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December 17, 2007 7:39 AM   Subscribe

Do you know a derogatory nickname for a town or city?

I'm interested in renaming as a form of unofficial culture, folk culture. Sometimes the new name carries a weight of opinion - one type of renaming is to give a locality an insulting version of its real name. I've seen this most prevalently in teenagers and in service personnel stationed somewhere away from home. For instance, my hometown of Red Bank was called "Dead Bank" by its disaffected teens. It's been studied a little bit by folklorists, but I'd love to assemble some more recent name versions. I understand that some of these ("Jew York") might not always be PC and certainly can accept that in this context as I hope others can.

This Onion piece was not my inspiration, but turned up in a search - you get the idea. So please share your town's insulting nickname!
posted by Miko to Society & Culture (198 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
Bodymore, Murdaland (Balitmore, Maryland); Naptown (Indianapolis); Mistake by the Lake (Cleveland)
posted by billysumday at 7:42 AM on December 17, 2007


Cowtown (Calgary)
La La Land (Vancouver. Also, I think, LA.)
posted by generichuman at 7:44 AM on December 17, 2007


I've heard Sonoma, CA referred to as "Slow-Coma"
posted by burnmp3s at 7:45 AM on December 17, 2007


Augusta, ME -> Disgusta
posted by SteveInMaine at 7:46 AM on December 17, 2007


People call New Haven, CT Pistol Wavin'/Gun Wavin' New Haven. Now that I think about it I'm not sure if it's meant as derogatory or a badge of honor. You choose. Also: Waterbury, CT is Dirty Water (also not sure if that's good or bad). West Haven, CT = Waste Haven. Seymour, CT=See Less

I know the college kids of Troy, NY call the locals Troylets (get it, like toilets?). Tangental, I know. But still.
posted by sneakin at 7:47 AM on December 17, 2007


Aurora, out on the flats east of Denver, where slums and slightly-less-than-middle-class neighborhoods are sprawled, is often referred to (especially by older and more conservative residents, I've found) as 'Saudi Aurora.'

But not by me.
posted by koeselitz at 7:47 AM on December 17, 2007


St. Screwy (St. Louis)...also 23rd city (making fun of our then-current ranking, since we like to talk about how we used to be third, behind NYC and Philly, a century ago)
posted by notsnot at 7:48 AM on December 17, 2007


Hohenwald, TN = Hole In the Wall
posted by zebra3 at 7:48 AM on December 17, 2007


A quick search reveals that people are still referring to Cumberland, MD as "Cumberhole", rather charmingly and reflexively typifying the local wit.
posted by Wolfdog at 7:48 AM on December 17, 2007


If we're talking Red Bank, NJ (possible. It was once called "Dead Bank" as well,) it's revitalized and has been referred to as "Hip City" in magazines, etc.

Which, although it does have some cool stuff now, is enough of an overstatement that that nickname is now used mainly ironically. So.. sort of what you're talking about.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 7:49 AM on December 17, 2007


Indiano-place (Indianapolis)
posted by cashman at 7:50 AM on December 17, 2007


In high school we had nicknames like this for all the other schools we played against. I don't remember any of them any more except the one for my own high school town, Eureka. It was "you reek.... a."

Lame, I know.
posted by zsazsa at 7:50 AM on December 17, 2007


I've heard Orlando called "O-bland-o" or maybe "Or-bland-o" due to its lack of restaurants and culture that can be enjoyed by the locals.
posted by Durin's Bane at 7:52 AM on December 17, 2007


I've heard Nashua, NH referred to as "trashua", and back home, New Britain, CT is affectionately referred to as Hard Hittin' New Britain.
posted by lisawin at 7:54 AM on December 17, 2007


Hong Couver - Vancouver
Winterpeg - Winnepeg
Benton Harbour, MI - Benton Harlem
posted by kaizen at 7:55 AM on December 17, 2007


Woodbridge, VA is known as "Hoodbridge." West Potomac high school was called "West Pot" on occasion. That's all I can think of right now.
posted by silby at 7:58 AM on December 17, 2007


From Massachusetts:
* Lynn, Lynn, City of Sin
* Manchester-by-the-Snob
posted by mkb at 7:58 AM on December 17, 2007


Lynn, City of Sin (Lynn, MA)

Berzerkeley
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 7:58 AM on December 17, 2007


The People's Republic of Cambridge (MA)
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 7:58 AM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Lake Worthless - Lake Worth, Florida
posted by saladin at 7:58 AM on December 17, 2007


Jew York
posted by poppo at 7:59 AM on December 17, 2007


for my hometown, shitsburgh.
posted by timory at 7:59 AM on December 17, 2007


Frederick, MD = Fredneck

I learned that one from friend of mine who grew up here in MD.
posted by clpage at 7:59 AM on December 17, 2007


I thought Jew York was simply in a reference to the large semitic population - I had not idea it was a derogatory term, and would be curious to know exactly what insult is implied by that.

Anyway, I've literally only ever heard people use London's affectionate old nickname Blighty a couple of times, but I've heard Shitey a few more than that.

