I have a long time friend, Bill Tom Clark, who writes an almost weekly column for The Lewis County Herald, our local weekly newspaper. His column is titled Quiddities and may touch on almost any topic you might imagine. In the Quiddities column in the July 21, 2015 issue of the Lewis County Herald, Bill Tom wrote a lot about what to call people from various cities around the world. He introduced Liverpudlian as the word for people of Liverpool. Liverpudlian, according to some websites was a derogatory name (puddles being smaller than pools) that stuck. Way back Liverpool residents were also called Scousers because of an Irish stew-like concoction named Scouse. Scouse was made only in Liverpool. What follows are some thoughts I had while reading his column.
Entertainment in the Past, Stage Setting
I suspect that before around 1900 most home entertainment was either reading or piano, including the player piano late in the century. But two major inventions in the 1895 to 1920 time period changed all of that. They were recording, using phonograph cylinders and then phonograph records, followed shortly by radio broadcasting.
Comedy was one of the mainstays of early radio along with mysteries, music, and soap operas. Two early radio comedians were Fred Allen and Jack Benny, both weekly. I preferred Jack Benny, still do for that matter. The two of them fed off each other with humorous insults and often appeared on each other’s shows. Jack began in radio around 1932 and moved to TV around 1949 and ended his TV show in 1965. Fred entered radio around 1932 and tried unsuccessfully to host a TV show around 1949. His radio show ended around 1949. He did appear regularly on some TV shows, and also was a guest on many TV shows, including Jack’s.
At a slight risk of starting a friendly feud, I offer the following views based on that Quiddities article, not to stir up trouble but just for fun.
Local Resident Naming
As I finished reading the article I started wondering what we might call residents of some of the nearby cities and towns. First came residents of my hometown, Vanceburg. What do we call those of us who live in Vanceburg? The words that come to me are Vanceburger, Vanceburgite, or Vanceburgian. What about Vanceburgilian?
If I am a Vanceburger, I start wondering if I am rare, well-done or something in between. If I am a Vanceburgite, does that make me something like a parasite or a stalactite or maybe just tight? Vanceburgian seems rather nice.
What about folks of nearby Concord; are they Concordians or Concorders or Concordites? Concordian has a musical ring to it.
Are residents of Tollesboro to be called Tollesboroleans, Tollesboroites or Tollesboroers? What about Black Oak? Black Oakers, Black Oakeans, or Black Oakites? Are folks from Garrison to be Garrisonians, Garrisoners, or Garrisonites?
And what of other nearby places, say Salt Lick or Tannery?
What about the place you live; what do you call people from your town?
I have lived away from my hometown most of my adult life so maybe there are preferred words and I just don’t know them. If you know of such words or have suggestions please let me know. Also, if you have a thoughts or preference for any of the above tongue-in-cheek suggestions let me know. If you have a humerous name for your locality let me know.
On the right is a way to let me know your thoughts, an email devoted solely to this website. It is supposed to help me handle the multitude of comments I don't expect to get.
If you just want to say something to me, perhaps something I should write about, tell me about it. If you don’t like an article tell me about that, too.
I do not promise to reply to every email nor do I promise to use your suggestions in the column. I will not use your name in the column unless you say it is OK to do so but I will give you some oblique anonymous mention.