I'm looking for a derogatory term for people from liberal metropolitain areas who think they are better educated and more enlightened than those from rural, conservative areas.

Carthage, TX is to redneck as San Francisco, CA is to ______________.


In response to comments below, I feel I must add that I do not believe the people of SF "think they are better educated and more enlightened than those from rural, conservative areas."

If I did believe that, I wouldn't be asking this question now would I? BECAUSE I WOULD KNOW ALL THE DERAGATORY TERMS.

  • 6
    How is this different from a question asking for an inflammatory term you could use to disparage people from Africa? This isn't the "help me with name-calling and pissing people off" Stack Exchange site. This is the site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts where we build up a library of expert answers. I don't see how your question fits with those goals, let alone with any goals of human decency. Helping folks curse others is not why we're here.
    – tchrist
    Aug 10, 2017 at 14:59
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    @tchrist It seems to me that the OP was asking for the antonym of "redneck" on the political spectrum, which seems like a reasonable question to me. Also, I did not seriously expect to see ALL CAPS BOLD FLAMING from an experienced user here, let alone a moderator.
    – March Ho
    Aug 10, 2017 at 15:21
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    The answers are related but the question is not what I'm asking.
    – user251303
    Aug 10, 2017 at 15:32
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    @tchrist (I'm probably biased, but) while "city slicker" IMO applies to both questions, that's because it has both senses (don't have skills for rural life, are arrogant about being city dwellers), but most of the other answers here won't apply to the other (hipsters, elitist, etc. do not imply a lack of skills needed for rural life). Essentially, it's just one answer that's common.
    – muru
    Aug 10, 2017 at 15:44
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    @tchrist While derogatory terms are by nature offensive, you know not the intentions of the OP. Writers often portray characters as offensive. You are right, this is no different to harmful words towards racial or religious groups, but It's only offensive if you choose to be offended by it. Most of the users of a site like this are mature enough to see that this does not show explicit intent to be offensive, so it is not a harmful question.
    – user251968
    Aug 10, 2017 at 17:25

15 Answers 15


City slicker

informal, derogatory
A person with the sophistication and values generally associated with urban dwellers. (Oxford Living Dictionaries)

someone who lives in a city and does not understand what life outside a city is like (Merriam-Webster)

While the usual emphasis is on the lack of knowledge about rural life and skills needed there, it also applies to people who are arrogant about living in the city. From Wikipedia:

City slicker was derisively given to people from the urban Eastern United States when they took on an attitude that their lifestyle and access to the culture of city life gave them superior intelligence. [...]

The archetypal city slicker is depicted as a spoiled, selfish, lazy, rich person who considers people living on farms to be poor and ignorant.

And it certainly is derogatory like "redneck".

  • 3
    I think this is less political than what the OP is looking for, though. City slicker is usually just a town mouse/country mouse type thing. People from SF (at least stereotypically) also think they're more morally enlightened. Aug 10, 2017 at 16:25
  • @MissMonicaE Perhaps say "high-bred city-slickers" vs "inbred rednecks" to suggest a comparison of (sexual, at least) mores? I wish there was more context...
    – muru
    Aug 10, 2017 at 16:41
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    What I like best about this answer is that it has one subtle parallelism with redneck in that both terms are sometimes worn as badges of pride both members of the groups to which they may reasonably be applied, as a way to undermine their derisive qualities. Aug 10, 2017 at 17:47

Recently in the United States, I've heard the term coastal elite growing in use.

The term is referenced in Salon in an article titled '“Real Americans” vs. “coastal elites”: What right-wing sneers at city dwellers really mean'

Then, there is the popular expression “coastal elites” — an all-encompassing term for any educated professional who lives in a major city in California or along the Eastern seaboard.

Since many U.S. liberal cities appear on the east or west coast, referring to urban people, professionals, figures or pundits as coastal in a derogatory way seems to be growing in popularity among those who wish to disparage such types.

I live in Chicago, in the American Midwest. Although many people here refer to "The coast of Lake Michigan," Chicagoans would only qualify as "coastal" in a political sense by figurative extension of the urban elite epithet.


