32 thoughts on “Exploring the Term “Fredneck”

  1. Jim Eaton

    Frankly, I’m embarrassed by the term, and wish it would go away. If by “Fredneck” people mean farmers, front-porch living, summer baseball games, wave-to-your-neighbor lifestyle–kind of like the term “Midwesterner”–it’s fine. But we can’t choose definitions, and overriding the other more pleasant ideas in the term “Redneck” is the concept of racism. Every one of my friends in the immigrant community who have moved here dislike this aspect of Frederick County’s culture, and have unpleasant stories to tell.

  2. Kevin

    I understand the offense, but I have to admit, there is a long history of groups co-opting slurs as a way of reducing the sting of language.

    Jeff Foxworthy playing up the whole redneck thing, the homosexual population co-opting the term queer (I will always remember the Simpsons episode where Homer rants about that), I even had a student back when I taught in Philadelphia explain to me the difference between a ni**#r and ni**ah. Hell, Steven Speilberg is part of the funding for a magazine called Heeb that targets the Jewish community.

    Language is a weird thing, and I’m constantly amazed at the power we grant it.

  3. Kaitiemarie

    I have to agree with this: “I can say something bad about my brother, but you can’t say something bad about him.”
    If someone from out of town called me a “fredneck” I might take offence. If it were someone from Frederick, I really wouldn’t care. It would be a joke. Maybe it is because we know we aren’t all rednecks but we realize a lot of people from other counties might think so. You know, look at how most people from Frederick refer to people from Hagerstown? We assume them to be more of a redneck than us. They aren’t a lot of us assume so. Heck, if you want to go further west think about how most view people from Cumberland? It’s all stereotypical.

  4. Tam

    Shelly P: “That’s funny, because I thought Frederick was full of yuppies.”

    Exactly. I’m surprised the term “Fredneck” is even used anymore, considering how the area’s changed. Once Frederick gained “city” designation, the “Fredneck” nickname kind of became obsolete.

  5. Tam

    Tony28: It was/is. But Frederick’s no longer out in the sticks, so it doesn’t seem to fit anymore.

  6. bella

    “I feel no shame I’m proud of where I came from I was born and raised in the boondocks.”
    STICKS AND STONES MAN!

  7. nc

    Everybody that used to call me a “Fredneckian” now seems to live in Frederick County. Most of them are former Montgomery Countians….kind of wish they had stayed where they were and Frederick was still Fredneck.

  8. Antonette

    well i am black and i just moved to FREDERICK MD. and yes the name still holds still….it is what it is FREDNECK

  9. myrna

    We were at Golden Corral yesterday to have a simple dinner. Their door has a sign that says “Use The Other Door” – and so that’s what we did! On our way inside, 3 white ladies were on their way out & the old one (the Mom) made a comment (loud enough for us to hear) – “they can’t read!”. Though we are Asians, we don’t deserve to be treated or judged that way! Those ladies are simply rude and mean – or yeah, maybe “Fredneck”!

  10. J. Boyd

    I was born in central Frederick County and lived there until I was 20.

    At the time, half my life ago, I would be ready and willing to go along with the moniker of “Fredneck” because — well, just *look* at the place! I grew up in the middle of a forest near the Frederick City Reservoir (check!) and an establishment called the Cold Deer Hunting and Fishing Club (check!) in a municipality called Mountaindale (check!). I’m not even sure that area qualified as a “municipality”. It was a bunch of houses and a general store that sold cheap beer and cans of Spaghetti-O’s with so much dust on them you’d need an archaeology degree to determine the expiration date. People lived in old houses with flaky paint and double-wides with rotting boats in the front yard and black-and-white log cabins. This was as rednecky a location as you could possibly imagine without the aid of hallucinogenic substances.

    When I left in 1990 I spit over my shoulder and bid the wretched Blair Witch Projects a hearty adieu.

    But, as often happens when you leave your home town, I suffered a massive change of heart (I call it a “nostalgicoronary”) once I started living in a Real City with lots of buildings and crushing traffic and endless waves of cold, indifferent humans and 90-minute commutes on sardine-packed commuter trains and fifteen-hour workdays. Eventually the redneckian aspects of Good Ol’ Fredneck didn’t seem so twisted and evil anymore.

    I used to be one of those who added my own voice to the chorus of derision, but age and seasoning made me understand that Fredneckiness is not necessarily a bad thing. The sticks, the boondocks, the hills, the Cold Deer — these are not necessarily bad things.

