I'm looking for something people from rural area would use, especially when they refer to that person's inability to adapt to the country life.

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    These expressions will vary widely by location; if you're interested in a particular locale, it would be good to mention it. Apr 18, 2016 at 6:50
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    Rural Catalans sometimes refer to Barcelonins as 'pixapins' (pronounced 'pishapins') which literally means 'pine-pissers' - people who urinate on pine trees. Presumably country folk are more discreet. (The term 'cagahorts' (pr. 'caga-orts', meaning 'garden-shitter') was supposedly coined in response.) Another term is 'camaco' (pr. 'camacu'), derived from the expression most uttered by pixapins when they visit the country: 'que maco!' ('how pretty!').
    – Jeremy
    Apr 18, 2016 at 11:51
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    The term city dwellers itself isn't entirely positive, and with the right intonation (and context) can be quite derogatory itself.
    – Jasper
    Apr 19, 2016 at 7:44

10 Answers 10


Per Wikipedia:

City slicker

City slicker is an idiomatic expression for someone accustomed to a city or urban lifestyle and unsuited to life in the country. The term was typically used as a term of derision by rural Americans who regarded them with amusement.

Promotional poster for the movie *City Slickers*, depicting three men in business suits mounted on horses sporting Western-style tack. Billy Crystal is riding his horse backwards, which allows us to see the "I ❤️ NY" bumper sticker on its rump.

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    See also "Dandy" and "Dude" which had a similar meaning. Apr 18, 2016 at 11:11
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    @MaxWilliams If you like dude, you should upvote Elian's answer, where he suggests that word (I already upvoted him, but someone downvoted, so his answer's net score is currently 0). You might even consider offering an answer of your own, suggesting dandy.
    – Dan Bron
    Apr 18, 2016 at 11:31
  • Oh, i didn't see that, sorry. Apr 18, 2016 at 12:16
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    Related: city boy.
    – Greg Bacon
    Apr 18, 2016 at 17:39
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    I agree that City Slicker is the canonical right answer (because it's popular and derogatory), but I want to mention what might be the original answer: "town mouse". As one of Aesop's fables, it's about 2500 years old. However, it's less derogatory: the moral of "Town Mouse and Country Mouse" is something like "to each his own" or "there's no accounting for taste". Town Mouse is unhappy in the country, and Country Mouse is unhappy in town.
    – AshleyZ
    Jun 28, 2017 at 22:38

Townie is the obvious answer, but tourist or tripper often carry overtones of scorn and 'urban, squat and full of guile'. (I knew a young girl who, left in a car for half an hour, hid under the seat because she was afraid of the trippers.)

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    Round here (rural Wales) we call them 'townies' and it isn't a compliment.
    – Ian
    Apr 17, 2016 at 21:09
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    Although Merriam-Webster gives it second, the definition of townie that comes to my mind first is "a person who lives in a town that has a college or university but does not work at or attend the school"
    – mattdm
    Apr 18, 2016 at 1:51
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    None of these sound the slightest but derogatory to me. Apr 18, 2016 at 6:16
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    I live in a very tourist laden area, and calling someone a tourist is a absolute insult. It implies a general lack of knowledge, a certain amount of carelessness, and a fair bit of rudeness. Tripper, I have never heard before. Townie, to me, is someone "living" in a town that is not part of the larger social gathering. University students calling the towns established citizens "townies" is the most popular example.
    – coteyr
    Apr 18, 2016 at 12:03
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    My experience with the word "townie" is the exact opposite. People from larger/more urban areas spending time in small towns (vacations, some colleges, etc.) call the locals "townies". I have seen this many times and in many places. Apr 19, 2016 at 3:14

I'd suggest,

[city] dude


(hist. & dial.) a city dweller unfamiliar with life on the range; especially : an Easterner in the West


dude: a person who tries to dress like and talk like a cowboy, but really is a city person.

Transparent Language

They appeared to be dudes. Tenderfoots from back east. In the clear mountain air we could smell the new leather boots and scabbards holding their shiny new rifles.

Montana Misadventures


: A tenderfoot is slang for an inexperienced person, particularly one who is not adapted to a rural or outdoor lifestyle (emphasis is mine.)


"I'm one of those tenderfoots, you know, can't tell the difference between a coyote and wolf. Might not know the difference if I saw them, either."

The Shooter


a newcomer (as in a country) unacquainted with local manners and customs.