There are probably tons of nicknames for areas of London, but I really can't recall any. Maybe there's some cockney rhyming slang?
posted by Magnakai at 7:59 AM on December 17, 2007


Our neighboring city to the south, Sioux City, is affectionately referred to as "Sewer City" by many people I know. We used to drive through the city on I-29, which ran near the packing plant, thereby making the 2-3 mile drive through Sioux City a smelly one.
posted by bristolcat at 8:00 AM on December 17, 2007


When I was in high school, many people referred to the neighboring city of Lewisville, Tx as Loserville.
posted by owtytrof at 8:00 AM on December 17, 2007


Filthadelphia.
posted by moonmilk at 8:00 AM on December 17, 2007


Albany, NY= Smallbany
Cheektowaga, NY= Cheektowarsaw or Cheektavegas
I am trying to think of one for Buffalo, but I can't. Perhaps "Buffalo" is an epithet in and of itself (I love Buffalo).
posted by oflinkey at 8:01 AM on December 17, 2007


Oh, and People's Republic of Cambridge.
posted by mkb at 8:01 AM on December 17, 2007


When I was growing up in Minnesota, there was this joke that they were going to combine Minneapolis and St. Paul into a new town called Minnehaha. Minnie for Minneapolis and haha for St. Paul.
posted by Xurando at 8:01 AM on December 17, 2007


Burlington, ON is sometimes called Borington.

The things you learn by listening to the R3-30 podcast...
posted by Johnny Assay at 8:02 AM on December 17, 2007


Double whammy:

Regina, Saskatchewan: Vagina, Sadcatchtochewon

(
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 8:02 AM on December 17, 2007


Here's an obscure one: Ishpeming, MI, in the upper peninsula, is called Ishpetucky by other towns and cities in the area.

Pretty much any small town is called Bumfuck, [insert state here]
posted by JeremiahBritt at 8:02 AM on December 17, 2007


St. Small --> St. Paul, MN
Murderapolis --> Minneapolis, MN
Iowa Shitty --> Iowa City, IA
Galesbored --> Galesburg, IL
Rancine --> Racine, WI

Yep, that's pretty much a biographical road trip through the derogatorily-renamed cities I've chosen to live in.
posted by elmer benson at 8:03 AM on December 17, 2007


Oops, sorry I didn't even realize Jew York showed up in the original question.

For Magnakai: Yeah, when someone who isn't Jewish says "Jew York" it's insulting. However, I'm Jewish, so I'm allowed to say it. I shouldn't have mentioned that.
posted by poppo at 8:03 AM on December 17, 2007


If we're talking Red Bank, NJ (possible. It was once called "Dead Bank" as well,) it's revitalized and has been referred to as "Hip City" in magazines, etc.

Yep; I'm from Red Bank. My folks are still there. I've been there through every stage of the revitalization, and though it may not be as hip as one could ironically wish, and certainly has overgentrified insanely, I'll take it over the empty storefronts of 1985.
posted by Miko at 8:03 AM on December 17, 2007


shouldn't should
posted by poppo at 8:04 AM on December 17, 2007


Filthadelphia.
I heard my hometown of Voorhees, NJ referred to as Bore-hees when I was a teen. Could also be Boor-hees, though, referring to all the nouveaux riche that live there.
posted by backseatpilot at 8:04 AM on December 17, 2007


Greensboro, NC ---> Greensboring (though my own attempt of Greebo, Inc. never really caught on)
Fayetteville, NC ---> Fayettenam (Fort Bragg is nearby)
posted by waraw at 8:06 AM on December 17, 2007


Cedar Rapids, IA -- official slogan of "City of Five Seasons," unofficial slogan of "City of Five Smells," as it has one of the world's largest oats processing plants, IIRC.

I'm not sure if this is what you're looking for, as it isn't a change of the name itself, but its definitely derogatory.
posted by adamwolf at 8:07 AM on December 17, 2007


In the western suburbs of Detroit, we called Westland "Wasteland" (more just because it was easy, not because it was true). We also oh-so-cleverly modified the names of several other lower-middle-class surburbs with "-tucky." Taylor --> "Taylortucky," Ypsilanti --> "Ypsitucky." Which was really more insulting to Kentuckians, since we were using it to denote a hillbilly/white-trashiness. Sorry, Kentuckians. And people from Taylor/Ypsilanti.
(on preview, highfive JeremiahBritt!
posted by twoporedomain at 8:08 AM on December 17, 2007


Not a city, but I've heard the (relatively dangerous) Savin Hill neighborhood in the south of Boston, MA called "Stab N' Kill".

Not really derogatory, but Brookline, MA, east of Boston, has a large Jewish population and a number of Judaica shops, and is sometimes called Baruchline.
posted by Plutor at 8:10 AM on December 17, 2007


east west
posted by Plutor at 8:10 AM on December 17, 2007


Magnakai—I thought Jew York was simply in a reference to the large semitic population

On the face of it, you're right. However, the only people who would really be interested in drawing attention to that fact are A) Jews, and B) anti-semites. And I don't think I've ever heard a Jew call New York "Jew York"—perhaps that means I haven't been around enough.

Whenever I hear a city nicknamed something that associates it with a certain ethnic group (Hongcouver, etc), it seems more derogatory than not.
posted by adamrice at 8:10 AM on December 17, 2007


I was going to say Smallbany but oflinkey beat me to it, so...

