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Q: Naming residents of any given city ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Naming residents of any given city
Category: Reference, Education and News > Education
Asked by: jeffrush-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 27 Jan 2005 15:03 PST
Expires: 26 Feb 2005 15:03 PST
Question ID: 464478
what are the naming rules for people from certain cities (ie. a person
from  Dallas is a Dallasite, a person from San Diego is a San Diegan,

Request for Question Clarification by justaskscott-ga on 27 Jan 2005 15:57 PST
Do you mean literal rules that apply to all cities?  (I assume that
it's probably something that has happened independently in each city,
though perhaps according to a general rule along the lines of,
"Default ending of -an or -ian, except if it doesn't sound right, or
if some newspaper columnist thinks of a different name.")

Or do you just want a list of names?  I have found a list, and would
be happy to post it as an answer.

Clarification of Question by jeffrush-ga on 28 Jan 2005 07:00 PST
The general rules is what I'm looking for -- and the list that you
mentioned would be great -- what prompted my question was someone
on-line wondered aloud what a person from "Queens" would be called
(Queensor, Queensian, Queensite) -- I know Staten Islander, Manhattan,
Subject: Re: Naming residents of any given city
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 29 Jan 2005 14:16 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

No less an authority than H.L. Mencken, in his book, "The American
Language", has a discussion of this knotty issue.

"...In Atlanta some of the people call themselves Atlantans and others
prefer Atlantians:  The Atlanta Constitution uses the former and the
Journal the latter.  In New Orleans Orleanian, with the accent on the
an, is preferred by the elegant, but the vast majority of citizens say
Orleenian, with the accent on the leen...."

Mencken cites a study by George Stewart of the University of
California, who attempted to tease out the rules, which are:

1.  Towns ending in ia, add an -n, Philadelphian

2.  ending in on, add -ian, Bostonian

3.  ending in i, add -an, Miamian

4.  ending in y, change to i, add -an, Albanian

5.  ending in o, add -an, Chicagoan

6.  ending with a non-silent e, ie, of ee, add -n, Albuquerquean

7.  ending in a (but not ia), add -n, Topekan

8.  ending in -olis, change to -olitan, Annapolitan

9.  ending in a consonant or silent e, add either -ite or -er,
Brooklynite, New Yorker

But as Mencken notes, "there are frequent exceptions to the rules."

If you register (at no charge) at, you can read Mencken's
discussion yourself using the "Search inside the book feature".

Head to:

and search for:  [ Mencken "american language" ]

Once you get to the page featuring the book itself, click on the book
cover (which says "Search Inside") and conduct a search for the word [
Brooklynite ].  It's a fun read.

I trust this fully answers your question (even without a definitive
answer of what to call someone from Queens!).

However, before rating this answer, please let me know if there's
anything else I can do for you.  Just post a Request for
Clarification, and I'm at your service.



search strategy -- searched at for [ yorker chicagoan brooklynite ]

Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 29 Jan 2005 14:30 PST
Typo alert!

Rule #6 should be: add -an

Request for Answer Clarification by jeffrush-ga on 30 Jan 2005 14:27 PST
Your answer is right on target and very thorough - thank you! -- is
there a chance you could find out what people from Queens call
themselves? -- it's what prompted me to ask the question.

Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 30 Jan 2005 15:07 PST
Hi Jeff,

I hope you liked the Mencken info, though you're right, we're still
left with the mystery of what to call someone from Queens.

I grew up in Brooklyn, but for the life of me, I do not know the
answer.  Nor does my sister, who lived in Queens for about 10 years.

What to do...?  Google to the rescue.  Here are the results of several
Google searches on various terms:

Queensite returns about 400 results, although quite a number of these
are in reference to QueenSite, rather than to a Queens-ite.  Still,
the online Queens Chronicle uses the term to refer to natives:
Queensite Wildman Brill Pens Vegetarian Cookbook
as does the Queens Tribune ("your Queens home on the internet"):
How To Be A Queens Guy

"On the official King of Queens website...Kevin James, once a prince
of Stony Brook, talks about what it takes to become the quintessential


Queensian comes in with 29 Google hits -- not an impressive showing,
but still -- the term is out there, as in this example from Baseball
"My next door neighbor is a Brooklynite and his wife a Queensian..."

and here's an entire geography lesson in a single sentence:
"I call Flushing my home. I don't have these complicated conflicts
about whether I'm really Shanghainese or Missourian or Manhattanite or
Queensian or Philadelphian or Chicagoan or if I'm really a wannabe


Queensan -- only 20 results in all of Googledom, none of which seem to
refer to a person from Queens.

I searched on Queenser as well, which actually turned up a few results
of a mostly unsavory nature -- the word does not appear to find use in
reference to a person from Queens.

So, I'd have to give my vote to Queensite, although Queensian makes a
respectable showing as well.

Hope that gives you the information you're after, but if you have need
of anything else, just let me know.


jeffrush-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
outstanding attention to detail, thorough, helpful (and if it were
appropriate we could go with thrifty, brave and all the other Boy
Scout attributes)... - thanks again!

Subject: Re: Naming residents of any given city
From: moocowjuice-ga on 28 Jan 2005 01:13 PST
If you're from New York, then you're a New Yorker.
If you're from a city that ends with an s, then you're a <city name>-ite.
If you're from a city that ends with something else, then you're a
<city name>-(i)an.

That probably works for 90% of places.
Subject: Re: Naming residents of any given city
From: mwalcoff-ga on 29 Jan 2005 13:30 PST
When I worked in the National Press Building in Washington, the
library there had a book that was nothing but a list of what you call
people from certain places. Can't remember the title, though, sorry.

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