Thursday, August 16, 2007

On The Differences Between Hicks and Rednecks

Here it is after all this time: my long-awaited dissertation on the difference between hicks and rednecks. I have been formulating this speech for a long time, and now its finally here!

It is all too often that we, being from Colorado, are pegged for being rednecks. Most people are well-meaning, and don’t realize that it is rather a misuse of the term to apply it to us. In the past, I have tried to explain the difference between hicks and rednecks to various people, but it is a tough stereotype to sort through. I have resorted to telling people that when they are old enough, I will explain. Well, try telling that to someone older than yourself! So, here it is, folks: an essay on the differences between hicks and rednecks.

First, let me begin by saying that hicks and rednecks are not mutually exclusive. It is possible for one to be both a hick and a redneck at the same time, although one is not necessarily indicative of the other.

Geographically speaking, rednecks come from everywhere and hicks come from more rural areas of the country. It is not often, if ever, that one claims to be a hick from South Philly. However, it is more likely that there are a fair share of rednecks living in South Philly.

The best way to describe what makes a redneck is to describe the mentality which many rednecks have. Here are a few generalizations about the redneck breed. They can be known as backwards, uneducated and racist. Rednecks love Nascar, cheap beer and The Simpsons. In the interest of keeping this relatively short, just find a copy of the ubiquitous “You might be a redneck if…” daily calendars and read a few. You’ll get the idea really quick.

To further add to the confusion, there are subcategories within the redneck genre. The only one I will touch on is the ‘goat-roper,’ or ‘K-Mart Cowboy,’ as Jeff calls them. This brand of rednecks are wanna-be cowboys. They have usually procured their entire cowboy get-up from K-Mart, right down to the Rustler Jeans. They wear big belt buckles and let the end of their belts hang down to their knees. They fold their cowboy hats up like tacos and smash the back brim down so it lays flat against their back. They bend down the bill so low they have to tilt their head up to look at you. Guess that adds to their ‘cowboy’ appeal. I even saw one such chap who bleached a tobacco ring onto his back pants pocket. The only problem was that he used a little too much bleach and it dripped down, making his deception clear to see. To sum it all up, these fellows are all about the look, but if push came to shove they’d try to feed the south end of a northbound mule, as the old-timers say.

When taking hicks into consideration, keep in mind the saying “You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl.” Hicks are typically just your average country folks. They put their pants on one leg at a time. They come from small towns or farms or ranches. They are usually down-to-earth no-nonsense people. Hicks have the farm ‘mentality.’ For example, if a coyote is eating your sheep, you kill it. You don’t sit around and worry about the coyote’s feelings. You just shoot the darn thing and be thankful it didn’t eat any more of your livelihood. If your kids are hot in the summer, you tell them to go cool off in the cow tank. You let your kids handle farm animals without scrubbing them down with sanitizer afterward. You know that cow pies make excellent Frisbees when dry, and road apples make great objects to throw to unsuspecting friends. And, you know what road apples are. Hicks can range anywhere from the uneducated yokel to the rocket scientist living out in the sticks tinkering around with solar power and wind energy.

As you can see, there is are many fine distinctions between hicks and rednecks. While it is possible for one to be both a hick AND a redneck, all hicks are not rednecks and vice versa. So take note, East Coast friends, all this to say that we are hicks, NOT REDNECKS! There is a difference between the two, and we would rather not be shoved into the redneck category, thank you very much!

COMING SOON: Test your Hick VS. Redneck Knowledge with my "Hick or Redneck: You Decide" Questionairre


mcwiggins said...

I totally agree with you. Thank you so much for an enlightening dissertation and for shedding light on this interesting sociological issue we face as Americans.

I just have one clarification. I firmly believe that rednecks like "King of the Hill" instead of "The Simpsons." The satire in "The Simpsons" is a little too highbrow for rednecks. Hicks might get it, but not most rednecks.

Trish D said...


Guess I'd be classified as a mildly citified hick :)