Rottenfester = Rochester, NY

(From Albany but go to school in Rochester)
posted by MaHaGoN at 8:11 AM on December 17, 2007


In Ireland, Limerick used to be known as "Stab City". (I've been away for years so don't know if that is till the case)
posted by Wilder at 8:11 AM on December 17, 2007


My hometown of West Allis is referred to as Stallis.
posted by drezdn at 8:11 AM on December 17, 2007


Somerville, MA -> Slumerville (not used much anymore)
posted by rxrfrx at 8:12 AM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Syracuse, NY called either Sorry-cuse, or Zero-cuse. I've been to Syracuse. It's not *that* bad.
The only person from North Dakota I've ever met used to call Fargo, Fart-go.
posted by xetere at 8:12 AM on December 17, 2007


in massachusetts, somerville used to be commonly called "slummerville" (although not so much lately) or "scummerville". i've heard people describe lowell as "low-hell".

new hampshire is sometimes called "cow hampshire".
posted by rmd1023 at 8:13 AM on December 17, 2007


My friend from Decatur, IL refers to it as "Decaytur".

A friend of mine constantly refers to NYC (especially certain neighborhoods) as "Jerk City".

Lately we have been making fun for Greenpoint by calling it "Greenpernt", an old provincial pronunciation.
posted by hermitosis at 8:15 AM on December 17, 2007


Not just Filthadelphia, but also Philasmellphia.

Back along the folk culture lines, North Little Rock, Arkansas is sometimes called Dogtown by people who live in Little Rock. The legend goes that the dogcatchers in Little Rock would round up the strays in the city, and then take them over the river and let them loose in NLR. So NLR is the abused little brother, getting the leftovers of the REAL city.
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 8:15 AM on December 17, 2007


Murdapan - Mattapan, MA
Marsh Vegas- Marshfield MA
Deluxbury- Duxbury MA
posted by kuujjuarapik at 8:16 AM on December 17, 2007


I once saw (here on MeFi IIRC) New York City referred to as "New York Çity", which stuck with me just for its cleverness. (The "Ç" is, in some languages, pronounced roughly like "sh".)
posted by CrayDrygu at 8:16 AM on December 17, 2007


Toronto:
Hogtown (for the old stockyards, I believe)
The Big Smoke
The Centre of the Universe

Ottawa: (Itself almost an insult, the way DC is in the US)
The town than fun forgot
posted by bonehead at 8:17 AM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Ashburn, VA = Cashburn
posted by candyland at 8:17 AM on December 17, 2007


Rottenfester = Rochester, NY

Crotchester.
posted by Lucinda at 8:17 AM on December 17, 2007


Somerville, MA->Slumerville (mostly pre-gentrification). And of course Massachusetts->Taxachusetts.
posted by phoenixy at 8:17 AM on December 17, 2007


Some liminal cases:
Hicksville, Long Island, contains its own derogatory moniker. You merely have to pronounce it snidely, as we did in high school.

Chapel Hill, NC, is sometimes earnestly called "Chapel Thrill," since "there's so much to do there," but that nickname is so damn stupid and irony-inviting that it nearly qualifies for your search, Miko.
posted by Dr. Wu at 8:18 AM on December 17, 2007


Bland Vapids. Grand Rapids, MI
posted by 517 at 8:18 AM on December 17, 2007


Another Massachusetts one: Athol (rhymes with asshole) becomes rATHOLe every April.
posted by mkb at 8:19 AM on December 17, 2007


The Big Sleazy - The Big Easy - New Orleans
On a bumper sticker "New Orleans - proud to crawl home"
posted by JujuB at 8:20 AM on December 17, 2007


Here in Filthadelphia, we have the "SureKill Depressway" (Schuylkill Expressway). There are also some neighborhoods with already ironic or strange connotations built in -- like Nicetown and Fishtown.

Philasmellphia -- heh heh. Never heard that one.
posted by drinkcoffee at 8:20 AM on December 17, 2007


Helsinki = Hellsinki
London = The Smog
posted by slimepuppy at 8:22 AM on December 17, 2007


Just north of Chattanooga, TN, there is a little binary set of towns. Soddy and Daisy. Collectively, they are called Soddy-Daisy.

Of course, this means that the local kids call it Sodomy Daisy.
posted by grabbingsand at 8:22 AM on December 17, 2007


Slutboken = Hoboken, NJ
posted by haqspan at 8:22 AM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


A few I've heard on the presidential campaign I'm working on:

Manchester, NH = Manchvegas
Iowa City, IA = Iowa Shitty
Cedar Rapids, IA = Cedar Crapids
Ames, IA = Lames
posted by fancypants at 8:26 AM on December 17, 2007


Augusta, ME -> Disgusta

Also used for Augusta, GA.
posted by TedW at 8:26 AM on December 17, 2007


Bowling Green, OH => Blowing Green - its windy, but also boring.

To followup on the Pittsburgh/Sh*tsburgh nickname, actress Sienna Miller insulted Pittsburgh last year with that nickname and it was the major news story for several weeks and still frequently talked about in some circles.
posted by buttercup at 8:28 AM on December 17, 2007


Also Killadelphia, per our murder epidemic.
posted by sjuhawk31 at 8:28 AM on December 17, 2007


Des Peres, Missouri - Despair, Misery.