    “Fredneck” is now a term of endearment to me, a remnant of a childhood in a place I took for granted and looked upon with disdain. All those people who are moving north from Montgomery County to escape the urban cancer, yet complain about the countrified people they find up there — get a clue, folks. We were there first.

    I am now quite proud to call Fredneck County my birthplace. I visit there once a year and take in a big sniff of the cow and horse poop and love every minute. Don’t take it for granted.

  11. emily

    I grew up in part of the county that is very similar to what you describe, and feel the same.I love this place but I prefer to use the term Fredrock! Because this place rocks.

  12. Frederick Fan

    “…..a general store that sold cheap beer and cans of Spaghetti-O’s with so much dust on them you’d need an archeology degree to determine the expiration date.” :-)
    Your colorful words paint a vivid picture….and get it just right. Bravo, J. Boyd!

    1. J. Boyd

      *bows* It’s only out of personal experience that I spew such prose, sir. You don’t know how many times I went in there on weekends looking for some canned ravioli and a bag of chips, and have to hack away at the bottom of the can with a chisel to dislodge its rust from the surrounding shelf, stealthily, timing my hammer blows with the burst of static coming out of the fire/police scanner lest I be discovered and falsely accused of shoplifting an ancient container of pasta from a country store. This was many years before I was of the proper age to purchase alcoholic beverages from this establishment, which is, in the end, a good thing. I wouldn’t want to have to inform the old grizzled dude behind the counter that his Miller Genuine Draft is so old it has, in fact, turned back into wheat and is growing out of the bottles.

  13. Mike Evans

    I moved to Fredneck (from MoCo) about three years ago, and guess what? It IS mostly Frednecks here! Guns, Huntin’, and Cow S**t dominate! A guy introducing his family to me said “Mike, this is my sister and my wife”…there was only one girl standing there!

    Downtown restaurants & bars are charming, but after you have visited them about 10 times each, you say “Well that’s fun, now let’s try another part of town”…except, guess what, there is no other part of town!

    If I ever get un-upside down in this house, I’ll move back to MoCo faster than a Fredneck can brush all four teeth!

  14. Gypsy

    As someone who has lived in 11 states and 2 other countries, always in or right next to big cities…….don’t let the door………

    1. Gypsy

      T0 elaborate a bit……..after living in CA (born and then 5 times back), OR, SC (twice), AZ (twice), CO, MA, GA, FL, VA, MD (twice), (miscounted – should be 9 states), Canada and Germany, in or near to San Francisco, Sacramento, Portland, Beaverton, Phoenix, Scottsdale,Tucson, Boston, Orlando, Atlanta, Savannah, Charleston SC, Columbia, Alexandria, Montreal, Denver, Baltimore, Berlin, Frankfurt, DC….we purposefully chose Frederick as our permanent home. We may still take the occasional assignment (civilian) somewhere else but we will always return to Frederick now. We love it here. And we’ve been around enough to know.

      1. diggity

        Amen Gypsy, ….Born in Germany moved to Frederick then to Ft. Ritchie Md,back to Frederick,then to Killeen Tx. back to Frederick.Vicenza Italy, back to Frederick, Ft Ritchie again back to Frederick. Then as I got older I too went in the service and went back to Germany. Kentucky and Texas again. My mom is from Frederick so this was always home to me.It was always good to come back and see how things had changed. Nice to have a place like Frederick to call home, i LOVE it here and I’m enjoying raising my kids here.Like Gypsy said “Don’t let the door ……”

    1. FrederickFan

      Mr. Evans is certainly entitled to his opinion but I’m with you, Gypsy and diggity, when it comes to enjoying Frederick. As a current “MoCo” resident, I wish him Godspeed on his hopes to return there. We may very well pass each other going in opposite directions on 270; I look for every chance I can to head TOWARD Frederick and get away from MoCo.

      1. Mike Evans

        Well, I know that their are pockets of middle class suburbanites out here—most of them ex-Montgomery Countians….but where I live (not in a development, but up on a mountain)—very nice home, well built, over two acres, etc—it’s really a whole different world.

        I know in time us Montgomery County folks will overtake the Frednecks and bring the town into the 21st century, but we’re probably about 10-15 years from that tipping point. …but for now, the quality of life out here is severly disadvantaged. Here’s a simple example: We have ONE choice of cable providers here (Comcast). In G’burg, we had two cable choices (Comcast & RCN), and as of when I left, RCN was FAR superior. The good folks who run Fredneck County evidently don’t even care about attracting a second provider…..or jobs, either! You know why 270 is jammed every morning? It’s everybody going to Gaithersburg, Rockville, Bethesda or beyond to make a living! Until Fredneck does something to attract businesses out here, we’ll all still have to go to Montgomery County every morning!

