[Ads-l] Rocket City

Tue Mar 21 11:19:02 EDT 2017

I've also heard Nashvegas, and Huntsvegas.  Sometimes in Nashville I've heard it referred to as "the 'Ville", typically from radio deejays.  Also Murfreesboro as "the Boro."  Local newscasters and deejays will refer to my hometown of Huntsville and environs as "The Valley", referencing the Tennessee River Valley (which isn't much of a valley, as the Tennessee goes mostly through wide flat floodplains in this area.)

The first occasion I ever heard this tendency for referring to a city by some name other than its own, in an attempt to come up with something with a little more cachet perhaps, was when I was travelling to Los Angeles a bunch for work 25 years ago -- "The Southland". Then I started going to Washington DC, which area uses "The Beltway" (meaning the interstate loop around it) as a name, also sometimes "The District."  To my feeble mind, this is different than typical nicknames cities will pick up ("Twin Cities," the "tri-state area" around NYC, "Music City USA" for Nashville), but I'm having trouble describing why I see it as different.

From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of Wilson Gray [hwgray at GMAIL.COM]
Sent: Monday, March 20, 2017 5:53 PM
Subject: [Non-DoD Source] Re: Rocket City


On Sat, Mar 18, 2017 at 6:58 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>

> Sometime around 1980 a fellow grad student referred to Knoxville as "Knox
> Vegas," for no reason that I could see.

The trivializing of the art of punnery is sadly, one of my own failings.
So, my guess - and I’d bet money on it - is that the mere fact that “Knox
Vegas” is vaguely reminiscent of “Las Vegas” struck this fellow as
sufficient motivation for not only coining this pointless pswaydo-pun, but
also for inflicting it upon his nearest and/or dearest.

My late wife suffered through a quarter-century of that crap with great
good humor.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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