the word redneck simply describes a group of men just wanting to make an honest and fair living.
  • I think it goes something like this:
  • one who has a red scarf
  • The term originally was use to describe striking coal miners. Now it is used as a slur for Southern Whites who don't act like Yankees. It is about the only Politically Correct slur that is accepted in our society. Others include Hick, Hayseed, Bumpkin, Yokel, Cracker, and others. Mostly used by condesending arrogant people who are attempting to elevate themselves without having to justify their illusion.
  • The term is actually probably Scottish in origin. Originally it had to do with people who wore red scarves as a sign of national and religious solidarity with the Presbyterian Church. Now, it probably has as much to do with working out in the sun and is hardly limited to the Scottish or Scots-Irish.
  • Mildly offensive term for a lower class white person from the southeastern states of the USA. Derives from someone who spent a lot of time on manual labour outside and so received a "red neck" from the sun. or "The glorious absence of sophistication" -Jeff Foxworthy
  • Jeff Foxworthy's kinfolk.
  • I'm not going there and create problems by saying a dumb working class hick who works in the fields and has 2 brain cells. Oh no! You're not catching me out like that yhvhash
  • is a fieldworker who is looking down most of the day taking care of plants thus getting more sun to the neck area causing as you can guess a red neck. +5
  • REALLY, ARE WE GONNA GO THERE?, I MEAN REALLY... True Southerners know the difference between a redneck, hillbilly, a good old boy, southern gentleman and lady, but apparently many yankees dont seem to. They tend to not be familiar with the socio economic infastructure of Dixie. REDNECK: Rednecks are often rude and crude Southerners some times prone to violence, have proclivity (but not always) for Nascar, CERTAIN TYPES of Country music, and beer drinking. Can live in trailers, but not always. They are often mistaken for white trash but there's a difference. Rednecks are usually hard working and have jobs. White trash tend to be lazy. They are most likely blue collar. Not all rednecks are racists, but many are. But its also individual thing. They're not all loud and brassy, but many can be. So ironically, the southern redneck has more in common with the typical yankee than he realizes. Although there are northern rednecks too, but thats another topic AND JUST FOR THE RECORD: Hillbillies are Southern mountain folk. They are not rednecks. They dont live in the swamps or the bayous or the southern lowlands. They come from the hollers or the hills. They can be a bit rough around the edges. Unlike, rednecks, however, hillbillies are usually good natured, honest, friendly, fun loving, and just all around sweet people. Tend to be very forthright and individualistic. Mainly from their Scotch-Irish heritage. They just tend to lack education. But make up for it with their charming folksy ways.
  • during the battle of Blair mountain in West Virginia the coal miners were fighting with the coal company to start a union. they donned red bandannas around there necks in an act of solidarity, hence the term "redneck"
  • White, (originally southern) rural Americans, whose necks are sunburned red because of their outdoor work. Frequently they are disparaged because of their lack of formal education and their xenophobia.

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