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Re: Term redneck

Posted by ESC on September 01, 2002

In Reply to: Term redneck posted by scott on September 01, 2002

: one possible origin of this phrase is from the red kerchief or bandana worn by union miner to signify their solidarity with each other and thier identificcation with the union, thus they were called rednecks, I came across this explination in a documentary about the west virginia mine wars that occured in the nineteen twentys. I dont remember the exact source but my question is their evidence of the typical explination of this term, the red necks of sunburned farmers, or the definitions given in previous discussion on this site of the term that predate the usage I am discribing or is it possible that the derogitory usage of this term came from those with anti union sentiments hence the common definitions of this term redneck

"REDNECK. A poor, white, often rowdy southerner, usually one from a rural area. The word, which is sometimes derogatory, has its origins in the sunburned necks of farmers and outdoor laborers, and originally meant a poor farmer. 'A redneck is by no means to be confused with 'po' whites,' wrote Jonathan Daniels in 'A Southerner Discusses the South' : 'Poor white men in the South are by no means all po' white even in the hills. Lincoln and Jackson came from a southern folk the back of whose necks were ridged and red from labor in the sun.'" The "Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins" by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997)