We bought a new boat this past week and for some reason the song “Redneck Yacht Club” by Craig Morgan keeps coming to mind 🙂 Well it got me to thinking about the term “redneck”. I’ve heard it a lot growing up, especially in regards to my sister and her friends. So I thought I’d share with you the definition according to Wikipedia.
Redneck is a historically derogatory slang term used in reference to poor white farmers in the Southern United States. It is similar in meaning to cracker (especially regarding Georgia and Alabama), hillbilly (especially regarding Appalachia and the Ozarks), and white trash.
In recent decades, the term expanded its meaning to mean bigoted, loutish, and opposed to modern ways, and has often been used to attack Southern conservatives and racists. At the same time, some Southern whites have reclaimed the word, using it with pride and defiance as a self-identifier.
I agree with that definition for the most part. However, not all rednecks are bigoted, loutish or bass-ackward. In fact most of the rednecks I know are generally nice simple people.
There is another term I heard an awful lot growing up but haven’t heard it in recent years. The term is goatroper. I had a much harder time finding the definition as I heard it used. There are several things on the web saying it is basically a “urban cowboy” But that was not how I heard the term used. When it was used in my youth it was basically another word for “redneck.”
After a lot of searching, I did find this definition:
goat-roper n by 1960s A rustic; hick; = SHITKICKER [A farmer or other rural person]. (From _Dictionary of American Slang, Third Edition_ (1995) by Robert L. Chapman.)
So in my opinion Goat roper is one of those terms that has a couple of different meaning depending on the person using it and how it’s used. But that definition brings up another very cool term. “Shitkicker”
From Dictionary.com: A shitkicker is: Slang: Vulgar .1.an unsophisticated farmer, cowboy, or other rural person; country person. 2.a performer or fan of country-and-western music. 3.a heavy boot.
What other terms for a “cowboy” or “redneck” can you think of?