(Des Peres is a suburb of St. Louis, and it now occurs to me that its proud nickname The Lou could also be spelled The Loo...)
posted by evisceratordeath at 8:29 AM on December 17, 2007


Peterstown = Dick City
posted by wv kay in ga at 8:31 AM on December 17, 2007


Pine Hills, an unincorporated suburb of Orlando, is often called Crime Hills.
posted by Durin's Bane at 8:32 AM on December 17, 2007


Oshawa, Ontario: "The Dirty Shwa", or just "The Shwa."
posted by generichuman at 8:32 AM on December 17, 2007


Sodom On The Hudson=New York
Crooklyn=Brooklyn
Lake Failure=Lake Success, New York
posted by jonmc at 8:34 AM on December 17, 2007


Surrey, BC => Slurrey, BC, Canada
There are even a couple related entries in the Urban Dictionary.
posted by cgg at 8:35 AM on December 17, 2007


Blacksburg, VA --> Bleaksburg (from my husband's dislike of the winters and boredom)
Roanoke, VA --> Broke-noke
posted by timetoevolve at 8:36 AM on December 17, 2007


Fayetteville has been called Fayettenam (stems from the Vietnam War area-I can give you a lot of detail on that one if you want it.) We also have been called Fatalburg.

I understand that some folks also have nicknamed us Gotham City.
posted by konolia at 8:36 AM on December 17, 2007


Rochester, NY has been most (in)famously called Smugtown.
posted by tommasz at 8:37 AM on December 17, 2007


Big Sleazy=New Orleans (Big Easy)
posted by govtdrone at 8:37 AM on December 17, 2007


Tallatrashee and Tallanastee (and sometimes just "the 'nastee"--> Tallahassee. They just roll off the tongue.
posted by tatiana wishbone at 8:37 AM on December 17, 2007


Roajoke, Virginia
posted by almostmanda at 8:38 AM on December 17, 2007


Williamsburg, Brooklyn is universally called McWilliamsburg by my middle-aged New York native friends. Mc is becoming a wonderful prefix.
posted by xetere at 8:41 AM on December 17, 2007


Scummersworth (Somersworth), NH
Dirty Dove (Dover, NH)
posted by yerfatma at 8:42 AM on December 17, 2007


Whitefish Bay, WI, -> Whitefolks Bay
posted by found missing at 8:45 AM on December 17, 2007


Vancouver, BC = No Fun City
Waterloo, ON = H2Oloo
posted by Gortuk at 8:46 AM on December 17, 2007


Pretty much appending "tucky" to anything is a universal denigration.
Years ago, National Lampoon published a map of the US. Indiana was re-named Michi-tucky.

Personally, we refer to our little hoosier town as Muncie-tucky.

And, yeah, "Indy-no-place". Also, "Nap-town". Though that has a slightly better street vibe, rather than the "sleepy nowhere" that is intended.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:47 AM on December 17, 2007


Oh, I just remembered one more. The radio DJs back home always referred to Gloucester City, NJ as Gloucester-City-Tucky.

This almost makes me miss New Jersey.
posted by backseatpilot at 8:47 AM on December 17, 2007


Does "Pixburgh" count as a way of mocking how the locals pronounce "Pittsburgh"?
posted by DoctorFedora at 8:47 AM on December 17, 2007


Berzerkeley

And nearby we have Hayward, or Hayweird, though it's not so much weird as it is boring.
posted by lou at 8:47 AM on December 17, 2007


Cleveland=Thieveland
Las Vegas=Lost Wages
posted by ferociouskitty at 8:48 AM on December 17, 2007


Clarks Summit, PA = Clarks Scummit, or as we sometimes referred to it as "The Scummit"
posted by Sassyfras at 8:49 AM on December 17, 2007


Sea Isle City NJ --> Senile City
posted by amro at 8:51 AM on December 17, 2007


Oakville, ON -> Jokeville, Tokeville

Burlington, ON -> Borington, Girlington
posted by smitt at 8:53 AM on December 17, 2007


ooh, and there's this senior community called Leisure World but has been nicknamed Seizure World.
posted by Sassyfras at 8:55 AM on December 17, 2007


Traverse City, Michigan has been referred to at various times as:

Traffic City
Tragic City

and various incarnations substituting 'City' with 'Shitty.'
posted by Dr-Baa at 8:57 AM on December 17, 2007


Anyway, I've literally only ever heard people use London's affectionate old nickname Blighty a couple of times, but I've heard Shitey a few more than that.

"Blighty" is a nickname for the whole of Great Britain, not London.

It comes from an old hindustani word meaning "foreign land" (I think) and gained currency amongst the Soldiers/Expats there as a way of referring to "back home".

When said soldiers returned it thus became a standard bit of military/popular slang for the whole country.

London is, of course, "The Big Smoke".

It's one of those great positive/negative nicknames that conveys vibrancy, history and activity if you love the Old Girl, or a polluted, noisy, cesspit if you hate England's First City with every fibre of your being.

Oh... um... and Old Girl is obviously another nickname for London as well (although one you'd probably not here much outside the East End these days).
posted by garius at 8:58 AM on December 17, 2007


Pawtucket, RI - the Bucket
posted by Ruki at 8:59 AM on December 17, 2007


I've heard affected-ass Stanford students calling Palo Alto "Shallow Alto". I guess the Berkeley students' intentional misspelling "Stanfurd" may also be relevant here since Stanford is actually a town.

