Hillbilly vs. Redneck - What's the difference?

Main Difference

The main difference between Hillbilly and Redneck is that the Hillbilly is a derogatory term in the United States for people who live in rural areas and Redneck is a derogatory term.

Wikipedia

  • Hillbilly

    "Hillbilly" is a term (often derogatory) for people who dwell in rural, mountainous areas in the United States, primarily in southern Appalachia and the Ozarks. The first known instances of "hillbilly" in print were in The Railroad Trainmen's Journal (vol. ix, July 1892), an 1899 photograph of men and women in West Virginia labeled "Camp Hillbilly", and a 1900 New York Journal article containing the definition: "a Hill-Billie is a free and untrammeled white citizen of Alabama, who lives in the hills, has no means to speak of, dresses as he can, talks as he pleases, drinks whiskey when he gets it, and fires off his revolver as the fancy takes him". The stereotype is twofold in that it incorporates both positive and negative traits: "Hillbillies" are often considered independent and self-reliant individuals who resist the modernization of society, but at the same time they are also defined as backward and violent. Scholars argue this duality is reflective of the split ethnic identities in white America.

  • Redneck

    Redneck is a derogatory term chiefly but not exclusively applied to white Americans perceived to be crass and unsophisticated, closely associated with rural whites of the Southern United States. Its usage is similar in meaning to cracker (especially regarding Texas, Georgia, and Florida), hillbilly (especially regarding Appalachia and the Ozarks), and white trash (but without the last term's suggestions of immorality).By the 1970s, the term had become offensive slang, its meaning expanded to include racism, loutishness, and opposition to modern ways.Patrick Huber, in his monograph A Short History of Redneck: The Fashioning of a Southern White Masculine Identity, emphasized the theme of masculinity in the 20th-century expansion of the term, noting, "The redneck has been stereotyped in the media and popular culture as a poor, dirty, uneducated, and racist Southern white man."

Wiktionary

  • Hillbilly (noun)

    Someone who is from the hills; especially from a rural area, with a connotation of a lack of refinement or sophistication.

  • Hillbilly (noun)

    A white person from the rural southern part of the United States, especially the Southeastern states.

  • Hillbilly (verb)

    To emphasize one's rural or humble upbringing; to use unsophisticated charm.

  • Hillbilly (verb)

    To portray or act as an uneducated and unsophisticated fool.

  • Hillbilly (verb)

    To perform or experience stereotypically hillbilly-like actions.

  • Redneck (noun)

    A poor, rural, usually white and male, person from the Southern United States or parts of the Midwest and northeast, especially one who is unsophisticated and backward; sometimes with additional connotations of being rude, racist, and/or arrogant.

  • Redneck (noun)

    Any of the miners who wore red bandanas for identification during the West Virginia mine war of 1921.

  • Redneck (noun)

    A member of a certain Baltimore street gang, active in 1859.

  • Redneck (noun)

    A Roman Catholic.

Oxford Dictionary

  • Hillbilly (noun)

    an unsophisticated country person, as associated originally with the remote regions of the Appalachians.

  • Hillbilly (noun)

    old-fashioned term for country music

    "he played sweet hillbilly guitar"

  • Redneck (noun)

    a working-class white person from the southern US, especially a politically reactionary one

    "redneck towns"

Princeton's WordNet

  • Hillbilly (noun)

    a disparaging term for an unsophisticated person

  • Redneck (noun)

    a poor white person in the southern United States

Illustrations

Hillbilly

Redneck

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