Do you know where the term “redneck” came from?
Most people believe a redneck is a derogatory slang for poverty-stricken farmers, a synonym for hillbilly or white trash. Or just a back-woods country boy.
Actually, the term redneck has significant roots in the coal-mining industry beginning in the early nineteen hundreds. The word refers to the square of cloth miners in West Virginia and Colorado wore to differentiate between union and non-union miners—the red bandana. It is uncertain if the term was limited to all union members or just the miners on strike, but donning the scarf as part of their daily clothing earned them the moniker “Redneck”.
The first use of the term redneck in print appeared when miners went on strike in southern West Virginia in a little known area called Cabin Creek, where my husband’s grandfather lived and worked as a coal miner.
So next time you go to use the term redneck, you can do a search through Bing images and be entertained by the gross misconception of the term, or remember the real meaning behind the term.
Your turn: Did you know that?