The Corner

Re: What Do You Call Yourself?

MASSES of e-mail on this one. People love this word stuff. I can blog all

day about politics, and the world slumbers; give people words to play with,

and they come alive. Interesting.

Well: I haven’t actually been all that successful at getting weird names

for the natives of U.S. towns and states. For some reason, the weird stuff

is elsewhere — esp. Canada. However, just on the U.S.A.:

(1) “New Jerseyan” or “New Jerseyite”? Natives of the Garden State seem to

prefer the former, though style books tend to give the latter. (Though not

NR’s; I have a “-an” citation from NRODT.)

(2) Michigan is in a state of incipient civil war over “Mighiganian” vs.

“Michigander.” [Note from Derb: Shouldn’t “Michigander” be for males only,

with “Michigeese” for gals? Just asking.] Furthermore, natives of the

Michigan upper peninsula are “oopers,” and refer to the downstaters as

“trolls.”

(3) Folk from Canton, China may indeed be “Cantonese,” but if you come from

Canton, Ohio, you are a “Cantonian.” Go figure. (No reports in yet from

Canton, NY.)

(4) Natives of Seattle are of course “Seattlites,” but my informant couldn’t

remember whether they hang down from the ceiling or stick up from the floor.

(Just so long as they stay in orbit, say I.)

(5) People from Florida are “Floridians,” but people from Nevada are

“Nevadans.” Why? asks a reader. What happened to the “i”? Beats me. If

anyone has seen it lying around, please inform us at NRO.

(6) Lots of slightly un-PC suggestions about “Mainiacs,” “Vermongoloids,”

etc., which I shall pass over without comment.

(7) Neither of my two correspondents from Connecticut have any idea what to

call themselves. Can anyone help? (Note: “Connecticutie” is of VERY

LIMITED APPLICABILITY.)

(8) A person from Phoenix, Ariz., is a “Phoenician.” Just don’t go off

founding any cities in N. Africa and challenging the might of Rome, guys.

(9) Shed a tear for the Clintonians (of Clinton, IN) and the Kirkatoids (of

Kirksville, MO).

(10) If you come from Key West, you’re a “Conch.”

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