Chickens in the Basement

I love to write and I love to laugh. When I write, I get to the point quick. My stories would fit on the back of a postcard. They usually make me chuckle. And you know what they say, "It's all about me!"

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The History of a Red Neck

You know how you think you KNOW the history behind a certain term? If I were on Jeopardy and the answer was "The term 'red neck' came from this event." I would bet every penny I had and I would so get it WRONG!

The quintessential redneck!

I would have sworn the term red neck came from the necks of farmers who spent loads of time in the sun while also wearing a t-shirt so that only their necks are red. WRONG! Now that I think about it, that's where the term 'farmer's tan' came from. If the farmer took off his t-shirt, the white skin on his back, shoulders and belly would look like he still had his t-shirt on.


Cutest dang farmer's tan!


My husband is a History Channel junkie. The other day, he was watching a program that started out being about the production of moonshine in the Appalachian Mountains. It somehow led to the battle between the Hatfields and McCoys and from there to coal mining.


In 1921 in Matewan, West Virginia, the locals coal miners got into a battle with the unions. who brought in men to work the mines. Local people were murdered by henchmen for the out-of-town union bosses. Locals were kicked out of their homes and had to live in the woods. Their salaries were replaced with scripts to the local general store. Makes getting ahead in life next to impossible!

Redneck Army

The locals banded together. Each wore a red bandanna around his neck so that, even when they were covered in coal dust or in the throes of a battle, other locals would be able to identify an ally. They did not want to be affiliated with the unions. They were called the Red Neck Army, hence, red necks!

Confessions: I have been to Matewan, WV. Six years ago, our family and two others loaded up our dirt bikes and four wheelers and hit the road. Matewan allows these vehicles to be ridden on the road inside the city limits. Old trails leading to coal mines are now open to anyone who wants to ride. You could ride all day and never cross a path you had already traveled. It was more fun than I like to admit. I rode my big old camouflaged four wheeler that was given to me on our 12 anniversary. My hubby is such a romantic! I guess this confirms that I am a redneck!

12 comments:

Jenny S said...

That is so cool! I love learning stuff like that! Thank you Miss Anna...that's what I am supposed to call teachers right????

Linda said...

I love this story! Now I know where the term redneck came from! LOL!

Midcenturymadam said...

My son asked me the other day where the term originated...I misinformed him. Thanks for setting the record straight. Riding around town on a camo four wheeler sounds like lots of fun. I love your pictures. Baby redneck, what a doll and the redneck pool, too funny. I may try that when the temps hit triple digits again.

Missy AKA Little Messy Missy said...

So I am nerd... I watched the same show a couple of weeks ago! Look at me i am learned!!!!

The Queen of Clearance. said...

whoa....I had no idea! Thanks for telling me, it will be something cool to bring up in conversation! lol.

bad penny said...

Thank you ! I always wondered !

Hubby works outside on boats & has an amasing white T shirt line on his brown arms face & neck.

Vintage Christine said...

Wow! That is really interesting and something I'll bet most 'necks don't know! I looked up the word "c**nass" after I read your post and discovered that people get highly offended when it's used, even amongst each other (hence my usage of the asterisks, you know, like when you type "f**k). I'll have to tell hubby to stop using the word "c**nass" when he's offshore with all the Cajuns and stick to the more acceptable offensive racial and sexual bon mots everyone uses out there.

Mary said...

I'm so glad you are OK but we really missed being able to catch up with you at the shop last week. Paula's visit was bittersweet but she held up really well, just getting teary and somewhat down late evening when she was tired.

We talked a lot about the trip - which I will share online soon - have told a few people but because it's so huge I'm having to temper my excitement and not sound too over the top! Definitely going in May - all reservations made!

Throwing an icy snowball your way - when it melts we must get together. Good pool idea here!

Mermaids of the Lake said...

Great info! I have seen the redneck swimming pool before. In fact, a young person I know thought it was so hillarious that he and his friend made one this last summer!

Amy said...

Cool! Thanks for the history lesson. I would have been totally wrong too, even though I am also familiar with what a farmer tan is. Having grown up on a farm I've even had a few myself over the years. None as cute as the one pictured here in your blog though!:-)

tipper said...

I loved the movie-Matewan. Interesting post-and cute blog : )

LemonyRenee' said...

Interesting! I'm going to tell my dad this and he will be so impressed with me. Wait, he practically lives on the History channel. Drat.