Currently, it's libtard. If they were young, possibly hipster.

See for example Google or Urbandictionary (the place to go for derogatory terms).

  • 4
    I'm not sure why this is being downvoted. While vulgar, it does fit the premise of the question. There could be a little more exposition perhaps though.
    – bendl
    Aug 10, 2017 at 12:45
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    Could use a reference, so we know that it was not just made up by Joly.
    – GEdgar
    Aug 10, 2017 at 13:45
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    @bendl I downvoted because the usage is generally much broader than the OP's request. "Libtard", in common usage, refers to literally anyone who is left-leaning. I had never seen the first definition in the linked UrbanDictionary article, and had never seen the word used that way, but now that I see that that was a usage, I will retract my downvote.
    – Beofett
    Aug 10, 2017 at 14:52
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    I feel like "libtard" isn't quite the same as "redneck" Aug 10, 2017 at 16:59
  • 6
    Redneck is absolutely an offensive slur.
    – Davo
    Aug 10, 2017 at 17:55



  1. a person having, thought to have, or professing superior intellect or talent, power, wealth, or membership in the upper echelons of society: He lost a congressional race in Texas by being smeared as an Eastern elitist.

  2. a person who believes in the superiority of an elitist class.

from Dictionary.com

For example, from "San Francisco Man In Massive 'Wife Swap' Fallout", Huffington Post, March 24, 2009:

Fowler’s stint on the ABC reality show last month, in which he called a rural Missouri woman spending two weeks in his San Francisco home stupid and simple, has made him famous in the worst way.


Three weeks later, Fowler’s “Wife Swap” antics are still a YouTube sensation, with at least 10 postings from the show’s Jan. 30 episode displayed on the Web site, most with headings such as “ridiculous elitist” and “elitists gone wild.”


His performance evoked a stereotype of the San Francisco elitist liberal — the tree-hugging do-gooder who acts morally superior while putting down others.

  • 1
    This isn't quite right. Believing someone of superior intellect should be in a different class is different from someone believing that they have that superior intellect needed to be in an elite class.
    – user105360
    Aug 10, 2017 at 16:22
  • @Physics-Compute I may be missing a subtlety here, but in my interpretation that is equivalent to "3. a person ... professing superior intellect ...".
    – D Krueger
    Aug 10, 2017 at 16:47
  • I may be hinging more on the literal meaning of elite+ist, where either he is an elite or advocates for elitism. Calling someone/yourself an elite does not make them one. Unless the target actually does have superior intellect, a more accurate phrase would be, "Pretend elite/elitist" or "Counterfeit elite/elitist" if the intent is to show that the person thinks of themself as an elite but is not in reality.
    – user105360
    Aug 10, 2017 at 17:07

This may not be technically correct, but oftentimes in everyday speech such people are branded as Yuppies.

yuppie [yuhp-ee] noun (often initial capital letter) a young, ambitious, and well-educated city-dweller who has a professional career and an affluent lifestyle.

Source: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/yuppie


The use of cosmopolitan as an insult in this vein is explored in this article:


When TV news viewers saw Trump adviser Stephen Miller accuse Jim Acosta of harboring a “cosmopolitan bias” during Wednesday’s news conference, they might have wondered whether he was accusing the CNN White House reporter of an excessive fondness for the cocktail made famous on “Sex and the City.” It’s a term that’s seldom been heard in American political discourse. But to supporters of the Miller-Bannon worldview, it was a cause for celebration. Breitbart, where Steve Bannon reigned before becoming Trump’s chief political strategist, trumpeted Miller’s “evisceration” of Acosta and put the term in its headline. So did white nationalist Richard Spencer, who hailed Miller’s dust-up with Acosta as “a triumph.”

