This term is usually used with disparaging intent to refer to those white people who migrated north and west from Southern Appalachia throughout the first half of the 20th century. These migrants, mostly from eastern Kentucky and Tennessee, were looking for jobs in southeastern Ohio and other places. Brier has negative connotations similar to words such as hillbilly and redneck. But brier has also been used as a term of self-reference by the migrants themselves and their descendants. It is a shortened form of brier hopper/brierhopper (also spelled briar hopper/briarhopper), probably a reference to the brier bushes found in Southern Appalachia.