But at least I'm not from...
June 27, 2011 2:40 PM   Subscribe

You're a resident of (U.S.) state X; which of your neighboring states would the average resident consider "beneath" your own? (No really, I'm going somewhere with this.)

As a kid I lived all over the U.S. Invariably people would talk about how their state was "better" than one of their neighboring states. In (north) Texas, people were always proud of not being from Oklahoma. In New York, people prided themselves on not being from New Jersey. Etc. etc. etc.

But since moving around so much made it obvious that every state does this, I've always thought it would be fun to try to map this state prejudice in some way. So, for example, does someone growing up in Oklahoma think that their neighbors in Texas are equally unfortunate in their choice of residence, or are they indifferent to Texas, but consider themselves better off than someone in Arkansas?

My goal is to put together a state prejudice map/infographic, but in order to do that I need lots of people's perspectives from all over the country.

So if you'd like to be counted as a data point, please tell me:

1. Where you're from (this can be either where you grew up, or where you live now)
2. What state or states someone from that area would be most likely to name in completing the sentence, "but at least I'm not from..."

I'm going more for what the prevailing prejudices are, so if you hate state Y because a store there wouldn't sell you beer when you were 17, don't include that. But if the average resident of your area thinks poorly of state Y, even though you yourself may not, that's exactly what I'm looking for. And yes, I know my current state of West Virginia is probably going to come in dead last.
posted by MsMolly to Society & Culture (297 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
 
I grew up in New Jersey. Our relationship with NY is well documented.

I live in Chicago now, and Indiana is our New Jersey. There's definitely some condescension towards Missouri and Wisconsin as well, but Indiana gets the brunt of it.
posted by Oktober at 2:43 PM on June 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Pennsylvania thinks the same of New Jersey as New York does.
posted by BiffSlamkovich at 2:45 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


1. Michigan

2. While I can't think of another state we're glad we're not.. we have this divide within our own state. People from the lower peninsula think the people from the upper peninsula are crazy and vice versa.

We would also like you all to know that no, we are not part of Canada (but we love Canadians!)
posted by royalsong at 2:46 PM on June 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


I grew up in Tennessee. Mississippi was the state that Tennesseans looked down upon.
posted by browse at 2:46 PM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


As one who hails from southern New Hampshire, I grew up hearing quite a bit of derision pointed at the "Massholes" to the south of us. Their lack of driving etiqutte was oft-commented upon when on Route 93.
posted by Greg Nog at 2:46 PM on June 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


Q: Why is it so windy in Kansas?

A: Because Nebraska blows and Oklahoma sucks.
posted by amyms at 2:47 PM on June 27, 2011 [11 favorites]


The joke in Alabama is that our unofficial state motto is, "At least we're not Mississippi."

Georgia is probably all, "At least we're not Alabama OR Mississippi."

Nthing that Jersey is the frequent butt of "crappy state" jokes in Philly.
posted by supercres at 2:47 PM on June 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


South Dakotans are very, very glad they're not from that other Dakota.
posted by Judith Butlerian Jihad at 2:47 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


In North Carolina, we know which one is the true Carolina, and it's not South Carolina.
posted by heyheylanagirl at 2:47 PM on June 27, 2011 [12 favorites]


I am from California, and I have been told by several people from Washington that they dislike people from California, since we all (apparently) end up moving to Washigton and clogging up their roads and natural parks. Or something. (The irony that these Washingtonians were currently residing in California was not lost on me)

There is a vague notion in Northern California that California is better than Oregon - not that Oregonites are stupid or anything. Just that Oregon kind of sucks. They have a slower speed limit and there's nothing to do there that can't be done in Northern California.
posted by muddgirl at 2:47 PM on June 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


Doesn't every state look down on every one of its neighbors? I mean, whoever you ask has chosen the state they live in, right?

I suspect that rather than "which state" being the difference, it's more like "for what reason/excuse/justification."

(Because they're more poor? Less educated? Snobbier? And so on.)
posted by rokusan at 2:47 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Eastern Pennsylvania looks down on New Jersey. I can't speak for the rest of the state.

I'm not sure who New Jersey looks down on.
posted by madcaptenor at 2:48 PM on June 27, 2011


I grew up in New Jersey. My people believe the following:
*People who think things about New Jersey don't realize that it's way more like that in Staten Island and Long Island.
*Philly is OK
*Connecticut is in the way if you're trying to get to Boston.
*New York is okay. The city is cool and their suburbs suck worse than ours do.
posted by entropone at 2:48 PM on June 27, 2011 [8 favorites]


-Colorado

-Colorado is pretty much objectively better than Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming, or Nebraska.
posted by speedgraphic at 2:48 PM on June 27, 2011


Louisiana>Mississippi. For many of the quality-of-life/economic indicators, it's all that we have.
posted by griseus at 2:48 PM on June 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm not sure who New Jersey looks down on.