A tourist to the northern lower, or eastern upper peninsula of Michigan, especially the Mackinac area. Often these tourists are from lower parts of Michigan, and are usually on vacation "up north". The name fudgie comes from the fact that many of these tourist like to spend lots of time in the many fudge shops in northern Michigan. Locals are generally not fond of fudgies, as they seem to have no small town driving abilities, and can sometimes be snobby or annoying. fudgies are identifiable by bright clothes, and the presence of cameras around their necks and the use of fanny packs. also, the use of shoes and sock at wholly inappropriate times, such as on the beach and the pronunciation "Mack-in-ack" are dead giveaways.

You don't have to use your blinker there! what the hell is he doing?

Calm down, it's just another fudgie.

Urban Dictionary


A newcomer to Alaska, ignorant of the terrain, the weather, the animals, the culture, the necessary driving skills in the winter, etc. Opposite of a sourdough.

Urban Dictionary

[city] slick


(n.) A term of address, generally applied to strangers, implying that the person addressed is slick in the sense of "sophisticated," but often used sarcastically.

(adj.) appearing expensive or sophisticated.


drugstore cowboy

A person who dresses and acts like a cowboy but who has never worked as one and has none of a cowboy's skills or experience. Originally a reference to extras in Hollywood western films (who would remain in costume off set), it later extended to anyone who wears cowboy clothing purely for the purposes of style or affectation. Primarily heard in US, South Africa.

Farlex Dictionary of Idioms

The senator accused his challenger of being a drugstore cowboy—a city slicker who had no idea what it meant to live or work in the rural countryside.


  • 7
    i would be surprised if you've heard "dude" used in this way within the past several decades.
    – user428517
    Apr 18, 2016 at 18:54
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    @sgroves, dude ranches would refer to that meaning I'd imagine. Apr 19, 2016 at 4:39

You might call the person a yuppie:

A yuppie (/ˈjʌpi/; short for "young urban professional" or "young upwardly-mobile professional") is defined by one source as being "a young college-educated adult who has a job that pays a lot of money and who lives and works in or near a large city".

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    Nobody talks about yuppies anymore. Nowadays it's hipsters people complain about!
    – Tom Hundt
    Apr 18, 2016 at 22:43
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    I complained about hipsters before it was cool.
    – kojiro
    Apr 19, 2016 at 3:30
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    But both yuppie and hipster are specific to small subsets of urban dwellers, e.g. yuppie implies young and professional, leaving out all the older and blue-collar urbanites.
    – jamesqf
    Apr 19, 2016 at 17:05

(D**ned) urbanites. Or if the rural area happens to be hilly or mountainous, flatlanders.

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    I love flatlanders, +1. Never heard of it until my adulthood, speaking with a native Vermonter.
    – Dan Bron
    Apr 17, 2016 at 18:24
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    I can not figure out what has been "bleeped" out. Go ahead, be rude, it's needed for the greater understanding.
    – coteyr
    Apr 18, 2016 at 12:05
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    I've heard the abbreviated "urb" used as a pejorative, although I'm not sure whether it was directed specifically at urbanity or just at a particular subculture therein, since I seem to recall it was used for skater-esque folk. Apr 18, 2016 at 12:32
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    "Flatlanders" doesn't work if the city they're from is e.g. San Francisco... Apr 18, 2016 at 15:46
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    @Darrel Hoffman: I dunno... the few times I've driven through, it seemed pretty flat to me. A few localized bumps, but there's nothing more than a few hundred feet above sea level.
    – jamesqf
    Apr 18, 2016 at 17:09

Kind of an obscure one, and I don't believe it's an official word, so the only definition available might be urban dictionary, but I have heard it used before. From Urban Dictionary:


Noun, adjective. Derived from City+idiot. Someone from the city who's utterly crippled by an inability to survive outside city limits or comprehend any merit or logic in rural life or people.

  • 3
    I added a link to the source of your definition and identified that source. Please include such citations when you include quotations from other sources in your answers.
    – Sven Yargs
    Apr 19, 2016 at 0:52


In the North East of Scotland at least. I don't think I've ever heard of it used in anything other than a derogatory manner.

Awa an wash yersel, ya toonser mink.

Away and wash yourself you dirty town dweller.



In Cornwall, UK they are often referred to as grockles, though this refers more to 'tourists' than specifically town dwellers (after all, there are some towns in Cornwall...)


Another long shot, since the best picks are already taken, but 'burger', in its original meaning could be used in derogatory sense. This kind of use originated from XIX century Russian literature, so is more likely to be recognized in countries whose history has been influenced by Russia than others.


city boy/girl (disparaging when used to describe an adult)

Oxford dictionaries

A boy or man who is a native or inhabitant of a city, or who has urban tastes or manners.

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