        Anyone ever contact congressman Rascal Bartlett about an issue? You’ll get a gibberish response, if any at all! I’m used to getting an educated, topic-specific response from Chris Van Hollen.

  15. Mike Evans

    …and I thought I would enjoy Fredneck too, but that was before I spent a couple of years here with the Guns, Huntin’, Cows**t, and Pickup Truck mentality that surrounds where I live.

    People refer to “the city”, and they mean Frederick! That’s not “the city”. “The city” is
    Washington DC, or even Baltimore! Frederick is just a charming little cow-town with very limited offerings (as mentioned in my first post).

    …and the gun nuts out here are just, well, disgusting! I think they are mostly closet homosexuals who, uncomfortable with their own sexual ambiguity, turn to guns in an effort to show their masculinity. Come on, gun nuts! Come out of the closet and show your gayness! No shame in being homosexual, only in trying to hide it!

    What Frederick needs is a good gay bar! Maybe some reader west of Dupont Circle (would anyone in Washington DC really read anything about Frederick?) will come out here and exploit an untapped market? All of the gun nuts could be your best customers!

  16. Mike Evans

    …and sorry, I didn’t mean to call them “gun nuts”. I meant to call them “gun trash”.

    “Well, gol’durn it, I got me a gun, I’m-a goin’ a-huuntin’, ahm a real man! Got no teefs, got no brain, but ah got me a guun, and that’s all I need.”

    1. Gypsy

      You truly have a twisted view. I’ve lived in many big cities all around the world. If I want to go to DC I can go there anytime. It’s near enough to get there easily and far enough away not to be a part of it. I’ve lived much closer, in Alexandria, and enjoyed that, too. Your obvious anger and hatred for this area stems from something far deeper than just not liking “Frednecks.” Why did you ever move here in the first place? You clearly despise any kind of rural area, small cities, etc. And as for Congressman Bartlett, yes I’ve gone to his office twice for help to stand up to the Feds and we won both times because of his instant response and work to prove our side. I’ve met him in person and definitely did not find him to muttering “gibberish.” I’ve also met a former Governor of Colorado and Senator Robert Dole, so I do know “politicians.”

      Perhaps you’d have enjoyed it more here if your bitterness and snobbishness wasn’t so painfully obvious. Somehow I doubt very much that you hide that and instead let it flow out because you mistakenly believe you’re “showing” the locals. Laughing and sneering in their faces is hardly the way to make friends, now is it. I’ve lived in many places I didn’t like but I did NOT, so publicly and with such vitriol, disparage them either. It was our choice to live there and we were free to leave – and we did, without flipping off the residents on the way out. No one is going to miss you and God help Montgomery County in your return. You are no productive addition.

    2. FrederickFan

      At first, Mike Evans, I thought you were expressing a personal opinion that might not be popular but fell within the bounds of reasonable discussion. But once your comments had fully entered the realm of sarcastic, over-the-top vitriol (crude remarks about “Guns, Huntin and Cows**t” mentality, “no teefs” and “no brains,” “gun nuts” and “gayness,” etc.), I realized that something else was going on here. Whatever your real agenda (maybe even putting us on?), the tone and content of your posts betray the same level of mentality you ascribe to the most flagrant “Frednecks” populating your imagination.

  17. Mike Evans

    Well, You’re right, of course; I’m just venting.

    I admit to having no respect for the rural lifestyle. I thought it would be a fun change, but after living here and meeting the rural people, I’m just appalled.

    Now, some of them, including two of my neighbors, really are fine people (yes, I admit to overreacting in my blog). … but sooo many of them are pretty much as I have described.

    My neighbor’s kid shoots his guns (yes, plural) off in their backyard a few times almost every week. I admit it’s his kid to raise the way he wants, but if it were my kid I’d tell him “Forget guns! Study hard and make something of yourself! That’s the way you become a man.” ….but instead, he chooses to let his son become a Fredneck.

    The theme of this website is to define or dismiss the term Fredneck. I’m sorry for over reacting, but I just find the gun mentality markedly inferior to the mentality of the NIST scientists, engineers, techies and other professionals that I had for neighbors so many years in Gaithersburg.