As a child I thought Pittsburgh WAS a derogatory nickname. I mean, it's the pits! I remember being completely shocked when someone of authority in my life told me that, no, Pittsburgh was the REAL name of the place; I'd thought my folks had been putting me on.
posted by crinklebat at 9:02 AM on December 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


Pasadena, TX = Stinkadena (Chemical plants galore)

Greenspoint Area around Houston, TX = Gunspoint. Use your imagination.
posted by PossumCupCake at 9:04 AM on December 17, 2007


In Connecticut, Darien is often called Aryan.
posted by xo at 9:05 AM on December 17, 2007


Lincoln ME -> Stinking Lincoln

Due to a pulp mill.
posted by lobstah at 9:05 AM on December 17, 2007


"Hymietown."
posted by kirkaracha at 9:06 AM on December 17, 2007


sacramento = excremento
posted by special-k at 9:08 AM on December 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure "Stumptown" really functions as an earnestly derogatory nickname for Portland, OR in anyone's mind, but it's there. And I've heard Hillsboro called "Hillsburrito" more than once, presumably riffing on the latino population.
posted by cortex at 9:11 AM on December 17, 2007


Hamilton, Ontario: Smog Town.
posted by Lemurrhea at 9:12 AM on December 17, 2007


Cincinnati --> Cincinasty
posted by amro at 9:13 AM on December 17, 2007


Birmingham (UK) - known as Birmingham - no need for any derogatory nickname ;-)

Also more seriously Scumbridge for Cambridge...
posted by sdevans at 9:14 AM on December 17, 2007


"People's Republic of Cambridge."

I don't think this one counts as derogatory. It's pretty much been fully embraced by the city, and if Ann Coulter rolled into town calling people "Liberals", they'd smile as though she meant to compliment them.
posted by explosion at 9:14 AM on December 17, 2007


Weirton and Steubenville, WV = Weirdtown and Stupidville.
posted by booth at 9:16 AM on December 17, 2007


Not a specific city/town, but central Pennsylvania is soemtimes referred to as "Pennsyltucky" because it can be be much more small town/conservative/backwoods than its more urban neighbors of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
posted by clpage at 9:18 AM on December 17, 2007


Worcester, MA = Wormtown, 'The Worm'

I don't really get the connection, but I've heard it around.
posted by thebigdeadwaltz at 9:24 AM on December 17, 2007


Someone already mentioned that Winnipeg = Winterpeg, but there's another less popular nick name for this city.


Stink Town.

Maybe you have to live close to the mushroom plant that's across from the meat packers and down the road from the pet food factory for this to make sense though.
posted by utsutsu at 9:26 AM on December 17, 2007


The wiki on People's Republic has a list of PR'd cities.
posted by user92371 at 9:29 AM on December 17, 2007


the presidential campaign I'm working on
Huh, excellent, I hadn't even thought about campaign workers and other road warriors using city nicknames. Makes tons of sense. That'd be a good stream to fish in for more.
posted by Miko at 9:31 AM on December 17, 2007


Not a specific city/town, but central Pennsylvania is soemtimes referred to as "Pennsyltucky" because it can be be much more small town/conservative/backwoods than its more urban neighbors of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
posted by clpage at 12:18 PM on December 17


I am a new(ish) resident of Gettysburg, PA, and would like to express how remarkably apt this nickname is. I plan to use it often, and with relish.
posted by Dr. Wu at 9:33 AM on December 17, 2007


Memphrica.
posted by inconsequentialist at 9:33 AM on December 17, 2007


Ventura (CA) -> Ventucky
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:36 AM on December 17, 2007


Brist-hell is the nickname of my hometown of Bristol, TN/VA, (home of the largest NASCAR stadium in the America and Chris Crocker of "Leave Britney Alone" fame).
posted by kimdog at 9:43 AM on December 17, 2007


Lames, Iowa.
posted by delmoi at 9:45 AM on December 17, 2007


Post-gentrification, Somerville (no longer Slummerville) is now known as Cambriville. When rent control in Cambridge ended, they all moved here.
posted by Banky_Edwards at 9:50 AM on December 17, 2007


Regina, SK - Vagina, SK
Edmonton, AB - Deadmonton, AB
Winnipeg, MB - Winterpeg
posted by exquisite_deluxe at 9:52 AM on December 17, 2007


dr. wu beat me to the punch about Chapel Hill = Chapel Thrill. i immediately thought of it as an answer to your question, because we've always used it in a sarcastic manner.
posted by kidsleepy at 9:52 AM on December 17, 2007


Howellabama and Bricktucky for Howell and Brick, NJ
posted by djb at 9:53 AM on December 17, 2007


Newport News, Virginia = Newport Bad News.

Allan Iverson has a tatoo of NBN on his forearm. Quote from him: "Here, on my left forearm, it says 'NBN'—for 'Newport Bad News.' That's what we call our hometown of Newport News, Virginia, because a lot of bad shit happens there."

