[Ads-l] "The Big Easy"

Geoffrey Nunberg nunbergg at GMAIL.COM
Wed Mar 6 00:00:02 UTC 2019

Actually, genuine* San Franciscans don’t get into a tizzy over “Frisco,” though nobody uses it — it’s old-fashioned, but hey, Jack London used it and you have to have a warm spot for Alan Ladd and Joanne Dru (!) in the 1955 Hell on Frisco Bay. It only became a Thing when Herb Caen put the kibosh on it in a 1995 SF Chronicle column (https://goo.gl/ANQVc4 <https://goo.gl/ANQVc4>). What drives people here crazy is “San Fran,” which is still in obnoxious use. Bold Italic did a good a piece on SF nicknames at https://goo.gl/Dfhn4k <https://goo.gl/Dfhn4k>, calling “San Fran” “the uncool one."

From a report of a 2018 survey of 200 Bay Area residents in Curbed (https://goo.gl/3eBnaq <https://goo.gl/3eBnaq>):

When asked the “term you use most often,” 41.5 percent said “San Francisco.” 27.5 percent most often call it “The City,” and 12 percent prefer “SF.” Inexplicably, 9 percent say “San Fran,” while “Frisco” hangs around at 4.5 percent.
As it happens, though, only 15 pct of respondents actually live in SF, so take that for what (little) it’s worth. Actually, after 35 or so years here I just call it the City now, though I have to be careful when returning to Manhattan, where the City is just, you know, the City. (My students at Brooklyn College used to call Manhattan the City.)

*I make it about 4 left on my block.

Geoff Nunberg

Geoffrey Nunberg
Adjunct Full Professor
School of Information
University of California at Berkeley
Berkeley CA 94720
ph. 510-643-3894
http://people.ischool.berkeley.edu/~nunberg/ <http://people.ischool.berkeley.edu/~nunberg/>
nunberg at ischool.berkeley.edu <mailto:nunberg at ischool.berkeley.edu>

> Date:    Mon, 4 Mar 2019 09:47:21 -0500
> From:    Ben Yagoda <byagoda at UDEL.EDU <mailto:byagoda at udel.edu>>
> Subject: "The Big Easy"
> Forgive me if Barry or someone else has already mentioned this, but my impression is that current-day New Orleaneans chafe at “the Big Easy,” the way San Franciscans don’t like “Frisco.” Again, my impression is that they prefer “the Crescent City” as a nickname, which “problematizes” this finding of Barry’s: “In an interview with Larry McKinley in The Times-Picayune on January 25, 1976, talking about his days at the radio station WYLD:
> “We were told ‘Don’t say Crescent City.'”
> Ben

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