I’d like to kick-off an ongoing series on things that I did not know about Frederick a/o Maryland before moving here, but probably should have. Perhaps the tag “the more you know” is a bit of a misnomer as likely all of these things are fairly obvious to anyone reading the FNP and not exactly a public service announcement. If you’d prefer, we can rip off The Colbert Report and go with “better know a district.” Either way, here comes fact #1.
Many people, residents included, call my fine new home Fredneck. I’m not sure how this escaped my notice, because now I hear it all the time. In fact, there’s even been a lot written about it. Urban Dictionary has a particularly insulting description of the residents of Frederick and in 2007, the Frederick News Post published an insightful article on the origins and acceptability of the usage of Fredneck. So, despite the fact that a Google search would have prepared me, when I first heard my new friends and residents of Frederick calling the town Fredneck, I was shocked and horrified. Why would these people, who are all bright, cultured, and well-educated, identify with a derivative of redneck? All I could think was, “OK, maybe this is just appropriating the language of the abuser so that when it’s used against you, the impact is diminished.” Or, in less snooty terms, “I guess it’s like how it’s OK for rappers to use the N word?” But any way that you look at it, that word is just out there more often, becoming increasingly popular and inextricably linked with the culture of Frederick.
I’m not sure how qualified I am to weigh in on the issue given that I’m a newbie to Frederick, but let me say that, guys, this makes me sad. From what I’ve seen so far, Frederick has nothing redneck-y about it. So what if, as one definition of the word proposes, I happen to know all the beers on tap at Brewer’s Alley? I think enjoying locally-brewed craft beer is the opposite of my vision of what a redneck is – for heaven’s sakes, it’s not moonshine. So, I implore you, fellow residents of Frederick please don’t perpetuate this – it just reinforces any negative stereotype those snobs from MoCo, DC, or Baltimore already have – and this is something I do know for a fact, given that I used to be one of them. But then again, maybe that’s the plan – belittle the town, discredit it, keep it a hidden treasure of MD, and then no more of us will move up here. That justification, I do get.