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 amazon.com, you can read Mencken's
discussion yourself using the "Search inside the book feature".
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 www.a9.com for [ yorker chicagoan brooklynite ]
Clarification of Answer by
30 Jan 2005 15:07 PST
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.