Long Island. Because people who think that they're talking in their imitation Jersey accent are talking in an actual Long Island accent.
posted by entropone at 2:49 PM on June 27, 2011 [8 favorites]


In Minnesota, there was not much love for Wisconsin. In Oregon, EVERYONE hated Californians.
posted by superlibby at 2:50 PM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


In some places, this may vary by region. In Philly, we look down on Jersey and barely remember that West Virginia is technically one of our neighbors. In Pittsburgh, Jersey's not really any more dissed than it is by the rest of the country, and it's WV that gets the bad rap.
posted by Tomorrowful at 2:50 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here in Oregon we don't really think that way, but if I had to choose, it would be Idaho. Or maybe California.

Different ways of looking down. Idaho is the sticks, and California is the big crazy.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 2:50 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can give you specifics if you want. But from what I've experienced, nobody really cares where anyone is from if they are a long-term resident. Its the new people who come in going "yeah, we're from NYC now...none of this bridge and tunnel bs".

Any animosity is related only during sports' seasons, and with neighboring sports' teams.
posted by hal_c_on at 2:50 PM on June 27, 2011


Chicagoans look waaaaaaay down upon Indiana, although I like the state well enough myself. We also have antipathy towards Iowa, and I believe that downstate they dislike Tennessee. But Chicagoans look down upon those who live downstate too, so I can't be super positive about those people.
posted by esmerelda_jenkins at 2:50 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Long Island isn't a state, though. Even though sometimes you see "Town Name, L. I." as if it were.
posted by madcaptenor at 2:50 PM on June 27, 2011


Georgia is probably all, "At least we're not Alabama OR Mississippi."

OR South Carolina.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:51 PM on June 27, 2011


I'm from California, too, and I get the impression that we mostly think we are the awesomest state of all. Not that anyone else is beneath us, per se, but there's sort of a blinking wonderment that the rest of the country hasn't figured out how great it is here and come swarming.

Of course, we all also bitch about how expensive it is to live here...
posted by chatongriffes at 2:51 PM on June 27, 2011 [16 favorites]


I'm in WA. I look down on every neighbouring state, except Canada. But that one is heavily guarded and they won't let me stay.
posted by anonymisc at 2:51 PM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


muddgirl, my SO is one of those Washingtonians, albeit one who never moved away. Almost 20 years up here, and I think in some corner of his brain I'm still one of those damn Californians.

I have one Washingtonian friend who has some sort of crazy animus against Oregon, but I haven't heard that from anyone else.
posted by epersonae at 2:51 PM on June 27, 2011


Like the Greg Nog, I'm from NH. And our primary scorn is for MA.

Although making fun of VT state income tax is a pastime as well.
posted by kaszeta at 2:51 PM on June 27, 2011


I believe a lot of the anti-Californian sentiment in Oregon and Washington is the result of Californication. (No, not that one or that one.)
posted by supercres at 2:52 PM on June 27, 2011


Folks in Virginia look down on those in West Virginia.
posted by jayder at 2:52 PM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


WV is made fun of by MD, VA, PA. Everyone makes fun of OH
posted by sandmanwv at 2:53 PM on June 27, 2011


Seconding North Carolina (where I'm from) as superior to South Carolina (which is far inferior). Though there's always the South Carolina sucks "except Charleston" addendum.
posted by greta simone at 2:53 PM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Connecticutters don't care much about, but in my experience consider themselves superior too, Rhode Islanders.

In my eastern US experience, just about everyone from bordering states (heck, and even non-bordering ones) seem to enjoy making fun of Mississippi, West Virginia and New Jersey. And, nowadays, Alaska.
posted by mauvest at 2:54 PM on June 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Oh yeah! How could I forget? EVERYONE hates Ohio.
posted by esmerelda_jenkins at 2:54 PM on June 27, 2011 [12 favorites]


I second, third, nth the Virginia looking down on West Virginia thing.
posted by sweetkid at 2:54 PM on June 27, 2011


chatongriffes: as a Californian by accident I find it seriously disorienting how everyone here thinks it's awesome. I'm used to living in places that don't have quite such high self-esteem.
posted by madcaptenor at 2:55 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


From Maryland (suburban DC area). Therefore, the very worst thing in the world was to be from Virginia (specifically, Northern Virginia). I think it was probably mutual on their end as well.

