The Dictionary of American Regionalism, in 1965, said that hoosier is regularly used to mean “a country person.”. Around this time, the word sometimes referred specifically to those from Indiana, but not always; often, especially for southerners, it was simply a derogatory word for someone from the country. Elsewhere in the country, the word has been adapted to other uses. Louis, Missouri, the word is used in a derogatory way, similar to white trash or pigeon.
Hoosier also refers to cotton dockers, both black and white, that move cotton bales from springs to ship holds, forcing bales to be inserted securely using lifting screws. A work of low status, however, is mentioned in several letters of marine shacks. Shanties from the Seven Seas includes lyrics that mention hoosiers. Hoosier can also sometimes be used as a verb that describes the act of deceiving or scamming someone.
That last sentence is an important link to my understanding of the word. I really think this is a St. A Louis County term, not as universally used in the eastern metropolitan area and may not be as common in St. Murray carefully analyzed the use of hoosier in St.
Louis, Missouri, where the favorite epithet of abuse is. When asked what a Hoosier is, Murray writes: St. Louisiana residents easily list a number of defining characteristics, including “lazy”, “slow”, “abandoned” and “irresponsible.”. Louis has the pejorative connotations or the potential to elicit negative responses that Hoosier has.
He conducted tests and interviews on different age and race lines and tabulated the results. He found that the term was applied ecumenically. He also pointed out that the word was often used with a modifier, almost redundantly, like in some damn Hoosier. In a separate section, Murray talks about the history of the word and quotes Baker and Carmony (197) and speculates on why Hoosier (in Indiana, a neutral or, more often, positive term) should stay alive and well in St.
Louis, occupying the honest position of being the city's number one derogation term. A radio broadcast continued where Murray left it. During the Fresh Air program, Geoffrey Nunberg, a linguistic commentator, answered questions about regional nicknames. He quoted Elaine Viets, columnist for Post-Dispatch (also quoted by Paul Dickson), as saying that in St.
Louis a Hoosier is a low-income redneck, someone you can recognize because he has a car on concrete blocks in his front yard and is likely to have just killed his wife, who may also be his sister. Am I missing something here? ST. Louis has never been almost exclusively populated by blacks and in the 1980s there were many black families whose parents had lived in St. Louis all his life, as did his progeny.
Anyway, hoosier is a word that has a completely alternative meaning in St. Enjoy it, use it, we own this word. Jorge Santander Serrano, a doctoral student at Indiana University, has also suggested that Hoosier could come from the French words for “redness”, “rougeur” or “red face”, rougeaud. According to this hypothesis, the early pejorative use of the word Hoosier may be related to the color red (blush in French) that is associated with indigenous peoples, pejoratively called red men or red skin, and also with poor whites as they are called red necks.
Popular humorous etymologies for the term hoosier have a long history, as Dunn recounts in The Word Hoosier. One story refers to the necessary caution in approaching houses on the border. To avoid being shot, a traveler shouted from afar to make himself known. The inhabitants of the cabin then answered Who is here? who, in Appalachian English of the first settlers, was dragged into Who's Here? And from there to Hoosier? A variation of this story caused the pioneers of Indiana to shout who is here? as a general greeting and warning when you hear someone in the bushes and tall grass, to avoid shooting a family member or friend by mistake.
The poet James Whitcomb Riley jokingly suggested that the fierce fight that took place in Indiana involved biting enough than the expression Whose ear is it? It became remarkable. This emerged from or inspired the story of two 19th-century French immigrants fighting in a tavern in the foothills of southern Indiana. One was cut off and a third Frenchman came in and saw an ear on the dirt floor of the tavern, prompting him to insult Whosh's ear. Two related stories trace the origin of the term in Indiana worker gangs under the direction of a Mr.
Dunn's story is that a Louisville contractor named Samuel Hoosier preferred to hire workers from communities on the Indiana side of the Ohio River, such as New Albany, rather than workers from Kentucky. During the excavation of the first canal around the Ohio Falls, from 1826 to 1833, its employees came to be known as the Hoosier men and then simply as Hoosiers. The use of these hardworking workers spread to all Indiana boatmen in the area and then spread northward with the settlement of the state. The story was told to Dunn in 1901 by a man who had told it to a relative of Hoosier while traveling in South Tennessee.
Dunn couldn't find any family member by that name in any directory in the region or anyone else in South Tennessee who had heard the story and considered themselves doubtful. This version was later retold by the governor. The Army Corps of Engineers has been unable to find any records of a Hoosier or Hosier in the channel company's surviving records. A Hoosier cabinet, often abbreviated as hoosier, is a type of freestanding kitchen cabinet popular in the early decades of the 20th century.
Almost all of these cabinets were produced by companies located in Indiana and the name derives from the largest of them, Hoosier Manufacturing Co. Other Indiana companies include Hoosier Racing Tire and Hoosier Bat Company, a manufacturer of wooden baseball bats. The RCA Dome, former headquarters of the Indianapolis Colts, was known as the Hoosier Dome before RCA acquired naming rights in 1994.Of course, STL's professional sporting events, Soulard Mardi Gras and other events and venues in the city are ideal for attracting fans from all over the world. The construction workers responsible for the Louisville and Portland Canal in Louisville, Kentucky, were named Hoosier's Men after their supervisor, Samuel Hoosier.
It became a kind of local joke to refer to newcomers from Indiana as hoosiers and, before long, to any of the rural outskirts of St. Since there is no accepted incarnation of a Hoosier, IU schools are represented only by their letters and colors. As I began my series on words that have an STL connection or a unique meaning, I wanted to explore the word hoosier. While hoosier can still be heard in areas of the South in its original and derogatory meaning of rough rustic, the term seems to be slowly losing steam.