In Wikipedia, “hillbilly” is defined as: … a term referring to certain people who dwell in rural, mountainous areas of the United States, primarily Appalachia but also the Ozarks. Owing to its strongly stereotypical connotations, the term is frequently considered derogatory, and so is usually offensive to those Americans of Appalachian heritage.

I am looking for a term of equivalent meaning denoting the highly loaded emotional characteristic.


9 Answers 9


In British English there is the word yokel which has much the same pejorative overtones.

yokel noun
an uneducated and unsophisticated person from the countryside.



While I'd agree that Andrew Leach's answer yokel is a good word for this, perhaps you could also (for British English) consider bumpkin:-

An awkward, unsophisticated person; a yokel.


Likewise, in (colloquial) Australian English, bogan can be considered roughly equivalent:

The term bogan (/ˈboʊɡən/) is Australian and New Zealand slang, usually pejorative or self-deprecating, for an individual who is recognised to be from an unsophisticated background or someone whose speech, clothing, attitude and behaviour exemplifies a lack of manners and education. (Wikipedia)

  • 1
    I tend to think of bogans as more suburban than hillbillies, but still a good fit.
    – user867
    Commented May 31, 2013 at 5:07
  • 1
    When I lived in Australia we sometimes referred to them as bushbillies.
    – WS2
    Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 7:26

The previously-mentioned terms bumpkin (“a yokel; a clumsy, unsophisticated person)” and yokel (“(pejorative) An unsophisticated person”, also “A person of rural background”) both appear in the British-equivalent-of-redneck virtuallinguist link given in a third answer. The linked page also states that “The words hick and hillbilly are used too (also pejoratively) but not very often”, and it goes on to mention slightly-less-relevant terms chav (“(UK, pejorative, offensive) A working-class youth, especially one associated with aggression, poor education, and a perceived "common" taste in clothing and lifestyle”) and pikey (“(UK, pejorative) A working-class (often underclass) person; can vary from specifically Irish Travellers to gypsies or travellers from any ethnic background, but now increasingly used for any socially undesirable person, with negative connotations...”), besides some dialectical or little-used but perhaps well-known terms like Scottish heuchter-teuchter and Irish culchie (“(Dublin, slang, pejorative, offensive) A rural person”) and some more-general terms like provincial and parochial.

However, the previous answers and the virtuallinguist link fail to mention the noun rustic, which means “A (sometimes unsophisticated) person from a rural area”. Wiktionary illustrates it via the following quote from Arthur Conan Doyle's story Sir Nigel:

The King looked at the motionless figure, at the little crowd of hushed expectant rustics beyond the bridge, and finally at the face of Chandos, which shone with amusement.

  • 3
    But (at least in the US) "rustic" could be positive, much more than "hillbilly".
    – GEdgar
    Commented May 30, 2013 at 17:02
  • 2
    So can hillbilly. It is a matter of context and intent.
    – MetaEd
    Commented May 30, 2013 at 19:06
  • Rustic charm is well-appreciated.
    – Kris
    Commented May 24, 2014 at 12:30

Aussies use the terms "redneck" and "yokel". We also can be more geographically specific, and typically inventive. A resident of the rural township of Nerang (Qld) is called a "Nerangutang".


Although not strictly what you asked for, I thought I'd add some Irish equivalents. The main ones are:

Culchie - derived from the name of the village Kiltimagh


Bogger - because much of rural Ireland is covered in bog(especially those that are traditionally the poorest).

Other words words like hick, bumpkin, red-neck or yokel are used or would be understood.


I like 'Pictish' used as an adjective, referring to the Picts, barbaric tribes of Scotland during the Roman occupation. But not even the English will have any notion of what you're talking about. I've heard it used by Rupert Everett in the movie 'An Ideal Husband'.


One term that shouldn't be overlooked in the context of this question is peasant:

1 A poor farmer of low social status who owns or rents a small piece of land for cultivation (chiefly in historical use or with reference to subsistence farming in poorer countries).

1.1 informal An ignorant, rude, or unsophisticated person; a person of low social status.

(Definitions from Oxforddictionaries.com)


Perhaps "Boor" fits as an answer to this question the question reasonably. It has the churlish/crass connotation without being excessively stereotypical. It is also more typically used in Britain/Australia than in the US.


  • Boor is well-understood in the U.S., but there is no association with backwoods areas here—there are plenty of people in big cities and university towns acting boorishly who are described as such.
    – choster
    Commented Jul 13, 2018 at 14:00
  • Oh, right. I thought the original question was an answer. I wasn't focusing on the need to come from the rural countryside. I would vote for "bumpkin" then. usingenglish.com/forum/threads/150422-Any-British-term-for-hick
    – user22542
    Commented Jul 13, 2018 at 15:54