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    It might be good to note that the word cosmopolitan is considered a dog-whistle for white-nationalists. It was a word used by Hitler and Stalin. Source
    – bendl
    Aug 10, 2017 at 12:44
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    Wow, I never knew Cosmo was a KKK publication. Here I thought they were just peddling makeup and sex.
    – Stephen R
    Aug 10, 2017 at 14:09
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    It might be good to note that the word cosmopolitan is not the sole property of white nationalists, and casual association fallacies are bereft of merit. Oh, and Stephen Miller is Jewish.
    – seanmus
    Aug 10, 2017 at 18:28
  • Cosmopolitan is a perfectly respectable word meaning - per OED sense 1 (with various other related senses - none of them disparaging:) 1. Belonging to all parts of the world; not restricted to any one country or its inhabitants. 1848 J. S. Mill Princ. Polit. Econ. II. iii. xvii. 113 Capital is becoming more and more cosmopolitan. 1865 G. Grote Plato I. iv. 151 The mixed and cosmopolitan character of the Alexandrine population. 1869 R. Semmes Adventures Afloat ii. 670 They were of the cosmopolitan sailor class.
    – WS2
    Aug 10, 2017 at 19:13

In Australia such people may be referred to as 'latte sipping lefties' or 'latte-sippers'. This phrase is mildly derogatory.

"LATTE-SIPPING LEFTIES UNITE ‘Latte sipping leftie’ is an insult often thrown around by conservatives, but loving your coffee and having a defined palate is nothing to be ashamed of — provided you're ethical about it."

Urban Dictionary has a listing for 'latte sipper' which I have not linked to as it contains expletives and strongly offensive language.

The phrase 'latte sipping/er' is often used in the Australian political discourse to refer to the extreme left and their employees/supporters. It implies that the person is out of touch with the majority for whom a latte is neither affordable nor available in their location.

  • Just to be clear - the implication is that a latte is unavailable to the majority. In actuality you can buy barista coffee in all but the most remote locations within Australia.
    – user251914
    Aug 10, 2017 at 12:57
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    It's there, but how much does it cost? In the US, this evokes the daily $4-5 (US) Starbucks latte of the blindly privileged. Aug 10, 2017 at 17:01


It's a step or two removed from the dictionary meaning, but I've heard it used in derogatory terms in Australian, British and US English to describe city dwellers with a left-leaning world view. It strongly implies that these people are distrustful because they are intelligent, cultured and out-of-touch with the "common man". It's generally used to deride someone who is more concerned with lofty ideals like human rights, the environment and foreign affairs than more "commonly" held concerns, like immigration, housing affordability or casual racism.

Most bizarrely, it's a label that has been propagated by right-wing media pundits and politicians who live a far more privileged existence and are unfalteringly guilty of every negative implication they make against those they label.

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    Especially the term "liberal elite". Usage seems to have increased dramatically in the U.S. since the 2016 elections. Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberal_elite Aug 10, 2017 at 12:35
  • This is ... a really interesting interpretation. Aug 10, 2017 at 13:25

Literati or perhaps Intelligentsia

Literati: the educated class

Intelligentsia: intellectuals who form an artistic, social, or political vanguard or elite https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intelligentsia

Neither is explicitly derogatory, but they do carry overtones of derision particularly in this context.


Others have suggested Coastal Elite which, while accurate, I don't think has the same derogatory connotations as redneck. I'd suggest instead Hipster, for young people who are over-educated and under-experienced, who think they're better and more tolerant than everyone else.


In Britain the polite term would be metropolitan another might be urbane. .

Most members of Tony Blair's cabinet were people of metropolitan outlook and taste. The professional class in Saudi Arabia are people of a perfectly urbane outlook.

Metropolitan - OED sense 4.

  1. A native or inhabitant of a metropolis or large city; a person who has metropolitan ideas, manners, etc.

1795 A. Hughes Jemima I. 83 You are a Paisley by nature as well as by birth, and incapable of becoming a worthy metropolitan.

1815 J. Jekyll in Bentham's Wks. (1843) X. 486 To so inveterate a metropolitan as myself this is no grievance.

1882 E. O'Donovan Merv Oasis II. liv. 407 The people at Merv considered themselves altogether as metropolitans.

1987 A. Brien Lenin ii. 95 I could not believe that these sophisticated metropolitans, all of them Petersburg graduates, could be so..obtuse.

