Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Redneck and Hillbilly

Redneck vs Hillbilly

The English language is full of slang and terms that originally meant one thing and changes their meanings as time passes. Two such words are “redneck” and “hillbilly.” The original meanings of these two words are different from how they are being used in the English language today.
Both are being used to refer to people who are rough or have characteristics that are less desirable and whose attitude and demeanor are unpleasant and repulsive to others. They can mean other things too which can be positive rather than negative.
“Redneck” is defined as an offensive slang used to refer to any member of the white rural labor class who reside in the Southern United States. The term stems from the sunburned necks of white men who labor under the heat of the sun with the dust of the red earth clinging to their sweaty necks.
In time it came to refer to people who go against the usual flow of things and events and is used by Southerners to identify them as different from others. It connotes independence and being pro-labor and anti-establishment. It can refer to a person with a conservative view but can be racist.
“Hillbilly,” on the other hand, is defined as a disparaging word for a person without any sophistication who lives in a remote mountain area. It is used to refer to people who are socially backward; one who doesn’t care about how he looks and how he lives.
The term comes from the Scottish expressions “hilly-folk” and “billie” which mean “guy” or “fellow.” The Appalachian region’s early inhabitants were originally from the lowlands of Scotland. “Hillbilly” is a person who lives a life that is cut off from the modern world. He lives off what he can get from the land and his surroundings which are the mountains and forests.
A redneck can either live in a rural area or the city but chooses to live his life in an easy-go-lucky way. He is a few paces up on the ladder over a hillbilly. Both terms have negative meanings and connotations, but then “redneck” has a positive side to it.
Summary:

1.A redneck is a person who belongs to the white rural labor class who lives in the Southern United States while a hillbilly is a person who lives in a remote mountain area.
2.Both terms have derogatory connotations referring to people who have no sophistication and who are undesirable characters, but a redneck is better than a hillbilly.
3.The term “redneck” comes from the sunburned necks of Southern white men who labor under the sun with the dust sticking to their sweaty necks while the term “hillbilly” comes from the Scottish expressions “hilly-folk” and “billie” which mean “fellow.”
4.A hillbilly usually lives in a world that is cut off from the modern world while a redneck can live in a remote area or the city, but his way and view of life is the same with bigotry and narrow mindedness.


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2 Comments

  1. Sorry, but you folks are wrong on this one! Come to the deep south and I shall be happy to show you what a real redneck is!!!! It is NOT pretty!!!

  2. I live in the Ozarks foothills and am all hillbilly. I’m also smarter and more educated than the person who probably got paid a lot to write this garbage. Hillbilly is a lifestyle and also a state of mind. Next summer, I think I’ll give my chickens a rest and just spread this guys writing on my garden.

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