redneck / hillbilly / hick

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by Jazztronik, Sep 24, 2009.

  1. Jazztronik Senior Member

    Spanish, Spain
    Are there any differences between these American English terms?
  2. Arrius

    Arrius Senior Member

    English, UK
    A redneck is man from the American South, often given to rough ways and hard liquor.Possibly a synonym of a good old boy, but let an American confirm that. A hillbilly is an allegedly rather primitive inhabitant of the mountainous regions of the Appalachians or the Ozarks (the stereotype is of illegal whisky stills and marrying one's cousin), and a hick is an allegedly ignorant countryman or yokel from any part of the USA. The word is also an adjective as in a hick town, a small, remote, rather backward township.
  3. Jazztronik Senior Member

    Spanish, Spain
    So both "hillbilly" and "redneck" could be included as "hicks", but they are used for rural inhabitants of different parts in the US?

    Say, would the rural people in the movie "Deliverance" be hillbillies, and the ones in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Sweet Home Alabama, rednecks?
  4. aztlaniano

    aztlaniano Senior Member

    Lavapiestán, Madrid
    English (Aztlán, US sector)
    Fíjate en el "hill" de "hillbilly".
    Es como explica Arrius - hick = paleto, de cualquier zona rural, redneck = del sudeste de EEUU, y hillbilly = de una zona montañosa, típicamente de Apalachia.
  5. Masood Senior Member

    Leicester, England
    British English
    I think redneck / hillbilly / hick are all to speak.

  6. Jazztronik Senior Member

    Spanish, Spain
    En la sinopsis de la película "Beverly Hillbillies" ("Rústicos en Dinerolandia", en España) se dice que una familia de Arkansas (sur de los Estados Unidos) se traslada a Berverly Hills. Dejando aparte la posibilidad de que Arkansas sea montañosa, Arkansas está al sur del país. Entonces, no se... tal vez se entremezclan los significados de ambos términos, no?
  7. Jazztronik Senior Member

    Spanish, Spain
    you would say "bumpkin" as said in the UK, wouldn't you? ;)
  8. Masood Senior Member

    Leicester, England
    British English
    Yes, we say, for example, bumpkin, yokel...
  9. Chris K Senior Member

    Tacoma WA, US
    English / US
    "Hick" is a fairly general term without specific regional associations; you can be a hick from Iowa, for instance. "Hillbilly" usually refers to residents of the upland south, though I have heard it extended to other backcountry areas. A "redneck" is a white southerner (usually), but I think the term is not used for the real hill people of Appalachia.
  10. Jazztronik Senior Member

    Spanish, Spain
    Thanks for your explanations!
  11. bailarín

    bailarín Senior Member

    Ciudadano del mundo
    English (USA)
    As a west coast inhabitant, I don't think the average person here knows the difference between the three. I think "redneck" has a nuance of someone uneducated and racist when we call someone this term (directed usually towards Caucasians, but occasionally, I'll hear "brown redneck" to describe a person typically of Mexican descent who considers himself more Texan than Mexican, and generally has an ironic distaste for immigrants). "Hillbilly" and "hick" has a connotation of someone ignorant from rural USA (i.e., someone who is very "country"), at times synonymous with "redneck."

    P.S. Jeff Foxworthy has become popular with his "You might be a redneck if..." jokes. I think it's a case of turning a negative word into something that you can be proud of, or at least, laugh at.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2009
  12. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    Up here in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, we have plenty of rednecks but we don't have hillbillies or hicks.

    Realistically, satellite television and the Internet have just about eliminated backwoods lack of social development - but not some political and racial attitudes.
  13. Grannygaga New Member

    I was married to my late husband for 40 plus years.
    I am a "Yankee" and hew was at one time a coal mine owner in partnership with his Daddy in South Eastern, Kentucky.

    He explained to me where the term "Redneck" came from.

    Back in the Early Day's of the formation of the "United Mine Worker's Union", it was a very volitile erra due to the mining companies sending workers into dangerous unsafe environments to work and many a father, son, brother's etc. died.

    The battle was literally fought by entire families, including wives abd children, carrying everything grom hammers, knives axes and much more, to gain safe ways for the miners to work and support their families.
    However often the coal companies would recruit other southern folks to spy and report back to them.
    Since all of the miners who lived in the area and knew who was who, that is when they began wearing Red Kerchief's around their neck's to identify who was who.
    That is how the term "Redneck" was established.
    They were a very diligent group and successfully established the United Mine Workers Union.

    On my first trip down there in the seventies, we passed through an Appelcian town where there was a coal mine. The Union was on strike. There in the gate way to the mines hung a "Dummy" strung up with rope. It had a knife in the heart area of thedummy and a sign that read "This Could Be You!"
  14. Grannygaga New Member

    Sorry about the spelling up above.

    I work 12 hour midnight shift's :>)))
  15. Chris K Senior Member

    Tacoma WA, US
    English / US
    The term "redneck" dates back to at least the early 1890s, and apparently was originally applied to poor white farmers in certain parts of the South. The association with the UMWA apparently came a bit later. There's more information on Wikipedia:
  16. Grannygaga New Member

    It is amazing either way, as to how the term originated.

    My hillbilly in-laws were and are unique. Iff I were a writer, I could share some great stories.

    My own husband and I were in Wisconsin and my aunt who just loved my husband invited us out for breakfast.
    When the waitress for the third time said `Do you want white toast or wheat tost?` my husband had said "Whaat".
    I said he is saying "white" not "what?"
  17. aztlaniano

    aztlaniano Senior Member

    Lavapiestán, Madrid
    English (Aztlán, US sector)
    Arkansas cuenta con las montañas Ozark, que citó Arrius.

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