'Redneck' means different things in some parts of the U.S.

On bad days, Steve Harris laments the name he and his partner chose for their business.

On bad days, Redneck Remodeling doesn't ring as creatively as it did when they put it on fliers they left on windshields of cars in the Lowe's parking lot in Shallotte.

But on good days, he and business partner Chuck Wilbur laugh about the name, as was intended, and talk about customers drawn to them because of it.

"Redneck" is one of those words. You just don't know how it's going to strike someone when you put it on a windshield or lob it into a conversation.

Some people associate it with ignorant, rural, drunken, violent, poor, white male Southerners. Others see it as a badge of honor pinned to a person who is honest, independent and loves his family.

The negative connotations and how they play out in society can produce real problems for those who are labeled as redneck, academics say. They can be a barrier to employment and to finding a way to alleviate the poverty of some rural whites.

But ask many of those people who seem to have automatically negative pictures of rednecks to think, really think about it, and they are likely to find positive ways to describe rednecks and admit that, you know, we all probably have a bit of redneck in us.

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