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America Stranger than Fiction

Demonyms and Goober Grabbers

In a Zoom conversation earlier today, one of us asked for the English word for “noun that refers to people who live in a certain place, such as a city, or state, or country.” That word is demonym.

In the process of looking up the word, I stumbled across the map above, which shows the demonyms for a number of midwestern U.S. states. The ones that grabbed my attention were:

  • Stubtoes (people from Montana)
  • Bugeaters (people from Nebraska)
  • Pukes (people from Missouri, and I suspect someone from outside the state came up with that one)
  • and my personal favorite, Goober Grabbers, which sounds like people who should be on some kind of registry and banned from living near schools, but actually refers to people from Arkansas. “Goober” is a slang term for peanut, and a goober grabber is someone who harvests them.

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