    Don’t worry, I’ll be moving back to Montgomery County (and CIVILATION) as soon as I can. I’ll be happy, I’ll calm down and be my old self again. I really do believe that in ten or fifteen years, Frederick County will become more civilized and be intellectually and commercially competitive with Montgomery County. I guess I’m just not the pioneer type.

    Oops! Now as I’m writing this, again, I’m listening to my neighbor shoot off his gun. Please explain to me: Why?

    Hunting practice?

    The hunters call hunting a sport—but the term “sport” suggests a contest with competitive participants. Hunting hardly has real competition! A human (no matter what I may think of his mental capabilities) with a high powered rifle and scope are no match for a defenseless, unarmed animal. No contest, therefore no sport!

    Here’s an idea: Why don’t hunters hunt other hunters? That would level the playing field. Hunters could sign a disclaimer of liability for any other hunter who happens to kill him. Two armed contestants would certainly constitute a genuine sporting contest. …but I’ll bet no hunter likes this idea. Too dangerous. Much easier to shoot a deer who can’t shoot back! What brave, brave, men hunters are!

    Can anyone spell C-O-W-A-R-D-S?

    I’ll take my techies, attorneys, and accountants, and other professionals! They’re too busy with careers to waste time with faux-macho, time-wasting activities.

    But anyway, that’s my definition of Frednecks, and I confess that I’m probably slightly overstating my case because of my too-late-learned distaste for the rural mentality and lifestyle.

    When I go outside I want to see architecture, cafes, educated people. I want to be the dumbest guy in my neighborhood, like I was in Montgomery County. Then I hold my tongue and learn from those around me. It’s really a great and humbling experience to be constantly learning!

    Now that I’ve finished venting, I really do apologize to the rural population of Frederick County. You were here first, living as you choose, and I should never have invaded your space. “Gypsy” is right: I can make the choice to move, and I certainly will at my earliest opportunity.

    …and after I do, I will never, never, even VISIT Fredneck again!

  18. Steph

    Actually, this website is much more than “exploring the term fredneck.” In fact, it’s an entire blog dedicated to the city of Frederick and the county. Perhaps if you stepped outside of your hate and took the time to read the many other posts on here over many years spanning many topics (including culture, art, architecture and even! cafes!), you would find that this “rural” population you deride is almost nonexistent on this blog.

    Your continued rants show that you are not open to a debate nor are you open to opposing views, so perhaps this comment of mine is in vain. I’ve lived in downtown Frederick for a little over 2 years now and it’s one of the most interesting spots in this area. I’ve visited and spent many time in DC, Montgomery County, Annapolis, Baltimore, and I’m very familiar with Bethesda (which seems to be THE place in MoCo), and I would not in one heartbeat trade any of those areas for Downtown Frederick.

    I walk out of my front door, down the street to one of the many cafes where I meet smart and diverse people. I walk to the Weinberg on a weekend night and listen to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra play Beethoven’s 7th to a packed house. I go to galleries on Market Street and talk about colonial art with store owners who have moved from many other cities (like DC, Shepardstown, etc) because they prefer Frederick. I talk to my neighbors who range from downtown small business owners, retired journalists, “techys,” researchers, and even people with – gasp – multiple degrees. I have neighbors and friends downtown who are gay, straight, young, old, middle aged, and of many races and ethnicities. And each month, on First Saturday, I enjoy strolling around packed streets meeting the people who don’t necessarily live downtown, but live in the area and enjoy the hard work the Downtown Partnership and other groups put in to making this place special.

    If you choose not to see this aspect of my city, I don’t mind. I would rather someone who is open minded and interested in learning from others live in my city and county. I share Gypsy’s view that we wish you a quick and harmless return to Montgomery County.

  19. Anon

    I was raised in Frederick county (eastern part of the county, near Mount Airy) but our family moved when I was 12 to southern Montgomery County near Potomac. Growing up as a minority in a mainly white school, I received nothing but polite questions about my ethnic heritage in Frederick County. When I moved to MoCo, I entered a middle school with considerably more ethnic diversity, yet was quickly dubbed a “hick” by some kids in the school because I had grown up in Frederick County. That was my first taste of good ole DC and Montgomery county arrogance and condescension. People may be smarter down here, come from more varied backgrounds, or be exposed to more cultures, but all the sophistication in the world doesn’t mean anything if you aren’t a nice person. Frederick offers caring and close-knit communities, a unabashed love for agriculture and Americana, and a somewhat “old-fashioned” respect for religious faith. It may seem backward or (gasp!) “conservative” to some, but it’s the reason I proudly call Frederick County – not Montgomery County – as my hometown.

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