[Ads-l] A long article on _hoosier_ as used in St. Louis

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Aug 7 23:30:55 EDT 2018

Geoff Nunberg is mentioned.

St. Louis' own language: "Hoosier"

Since I haven't actually lived in StL since 1962, my experience of the word
is rather old-school. My experience is that, in The Lou, "hoosier" in the
mouth of a white person is as obnoxious to other white people as "nigger"
in the mouth of a white person is to black people.

The word has been in use with its negative connotation since at least The
War, i.e. WWII.

The word is "hoojie" [hudSI] in the local BE. But it's no more in use than
any other "disparaging" term for a white person. If you're black, once that
you've said that a person is white, what else is there that needs to be
said? In the words of my favorite
quote from _Ferris* Bueller_, "What country do you think this is?!"

*I had a friend in StL named "Forris." His name was pronounced "FA-riss"
or, with r-drop, "Fois'," i.e. as "foist" without the -t.
All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

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

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