|What Do You Call A Person From...? |
By Cynthia Surprise, EE Periodico, February, 2015
"When I started writing about residents of EE, I wasn't sure what to call them. Esperanzans? Esperanzites? That sounded almost biblical. I finally resorted to looking up the rules. For those of you who are interested, see the footnote. Happily the rules gave me the answer: we are Esperanzans.
"Of course, I then got to thinking about what some of my fellow Esperanzans would be called based on their home states. While I sometimes refer to myself as a Bostonian, I actually live outside the city. So, should I say I'm a Massachusettsite or Massachusettser? To avoid these tongue twisters, local broadcasters frequently call us Bay Staters. While the rules are often applied, tradition, folklore and custom often rule the day.
"Citizens of Michigan, for example, have long debated whether they are 'Michiganians,' 'Michiganders' or 'Michiganites.' The state legislature finally resolved the issue in 1979 when it voted to make Michiganian the official name, but there apparently is still strong support for "Michigander." Note, however, that those who live in Michigan's Upper Peninsula proudly refer to themselves as Yuppers.
"Nicknames are also popular references. Iowans may prefer to be called Hawkeyes, derived from chief Black Hawk who figured in the early history of Iowa. Jayhawker is a common nickname for a Kansan and many Ohioans call themselves Buckeyes.
"Sooners are Oklahomans. The name Sooner reportedly goes back to the opening of the Oklahoma Territory in 1889. Lands were opened legally for settlement at noon on April 22. Some settlers sneaked in before the official time and were dubbed 'sooners." Like many nicknames, this one's negative connotations faded over time and the name, Sooner, is now worn with pride.
"Wisconsinites are also called Badgers. This nickname originally referred to the lead miners of the 1830s, who worked at the Galena lead mines in Illinois. The Wisconsin miners lived, not in houses, but in temporary caves cut into the hillsides. These caves were described as badger dens and the miners who lived in them were referred to as badgers. This derisive nickname was brought back to Wisconsin by these miners. Eventually, the nickname was applied to all of the people of Wisconsin and, finally, to the state itself.
"Arizona residents are Arizonans, and like the ancients, those from Phoenix are Phonecians. But Arizonans who escape the summer heat by going to San Diego are affectionately known there as Zonies. Sort of a reverse snowbird.
"Then there are Illinois and its neighbor Indiana. Illinoisians from Chicago are Chicagoans, never Chicagans. Folks from Evanston, Illinois are Evanstonians. Indianans are often called Hoosiers from Indiana's nickname as the Hoosier State. There are no villans in Evansville, Indiana, only Evansvillians.
"Similarly, those from Louisville, Kentucky prefer Louisvillians to Louisvillans. Minnesotans are also called Gophers and Newfoundlanders are Newfies. Are there any Independents (Missouri) here? If you live in Liberal, Kansas are you a Liberal or a Liberalite?
"Folks from Utah are Utahn not Utaan or Utahan. Trojans are from Troy, New York. Washingtonians reside on either coast as residents of the state of Washington or the District of Columbia.
"People from Maine are Mainers, not Maniacs, and are also called Down Easters. Why? When ships sailed from Boston to ports in Maine (which were to the east of Boston), the wind was at their backs, so they were sailing downwind, hence the term "Down East." When they returned to Boston they were sailing upwind, and many Mainers still speak of going 'up to Boston,' despite the fact that the city lies approximately 50 miles to the south of Maine's southern border.
"While it can be amusing to try to figure out what to call yourself or your neighbors, remember there are limits. Sometimes the best thing to call people from Sioux Falls is "people from Sioux Falls."
Rules for determining names of residents:
Place name ends in...
|y||change "y" to "i"and add "an"|
|a consonant||either "ite" or "er"|
|silent "e"||either "ite" or "er"|