Friday, December 07, 2007

Rednecks

Like I said, Rednecks, always good for a laugh.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Puttz, dat's the funniest ever.

I'm not Dr. Ralph said...

Usually it's Dr. Ralph who adds interesting things about science or history, but today it's me:

Possible Scots-Irish etymologies for "Rednecks":
The National Covenant and The Solemn League and Covenant (a.k.a. Covenanters) signed documents stating that Scotland desired a Presbyterian Church Government, and rejected the Church of England as their official church (no Anglican congregation was ever accepted as the official church in Scotland). What the Covenanters rejected was episcopacy — rule by bishops — the preferred form of church government in England. 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[1]. Large numbers of these Scottish Presbyterians migrated from their lowland Scottish home to Ulster (the northern province of Ireland) during the late 17th and early 18th centuries and soon settled in considerable numbers in North America throughout the 18th century. Some emigrated directly from Scotland to the American colonies in the late 18th and early 19th-centuries as a result of the Lowland Clearances. This etymological theory holds that since many Scots-Irish Americans and Scottish Americans who settled in Appalachia and the South were Presbyterian, the term was bestowed upon them and their descendants.

Possible American etymologies:
A 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 and spotted by late middle age. Similarly, some historians claim that the term redneck originated in 17th century Virginia, because indentured servants were sunburnt while tending plantation crops.

Another popular etymology is that the term was originally used by African Americans as a pejorative for white people in general, in the same manner that peckerwood and ofay were coined by blacks.

It is clear that by the post-Reconstruction era (after the departure of Federal troops from the American South in 1874-1878), the term had worked its way into popular usage. Several blackface minstrel shows used the word in a derogatory manner, comparing slave life over that of the poor rural whites. This may have much to do with the social, political and economic struggle between Populists, the Redeemers and Republican Carpetbaggers of the post-Civil War South and Appalachia, where the new middle class of the South (professionals, bankers, industrialists) displaced the pre-war planter class as the leaders of the Southern states. The Populist movement, with its message of economic equality, represented a threat to the status quo. The use of a derogative term, such as redneck to belittle the working class, would have assisted in the gradual disenfranchisement of most of the Southern lower class, both black and white, which occurred by 1910.

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 coal mine owners between 1910 and 1920.

Anonymous said...

These replies must be limited to 25 words or less. Thank you.

half man half horse said...

And who the hell are you? Anony.

25 word limit exceeded said...

He didn't mean to make your brain hurt as it obviously does when you have to read more than 25 words. Further, who died and

Anonymous said...

Oh, how sad. A once proud San-O Daze now resorts to insulting innocent readers.
Once this was a challenging group, now it's merely get even week. I'm never returning, no matter how hard you try to make amends. How do you know 'rednecks' dont have hypertension or high blood pressure?

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Anonymous said...

Oh, for gawd's sake, Crescenet, WTF you talking about?

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