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[hil-bil-ee] /ˈhɪlˌbɪl i/ Often Disparaging and Offensive.
noun, plural hillbillies.
a term used to refer to a person from a backwoods or other remote area, especially from the mountains of the southern U.S. (sometimes used facetiously).
of, like, or relating to hillbillies:
hillbilly humor.
Origin of hillbilly
An Americanism dating back to 1895-1900; hill + Billy
Usage note
Hillbilly is often used with disparaging intent and perceived as insulting, implying that a person who lives far away from a town or city lacks culture or education. However, this term is also used in a humorous way without intent to offend, and it is sometimes a positive term of self-reference. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for hillbilly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Obviously a hillbilly, he carried a carbine as though it were a part of him.

    Trading Jeff and his Dog James Arthur Kjelgaard
  • Why should he assume a hillbilly family from way out in Oregon was any different?

    The House from Nowhere Arthur G. Stangland
  • We got a whole platoon to shoot out and I want to see that hillbilly do the same thing in the standing position.

    Sonny Rick Raphael
  • The radio in the car was yangling with hillbilly songs, the only thing you can pick up in Ohio, but I didn't care.

    Highways in Hiding George Oliver Smith
  • Nobody had any money except the hillbilly and he went home for the three days and really lived it up.

  • Jeff, who knew that it's as easy to trade a hillbilly out of his hand as to separate him from his rifle, continued to work calmly.

    Trading Jeff and his Dog James Arthur Kjelgaard
British Dictionary definitions for hillbilly


noun (pl) -lies
generally (derogatory) an unsophisticated person, esp from the mountainous areas in the southeastern US
another name for country and western
Word Origin
C20: from hill + Billy (the nickname)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hillbilly

"southern Appalachian U.S. resident," by 1892, from hill + masc. proper name Billy/Billie.

Then again, I do not think It will do so well. I would hate to see some old railroad man come here and take my job, and then, I don t think It is right to hire some Hill Billy and give him the same right as I just because he was hired the same time I was. ["The Railroad Trainmen's Journal," vol. IX, July 1892]

In short, a Hill-Billie is a free and untrammelled white citizen of Alabama, who lives in the hills, has no means to speak of, dresses as he can, talks as he pleases, drinks whiskey when he gets it, and fires of his revolver as the fancy takes him. ["New York Journal," April 23, 1900]
In reference to a type of folk music, first attested 1924.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for hillbilly



  1. : hillbilly music/ hillbilly crafts
  2. Countrified; unsophisticated; hick: This ain't no hillbilly joint. We got some class here


  1. A southern Appalachian hill dweller •Regarded as offensive by some (1900+)
  2. A country bumpkin
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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