Y Is For Yokel

I am writing for the April A to Z challenge under the Category of Other and Miscellaneous and my Theme is Negative personalities and what’s more important is that today Y is for yokel.  A yokel is a person who is ill-bred, rude, uncouth, rustic or a country bumpkin.  Someone who fell off the turnip truck or the rhubarb truck and landed on their head.  A yokel is a person who is not very intelligent, or is an awkward country fellow who is simple and old-fashioned, or someone who is not interested in culture, thus a chawbacon, dimwit, hayseed, hick, hokey, rube or yahoo.  This term implies ignorance up to the point of complete stupidity, naiveté and backwardness, someone born and living in the country who was never exposed to the city.  The yokel would be easily impressed and it would not be hard to dupe them into buying the Brooklyn Bridge.  If you eat squirrel more than once a day, there is a good chance that you are a yokel.

This term may be a bit dated, as country folk are much more civilized and aware of things than they were back in the day. The term hillbilly has replaced both bumpkin and yokel.  The author Washington Irving mentioned country bumpkins in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, “How he would figure among them in the churchyard, between services on Sundays; gathering grapes for them from the wild vines that overran the surrounding trees; reciting for their amusement all the epitaphs on the tombstones; or sauntering, with a whole bevy of them, along the banks of the adjacent millpond; while the more bashful country bumpkins hung sheepishly back, envying his superior elegance and address.”  Jonathan Swift coined the term Yahoo in ‘Gulliver’s Travels’, applying it to a race of humanoid brutes in contrast with the civilized race of intelligent horses, the Houyhnhnms.  Mark Twain used the word yokel in his story ‘Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’, “The King and the Duke, the original flimflam men who travel downriver with Huck and Jim, are debating whether the local yokels may be catching on to their latest scam.”

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