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Interesting History of Southern Words

CARPETBAGGER: A term of disgrace applied to Yankee opportunists and uncompromising Secessionist who settled in the South during and after the Civil War, some with all their possessions in carpetbags. Years later, history shows us that some carpetbaggers were respected citizens who came to the South for humanitarian and legitimate business reasons. But, for the most part, they were trouble. **In earlier years the term described itinerant bankers who carried their negotiable assets in gritchels made of carpeting material.

SCALAWAGS: Southern whites who, during the Reconstruction Era, joined carpetbaggers and freedman for profit and political power. They formed the Republican party in the South.

REDNECK: Two definitions from 2 different sources** First definition- One of Southern, rural, or small town origin. This term describes poor white subsistence farmers, sharecroppers, and tenants beginning in the nineteenth century. They had red necks from working in the field long hours. Second definition- The Scottish origin to supporters of the National Covenant and The Solemn League Covenant, or "Covenanters", largely Lowland Presbyterians. In 1638 and 1641 many covenanters signed documents which made notice that Scotland wished the Presbyterian form of church government, not the Church of England as the official state church. Some Covenanters signed in their own blood and wore red pieces of cloth around their necks as distinctive insignia; hence the term "Red neck". Since many Ulster-Scottish settlers in America (especially the South) were Presbyterian, the definition was to describe them, and then, later, their Southern descendants.

GOOD OL’ BOY: A rough and fun lover who likes most anything involving challenge and expression of virility. Many wear cowboy hats and boots, and drive pick-up trucks equipped with CB radios, fishing rods, and firearms.

COON-ASS: A good ol’ boy in Cajun Country.
Second definition: Only people born and raised in South Louisiana, and of French Canadian decent (the original Acadians) are called this, and it is generally considered a vulgar and derogatory term, and most South Louisiana residents of French decent do not use this term.

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