Ladue, MO = La-dee-do, MO (it is a expensive part of town)
posted by beachhead2 at 9:56 AM on December 17, 2007


In the DFW area, the mid-cities (Hurst, Euless & Bedford) are often called Worst, Useless and Bedlam/Badford.
posted by Uncle Jimmy at 9:56 AM on December 17, 2007


Tulsa = Aslut
posted by idiotfactory at 9:59 AM on December 17, 2007


In Portland, OR, I've often heard:
Vancouver, WA = Vantucky (sorry Kentucky-ians)
posted by j at 10:01 AM on December 17, 2007


Tarpon Springs, FL -> Tampon Strings
posted by found missing at 10:04 AM on December 17, 2007


Ashland, MA (or Ashland, Anywhere) -> Trashland.
posted by lizzicide at 10:11 AM on December 17, 2007


I grew up in WasteField (westfield), NJ. Our rival border towns were Scummit (summit), CranFool (cranford) and CrotchPains (scotch plains).
posted by remlapm at 10:15 AM on December 17, 2007


Escondido, CA --> Escondildo, or just 'the dildo'.
A columnist in one of the local alt-rags used to call San Diego "Des-Moines-by-the-Sea", but that's pretty much just a local usage.
posted by LionIndex at 10:17 AM on December 17, 2007


In Ireland, Limerick used to be known as "Stab City".

I heard the same thing, too.
posted by contessa at 10:18 AM on December 17, 2007


Manassas, VA -> Manasty
posted by LightMayo at 10:28 AM on December 17, 2007


Stinky City! With a bog in the middle, unfiltered sewage going straight out to the bay and multiple industrial smells (oil refinery, pulp mill) plus the odd waft from fish catches, locals sometimes give Saint John, New Brunswick this name.
posted by Phalene at 10:29 AM on December 17, 2007


in american sign language, the sign for Tacoma WA is the hand letter for T, then moved laterally about six inches then down 6 inches.

in slang, its the hand letter for T waved side to side, which means "toilet". This is probably due to the paper mills.
posted by nihlton at 10:32 AM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well, in Michigan, Ypsitucky's already been mentioned, which goes along with Taylortucky, etc. Those have an interesting backstory that, while I can't personally confirm it, I doubt is apocryphal—those areas were primary settling grounds for the huge influx of folks who came north after the war to work in autoplants. There's still a heavy Southern accent in parts of Ypsi, among whites and blacks. I noticed that while doing census work there.

There's also Sagnasty for Saginaw, and the People's Republic of Ann Arbor, which has so many layers of irony (Ann Arbor's heavily Cambridge-aspirant) that it's hard to parse. Bland Arbor comes up too.

I've heard Beast Lansing for East Lansing, but I'm not sure if that's in common use or just among a group of guys I know at MSU. Also Least Lansing and (a good one, for a party invitation) Feast Lansing.
posted by klangklangston at 10:36 AM on December 17, 2007


"The Smokey City" for Pittsburgh, as a reference to the pollution from steel mills.
posted by matkline at 10:37 AM on December 17, 2007


-vegas is an ironic modifier for at least two small towns here in New Zealand:

Rotovegas - Rotorua
Wangavegas - Wanganui

My home town, Hamilton, is proverbially boring, and has adopted the slogan "Hamilton:city of the future". Its young people have started calling it Hamiltron, or "The 'Tron".
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 10:50 AM on December 17, 2007


"Fanta Se" = Santa Fe
posted by gottabefunky at 10:50 AM on December 17, 2007


Swansea, Wales, UK: Pretty Shitty City. Popular culture reference.
posted by dmt at 10:51 AM on December 17, 2007


I've always heard Cleveland's derogatory nickname as "The Mistake on the Lake" (not "by the Lake"). Never heard "Thiefland" (does anyone actually use that?) - references to burning rivers are generally a close second to "the Mistake on the Lake." Second "The People's Republic of Cambridge", although "Slummerville" is definitely not used anymore - with all the gentrification & the students, "Camberville" is definitely more common.
posted by ubersturm at 10:54 AM on December 17, 2007


My hometown of Pasadena, Texas - Stinkadena, for the abundance of chemical plants along Highway 225, the main thoroughfare from Houston. The rest of the city isn't stinky, but if you are traveling through and that's the only part of town you visit, you wouldn't know any different.
posted by Ruby Doomsday at 10:58 AM on December 17, 2007


Buffaloed, NY
posted by yeti at 10:59 AM on December 17, 2007


Bellevue, WA - Blahview
Duluth, MN - DULLuth
LaDue, MO - LaJew (not cool)
Somerville, MA - Scummerville

Also, just for fun: (Area) Man has Derogatory Nickname for Every Neighboring Town.
posted by psmealey at 11:03 AM on December 17, 2007


And so it goes that I missed the onion piece in the original post. Crap.
posted by psmealey at 11:09 AM on December 17, 2007


My brother is of the group that refer to Hope Mills, NC as "Hopeless Mills". Other NC towns: I've heard "Lily White Lillington" (mostly from the older set in my family), and "Containment Area for Relocated Yankees" for Cary.
posted by Coatlicue at 11:10 AM on December 17, 2007


Greenpoint, Brooklyn: The inconvenient Williamsburg.
The Dumfries-Manassas area of nothern Virginia: Dumassas.
Scranton, PA: Scrotum.
posted by clavicle at 11:15 AM on December 17, 2007


I used to live in Brat-vegas (the city that always sleeps, Brattleboro, VT)

Now I live in the District of Criminals (DC).
posted by General Malaise at 11:18 AM on December 17, 2007


Grants Pass OR > Grass Pants
And many people talk about the Aroma of Tacoma WA.
posted by ottereroticist at 11:23 AM on December 17, 2007


I have a friend from Buffalo that calls Buffalo "Flubbs".