1996 Independent 20 Aug. ii. 2 (heading) The brave new metropolitans.


Conceited : having or showing an excessively high opinion of oneself (Merrian-Webster)

Vainglorious: boastful -> a statement expressing excessive pride in oneself (Merrian-Webster)

Self-important: an exaggerated estimate of one's own importance; arrogant or pompous behavior (Merriam-Webster) (see also: self-applauding)

Know-it-all: one who claims to know everything; also one who disdains advice (Merriam-Webster) (see also: stuck-up)

Swollen-headed: arrogant, conceited (Merriam-Webster) (see also big-headed)

With a more indirect approach I would also recommend: Patronizing, Pretentious, Braggart

EDIT: A user pulled to my attention the lack of cosmopolitan connotations of the prior suggestions. As so I would like to suggest:

Urbanite : a person who lives in a city

There are other options that culturally might make sense although can be seen as gender specific. Such is the case of Corinthian or Mondaine. It might also work to imply a lesser than apparent cultural importance perhaps by using a word such as townie.

  • These only address the pejorative aspects of the question so far. Would you please explain why they especially pertain to people from places like San Francisco?
    – Tonepoet
    Aug 10, 2017 at 19:12
  • @Tonepoet "people [...] who think they are better educated and more enlightened than [...]" and than the OP gave an example of San Francisco (which I assume could be from anywhere). Applying to the example: "Carthage, TX is to redneck as San Francisco, CA is to know-it-all" Does it not cover the apparent intentions of the OP?
    – armatita
    Aug 10, 2017 at 22:12
  • Not quite. Redneck has certain regional connotations. It's associated with the rural south, so the counterpart insult should at least have metropolitan connotations to make it fit S.F. just as well as redneck does Carthage Texas. Since your words can be equally applied to anybody from anywhere without such bias, they do not seem to be as good of a match.
    – Tonepoet
    Aug 11, 2017 at 3:09
  • @Tonepoet I see your point. I don't think I can add much to the other answers but I gave it try. I've edited the answer to ensure its on topic.
    – armatita
    Aug 11, 2017 at 8:00

"Liberal elite" doesn't explicitly reference coastal areas, but is suggestive of the city-dwelling left who look down on "red state bumpkins". If you want to reflect the financially well off, you might consider "limousine liberal"



It's an anagram for "Young Urban Proffesional"

From dictionary.com...

noun, (often initial capital letter)

  1. a young, ambitious, and well-educated city-dweller who has a professional career and an affluent lifestyle.

It has a history:

Jerry Rubin was a political activist who eventually made a bunch of money by investing in Apple. His followers were self-dubbed "yippies", and "yuppies" was the degradation of the term.


  • This is a decent start to the answer, but it does nothing to show the pejorative nature of the word. Indeed, based upon this answer, you might even be inclined to think it is a compliment, since every trait mentioned in the definition like a positive one. I think you should include some quotations that make the analogy to redneck more obvious, perhaps by comparing usages of "damn rednecks" to "damn yuppies". Until this answer is improved, I will be voting against it because of the potential confusion, but please let me know when you do improve it, so I can reconsider how it should be rated.
    – Tonepoet
    Aug 10, 2017 at 18:50
  • @Tonepoet it's only your opinion that you think these traits are good.
    – Carl
    Aug 10, 2017 at 18:53

Metrolitist, perhaps?

Not a word I've heard ever, but do you see what I did there ;-) ? (an elision of metropolitan and elitist)

  • 5
    -1. It sounds like you literally made up this word on the fly. If I am mistaken, please provide evidence that this word is in common use.
    – March Ho
    Aug 10, 2017 at 14:27
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    @MarchHo - guilty as charged! This question is inviting suggestions. A new word seemed a reasonable offer. Are (rationalised) neologisms against the rules?
    – Dan
    Aug 10, 2017 at 15:11
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    @Dan neologisms tend not to be a good fit here. At the least controversial.
    – Mitch
    Aug 10, 2017 at 20:10
  • @Mitch - seems to be my middle name at the moment.
    – Dan
    Aug 11, 2017 at 0:47

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