What Are You Called?

What the hell’s a demonyn, you ask? The folks at Take save you another unpleasant visit to Urban Dictionary.

Wikipedia defines a demonym as “a word that identifies residents or natives of a particular place.” So, I am a “Masshole” by way of being born and raised in the state of Massachusetts. That is my assigned demonym, which, in my opinion, is undeniably crass, yet also an expression of affection among my fellow “Baystaters,” otherwise known as “Massachusites.”

Although it’s certainly not my taste, I’m quick to remind myself that at least I wasn’t born a “Swamp Yankee” (looking at you, Rhodeans), nor a “Nutmegger” (another name for a Connecticutensian derived from the hoards of colonial ancestors who sold fake nuts made out of wood, rumor has it). I’ve never been called a Mainiac (it’s OK–I would go mad, too, if I lived that far North) or a Vermonter (is that all you got? Boring). Or a Nahamshaite (gotta love the rural, unrefined accent). At least I don’t have to go by any of those. My destined demonym simply represents the stereotype that I and my “codfish state” comrades operate motor vehicles with the gall and accuracy of a drunk frat boy playing beer pong on a Friday night (and have the manners of one, too).

Point is, no matter which of the six New England states you hail from, no demonym is all-encompassing of the poetic stubbornness and distant dream of opening a craft microbrewery that lives inside each and every one of us. We are unified in our will to resist ascribed names (embrace your flaws? Lol, no) and in our will to create, with a sense of conviction that we’re creating something important. And non-New Englanders (aka Muggles) will only ever achieve a tenuous grasp on what that means–what it means to be an authentic New Englander.

So, what are you called?

Emily Hannigan-PageWhat Are You Called?

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