Cheektowaga, NY: Cheektavagus
Fort Erie, ON: Fort Bleary, Fort Dreary
Cambridge, ON: Lamebridge
former town Preston, now part of Cambridge: Depresston
Tallahassee, FL: Talla-assy
Long Island: Lawn GUY-lind (mocking local accent)
Hicksville, LI, NY: just add snotty jokes
NY State has two parts: NYC and "Moo" (although "Moo" works for anywhere rural, really, sort of like saying someplace is Bumfuck Nowhere)
posted by Melinika at 11:24 AM on December 17, 2007


OP, you're going to have a hell of a time teasing out "derogatory" from "nicknames that locals embrace because they affirm every often-deluded but 'positive' stereotypes that they believe about themselves." Example of former: Hongcouver. Example of latter: Lotusland.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 11:24 AM on December 17, 2007


Some derogatory Orange County place names:

Anaslime (Anaheim)
Garbage Grove (Garden Grove)
Fullacrap (Fullerton)
Costa Misery (Costa Mesa)
Bore-ange (Orange)
Stanton (Stanton)

If you've ever been to Stanton, you'll understand how insulting that last one is.
posted by malapropist at 11:25 AM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Bellingham, WA is often referred to as "Smellingham". Nowadays it's just a funny bit for the college students to repeat, but it has real origins. Downtown Bellingham waterfront has long been dominated by the Georgia-Pacific paper company. The chemsitry used in processing and bleaching wood pulp is rather noxious, and if the wind blows just right, the entire town can stink like you would not believe. GP finally closed doors around 2000.
posted by blindcarboncopy at 11:28 AM on December 17, 2007


Springdale, Arkansas is derisively referred to as "Chickendale" by many because of the strong odor of its various chicken processing plants (Tyson and Cargill).

Nearby Fayetteville, Arkansas is often "Fayettenam" (like Vietnam), both derisively and affectionately, but not for any obvious reason.

The "West Ashley" area of Charleston, South Carolina is sometimes called "West Ashtray," a remark on its tidiness, I guess.
posted by wheat at 11:36 AM on December 17, 2007


My hometown of Durham, NC is sometimes referred to as "Dur'm" in writing. I'm not quite sure if it's supposed to be affectionate or derogatory, or what its origin is - I always figured it was because of our Southern accents or because we're dumb.

When I was in college I referred to it as "Cracktown" after a comment by a local police officer.

Nearby Cary, we joke, stands for "Containment Area for Relocated Yankees."
posted by Metroid Baby at 11:44 AM on December 17, 2007


Fresnowhere, CA.
posted by jocelmeow at 11:46 AM on December 17, 2007


Nashvegas, TN
posted by Stewriffic at 11:50 AM on December 17, 2007


Milpitas, CA is referred to among my Hispanophone friends as 'mil putas'.

I've never heard 'Smellpitas', but it would be entirely appropriate.
posted by oats at 11:51 AM on December 17, 2007


Scottsdale, AZ is known as "Snottsdale".
posted by arianell at 11:53 AM on December 17, 2007


OP, you're going to have a hell of a time teasing out "derogatory" from "nicknames that locals embrace because they affirm every often-deluded but 'positive' stereotypes that they believe about themselves."

I was wondering about that myself. In Boston, it is often referred to as "the Hub", as in "the center of the universe, about which all else rotates." I never did figure out whether that term was being used sincerely or ironically.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 11:55 AM on December 17, 2007


Tuscaloosa, AL=Tuscaloser
posted by parkerjackson at 11:55 AM on December 17, 2007


Manassas = Manasshole

I've heard Massapequa, NY , referrred to as Matzoh-Pizza
posted by newmoistness at 12:01 PM on December 17, 2007


My buddy lived in San Diego for a while and told me they refer to L.A. as "Smell-A". I know, brilliant.

I've also heard San Diego done as "Sandy Eggo". And, thanks to Anchorman, San Diego is often referred to as "Whale's Vagina".
posted by Doctor Suarez at 12:11 PM on December 17, 2007


a little offtopic, but here in nashville (nashvegas) the cumberland river is often referred to as the "scumberland."
posted by thinkingwoman at 12:32 PM on December 17, 2007


Mineola, Long Island > Smallola
posted by thinkpiece at 12:47 PM on December 17, 2007


I've heard Sacramento, Ca referred variously as "Sacratomato" or "Sacrademento". The latter may be more apropos. Not sure where the 'tomato' part comes in, but certain publications and locals have come to call the city "The Big Tomato".
posted by elendil71 at 12:56 PM on December 17, 2007


Not names for a city, but states:

New Hampshire = Nude Hamster
Massachusetts = Taxachusetts
Massachusetts = Massatwoshits
posted by SteveInMaine at 12:58 PM on December 17, 2007


Someone else mentioned Newport News above; I just wanted to say I've never heard it called "Newport Bad News" in my life, but I hear it referred to as "Bad News" daily. (I am a local.)
posted by srrh at 1:08 PM on December 17, 2007


Chatta-nowhere
posted by Pollomacho at 1:11 PM on December 17, 2007


Scarborough, just outside of Toronto has been called Scarberia for as long as I can remember.

And a plaid flannel shirt is called a "Scarborough Dinner-Jacket."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:21 PM on December 17, 2007


Urban Dictionary link for Scarberia
posted by lukemeister at 1:24 PM on December 17, 2007


Beloit (Wisconsin): the sound a marble makes when you drop it in the toilet.
posted by Madamina at 1:28 PM on December 17, 2007


sacramento = excremento

Fresnowhere, CA.


