Antedating of "Yalie"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Nov 2 19:40:45 UTC 2003

At 7:13 AM -0500 11/2/03, Dave Wilton wrote:
>  > Haven!)  Many colleges, I daresay the majority, have no word
>>  at all for their people.  I have no idea what to call someone
>>  at my own undergraduate alma mater, Centre College -
>>  Centrists, perhaps?
>I would dispute that. Most colleges and universities do indeed have a word
>for their students and alumni, usually a variant on their athletic mascot. A
>"Quaker" is from Penn, a "Trojan" from USC, a "Tiger" from Princeton, and a
>"Pard" (Leopard) from my alma mater, Lafayette. Few of these names enter the
>general consciousness though, probably because few schools achieve the
>iconic status that Harvard and Yale have.

I'm not sure I buy the mascot argument.  Quite often if not usually,
students can't be called by the name of their colleges mascot, I'd
wager.  A football or basketball player from Penn may be a Quaker,
but are the students so designated?  Are restaurants in Philly
described as being popular among Quakers and Owls [= Temple students]
the way the ones in New Haven are in terms of Yalies?  Taking Yale as
an instance, the mascot is indeed a bulldog, as Dave notes below, and
the teams are typically called the Bulldogs, although they can also
be called the Elis.  They cannot, however, be called Yalies.  (The
Bulldogs/Elis/#Yalies defeated the Crimson.)  And ordinary,
non-team-playing students cannot be referred to as Bulldogs, or
bulldogs.  I think the -ie formation might be a default when the
phonology and morphology permit it.  My two kids are attending
Skidmore College and Clark University, where the students are
referred to (in town-gown contexts, for example) as "Skiddies" and
"Clarkies" respectively.  They are most definitely NOT referred to by
the mascots, in particular in the former case, which would turn the
students into "Thoroughbreds".

>Harvard would seem to be an exception (probably because "Crimson" doesn't
>lend itself to this form). Yale, interestingly, has two ("Yalie" and "Eli")
>that are unrelated to the Bulldog mascot. Georgetown also has a non-mascot
>name, "Hoya."
>I would bet that if you looked at the Centre College newspaper, you would
>see "Colonels" used to refer to the student body and alumni.

But would individual students refer to themselves as Colonels?
Somehow I doubt it.

larry, wondering if this thread is less ANTE or DIA

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