Everyone is somewhat familiar with the term redneck but not everyone knows it’s true meaning or it’s origin. Even those that consider themselves to be rednecks don’t know the actual true meaning of the word redneck. Here in the “South” (United States), we have many lingo words or slang that some people up North or even people out West just don’t quite understand. 

Back to what a redneck is. The term “redneck” was first used to describe the farmers that spent all day out in the fields. By the time they would come back to the house their faces along with their necks would be red from being sun burnt. We all know at the time farmers lived in the urban areas so the term was widened to include anyone living in the country or in small towns. The definition for redneck has further grown to reflect someone who is uncouth and uncultured because they grew up in a working-class family, far from the cultural influence of an urban area.

The term redneck was also used in the late 1800s in southern West Virginia when the coal miners fought the owners of the mines. They wore red bandanas around their necks; so, they were called “rednecks.”

Southern/Redneck slang

Let’s take a look at some other Southern/redneck slang words:




Sometimes pants are often called britches in the South- Picture courtesy of Pixabay

  • too big for one’s britches – to think too highly of oneself
  • britches – pants – My mom says this word a lot. I hate this word. 
  • fixin’ to – getting ready/preparing to, as in, “I’m fixin’ to go to the Wal-Mart. Do y’all need anything?”- this is one saying I say a lot. 
  • y’all– you all – This is another phrase I love saying. “Y’all better sit down before I smack you on your britches.”
  • lick – (noun) any amount at all, usually used in negative sentences such as, “I didn’t get a lick of work done today because my boss kept calling me in for meetings.” (verb) To beat up, as in, “I licked him good that time.”
    This is one of those words that is easy to use. “If you had any lick of sense you would have stayed in school.”
  • uppity – snobby. I sometimes get called this because I do not speak to every man that happens to walk by. I keep to myself. 
  • The devil is beating his wife– sunshowers. Yes, it sometimes rains while the sun is still shining. This actually amazing to watch at times and normally happens in the Spring and in the Summer months. 


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