And right in the middle: Molesto.
posted by kittyprecious at 2:03 PM on December 17, 2007


Philthy = Philadelphia
New Jack City (?)
The Rotten Apple
Crooklyn (got your shit tooklyn)
Upper Least Side (Upper Best Side)
Whorlando
Berliniamsburg
posted by pinto at 2:34 PM on December 17, 2007


Wichititty City = Wichita Falls, TX
posted by Quarter Pincher at 2:37 PM on December 17, 2007


Belchertown, MA -> oh, wait; that one doesn't need a nickname.
posted by found missing at 2:47 PM on December 17, 2007


Lake Oswego, Oregon (Portland's wealthiest suburb): Lake Ego, Lake No-Negro, Fake Oswego.
Seconding the mention of "Vantucky" for Vancouver, WA.
posted by clair-de-lune at 2:58 PM on December 17, 2007


Here in Australia, I've heard people refer to Brisbane as "BrisVegas" (presumably because it's trashy and full of tourists).
posted by web-goddess at 5:36 PM on December 17, 2007


elendil71: I've heard Sacramento, Ca referred variously as "Sacratomato" or "Sacrademento". The latter may be more apropos. Not sure where the 'tomato' part comes in, but certain publications and locals have come to call the city "The Big Tomato".

Sacramento is in the heart of the Central Valley, a place where millions of tons of tomatoes are grown each year. Trucks hauling tomatoes are a common sight on Sacramento highways in the summer.
posted by spork at 6:10 PM on December 17, 2007


My left-leaning hometown is known in some circles as "the People's Republic of Oak Park" (that's Oak Park, IL).
posted by notswedish at 6:48 PM on December 17, 2007


Another one is Wilkinsburg, PA (just east of Pittsburgh), which has been called "We'll kill yins burg", refering to its level of violence and the word 'yins'- local Pittsburghese for 'you'
posted by buttercup at 6:54 PM on December 17, 2007


New Lisbon, WI --> New Lesbian
posted by Ashley801 at 7:34 PM on December 17, 2007


Ocean Shores, WA = Open Sores.
posted by TochterAusElysium at 7:48 PM on December 17, 2007


Oh, and any WA native knows that my home, Shoreline, is often called "Whoreline" because of all the...well, business gals. Farther south than where we live, fortunately.
posted by TochterAusElysium at 7:49 PM on December 17, 2007


In Ireland, Limerick used to be known as "Stab City".

"Used to". Riiiiiight.

To the person way up higher asking indirectly about parts of London, I refer the honourable member to Scumstead, in the arse end of Greenwich borough.
posted by genghis at 8:42 PM on December 17, 2007


Manhappenin' (Manhattan), KS, in a similar vein as Chapel Thrill.

The town also uses the nickname "The Little Apple" completely without irony.
posted by kyleg at 9:20 PM on December 17, 2007


Some people refer to Ipswich (Australia) as two-head city. I think it's because of some of the more prominent poor who seem to have a tiny genepool problem. Oh and Brisvegas gets that name also because of the casino, back when not every town had one.
posted by b33j at 10:35 PM on December 17, 2007


Scarborough, ON = Scarberia
posted by misozaki at 11:08 PM on December 17, 2007


Hell-A
La-LA Land
Tinseltown
posted by brujita at 11:48 PM on December 17, 2007


Springfield IL, which is the capitol, is often called Springpatch, for it's "downstate" location, and presumptive attitudes.
Hanover Park, a suburb of Chi-town, is usually referred to as Hangover Park, for the number of bars inside the city limits (and corresponding number of drunk drivers).
posted by unrepentanthippie at 6:28 AM on December 18, 2007


Everyone knows it's Chapel Hell. (Duke 2000)
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 9:32 AM on December 18, 2007


psmealey gave DULLuth for Duluth, MN. but we also call it DullYouth.
posted by RedEmma at 10:19 AM on December 18, 2007


i also had a friend once who called it "Birmingham by the Bay" to denote its problem of accepting black folks, but i think that was his own thing, and it didn't catch on.
posted by RedEmma at 10:21 AM on December 18, 2007


More from the Portland, OR area:

Clackamas = Crack o' my ass
Estacada = Incest-a-cada (rural area)
posted by peep at 2:46 PM on December 20, 2007


Fall River, MA during frequent economic downturns (and increased drug use) is sometimes referred
to as "City of Despair". Usually by people who managed to get out and find jobs elsewhere. Also as "faw riva", sometimes River Falls.

New Bedford, MA is is often pronounced 'new bej' or new 'new bedg'.

Before the gentrification of Woonsocket.RI (oon-so-sek in French Canadien), it was called the armpit
of RI because young lads could score women who had ... so i'm told.

Oonsockek is also where they park cars "side by each".
posted by lemuel at 3:06 PM on December 20, 2007


I'm from "dirty jersey" so I have a few to add:

West Babylon, NY = West Breast or West Titty
Mineola, NY = Minny-HO-la (referring to the girls who live there)
Staten Island, NY = Staten Italia
posted by theseampsgoto11 at 6:39 PM on February 4, 2008


I've also heard college kids from the respective areas refer to themselves and others as "Massholes" and "Baltimorons"
posted by theseampsgoto11 at 6:39 PM on February 4, 2008


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