Crackers in the Glade

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  • Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    From Merriam Webster (m-w.com) on "cracker":
    5
    a usually disparaging: a poor usually Southern white
    b capitalized: a native or resident of Florida or Georgia —used as a nickname
     

    Swamp-landia

    Senior Member
    NYC
    Mandarin; Shanghainese
    From Merriam Webster (m-w.com) on "cracker":
    5
    a usually disparaging: a poor usually Southern white
    b capitalized: a native or resident of Florida or Georgia —used as a nickname
    Thank you Myridon. Can I also call them Florida frontiers with their descendents included?
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I can't see anything in the definition of "Cracker" or the book (excerpts available on Google) that would justify frontier or pioneer.
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Look up Florida Cracker on Wiki - it may help the confusion. Florida cracker refers to original colonial-era English and American pioneer settlers of what is now the U.S. state of Florida
    No, it doesn't mean that at all. The word as used here means a poor, rural white person from the South, and especially from rural Florida or Georgia. There are plenty of such people still around today, and the word is still in daily use to describe them (including as an ethnic slur applied by blacks to white people -- which is a different use of the term.)

    The United States acquired Florida from Spain in 1819, and Florida became a state in 1845. It remained agricultural and largely unpopulated until the 20th Century, when a "land boom" in the 1920s spurred devlopment and an increase in population. This first wave was followed after the Second World War by an even larger influx of new residents from the North, and Florida is now the fourth most populous state in the Union. As the book deals with rural white Floridians in the early 20th Century, and the gradual change of south Florida from a forgotten backwater to its current crowded, urban sprawl, one cannot in any way say that the term "cracker" in this book's title is being used to describe "colonial era" settlers, or even "pioneers" unless one uses that term in its broadest possible sense.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Those referring to the Wiki article need to read right through to the end of the article.
    Some of the posts above seem to have taken a very superficial view, considering only the historical usage described in Wiki.
    Consistent with what GWB, Myridon and PaulQ are saying, Wiki gives a modern usage that refers to current Floridians:
    The term is used as a proud or jocular self-description. Since the huge influx of new residents into Florida from the northern parts of the United States and from Mexico and Latin America in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, the term "Florida Cracker" is used informally by some Floridians to indicate that their families have lived in the state for many generations. It is considered a source of pride to be descended from "frontier people who did not just live but flourished in a time before air conditioning, mosquito repellent, and screens.
     
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