We were tonight, possibly the last time we’ll assemble in 2019, the following: Marietta, Bob, John T., Dean, Jeff, and myself — Tomek. The evening’s conversational journey began with a brief discussion with our waitress of Viktor Frankl’s philosophy. Then we discussed daughters, girls college basketball, the Italian Seven Fishes Christmas tradition, “snowbirds” and living in Florida, road trips to Texas, biking in (freezing?) Florida, Lefty Frizzell and the song Saginaw, and the origins of the term “hillbilly.” Willie Nelson was invoked at some point. As always, a good time was had by all.
The Corner Booth, Writing-(noun & verb)
I’d love to see the cites that support those etymologies of “redneck” and “hillbilly.” They’re awfully detailed and precise. Usage doesn’t often work that way.
About that “History Channel” Youtube video on the origins of “redneck” and “hillbilly.”
I suppose “load of old rubbish” is a bit too strong, but I did a tiny bit of research.
Michael Quinion of WorldWideWords says (re:hillbilly coming from “hill folk” and “King Billy”) “It sounds a most unlikely theory, and the linguistic evidence is certainly against it. The word billy (of which hillbilly is a compound) is an English word that goes back to the early sixteenth century at least, at first meaning a friend or comrade, and later any male person, a rough equivalent of “fellow”. Hillbilly, in the sense of a rustic person, is first attested only at the very end of the nineteenth century; if it were connected with Good King Billy, it ought to have appeared much earlier.
Re: “redneck” – I found one source that supports the “Scots Convenanters” story – but it lacks cites entirely. This site also buys the “hillbilly” story.
In any event the documentary evidence trail begins long after the supposed “sources” of the terms, which is a pretty strong indication that the etymologies are unlikely.