Now live in Florida. To hear it told, Alabama is pretty much the ass-end of the world. So reviled that some refer to the panhandle as "Floribama."
posted by contessa at 2:55 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Those of us in Minnesota and South Dakota look down on Iowa (Idiots Out Walking Around). My husband is from Iowa and gets grief from everyone.
posted by bristolcat at 2:56 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, if we're reasoning from pejorative portmanteaux, there's always Pennsyltucky.
posted by madcaptenor at 2:56 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah! How could I forget? EVERYONE hates Ohio.

When I lived in Ohio, Ohio hated EVERYONE.

PA - general hate towards Pittsburgh, and making fun of the alcohol laws.
KY, WV - Rednecks
IN - Generally negative view as being a "lesser" state
MI - Holy hell do people in Ohio hate Michigan. See football rivalries and the Toledo War.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 2:56 PM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


South Dakotans are very, very glad they're not from that other Dakota.

I came here to say we North Dakotans are glad we're not from the other Dakota, too.

Also, I briefly lived in Montana, and I had been given a book called "North Dakota Joke Book", written by Mike Dalton, who was, I believe, a radio morning show guy from Billings or some such place. Those damn Montanans. The jokes were pretty much re-uses of blonde/norwegian/polish jokes, but adapted for North Dakota. One I particularly remember: "Who discovered North Dakota? The Rotor-Rooter Man from Sidney, Montana."
posted by AzraelBrown at 2:57 PM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh, people in the south don't consider Florida properly "The South". That can be a good or bad thing depending on who's saying it.

(The panhandle is, though. The rest is retired New Yorkers.)
posted by supercres at 2:57 PM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


I would agree with mister fabulous that, when it is sports related, Michigan hates Ohio too.
posted by royalsong at 2:58 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Massachusetts > New Hampshire
posted by tetralix at 2:58 PM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Agree with bristolcat that Minnesotans are the bullies of the Upper Midwest. When I lived there, I learned that MN scoffed not only at the Idiots Out Walking Around, but also Dakotans both North and South, as well as Wisconsinites/Cheeseheads.
posted by Dr. Wu at 2:58 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


+! with Supercres. Georgians made fun of me for being from Alabama; we made fun of Mississippi.


As for bristolcat---In Iowa, we made fun of Minnesota, so I think those two states may actually be equal.
posted by parkerjackson at 2:58 PM on June 27, 2011


My experience of Washingtonians is that they/we think Oregonians are basically fine, but Californians are annoying and pretentious and can't drive properly. Aside from the usual urban disdain for southerners and the flyover states, people don't seem to have much of an opinion about other states. They're too far away to really care about.

When I lived in California it did seem to be the case that California was just obviously the most awesome state in the union; everywhere else was sadly a bit benighted and backward, but they'd obviously catch up eventually, because the way California did things was clearly the best.
posted by Mars Saxman at 2:59 PM on June 27, 2011


I'm From Texas. I would say most Texans would feel they are superior to people from Oklahoma and Arkansas, Katrina kind of changed how (everyone) feels about Louisiana and I think most Texans don't even know that we border New Mexico and, if they do, are so indifferent to New Mexicoans (?) as not to have an opinion one way or another. Mexico is a different story.
posted by holdkris99 at 3:00 PM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


chatongriffes: as a Californian by accident I find it seriously disorienting how everyone here thinks it's awesome. I'm used to living in places that don't have quite such high self-esteem.

Try Texas. They have bumper stickers.
posted by muddgirl at 3:01 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


California -- SF bay area native. At least I'm not from Southern California.

*runs*
posted by Kafkaesque at 3:01 PM on June 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


I'm from Seattle, and I don't really get the sense that we look down on any neighboring states so much as we look down on Eastern Washington.

Oregon and California and completely respectable states, and I don't think we really think about Idaho at all.
posted by queens86 at 3:02 PM on June 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Massachusetts: all of 'em. NH and Maine people would disagree. That's why they call us Massholes. A touch of the old couplet about the Lowells and the Cabots informs our attitude, plus there's the whole birthplace of the revolution thing, inventing Thanksgiving, being home to the top universities, and we win a lot at sports. Just don't mention New York. New York gives us an inferiority complex.
posted by Diablevert at 3:02 PM on June 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


You could break this down and down and down...

1. Where you're from CALIFORNIA
2. "but at least I'm not from..." ANYWHERE ELSE

more specifically:

1. Where you're from NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
2. "but at least I'm not from..." ANYWHERE SOUTH OF MENDOCINO COUNTY
posted by small_ruminant at 3:02 PM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Verifying GA > AL > MS, and NC > SC.
posted by holgate at 3:02 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oregon and California are
posted by queens86 at 3:02 PM on June 27, 2011


Agree with bristolcat that Minnesotans are the bullies of the Upper Midwest. When I lived there, I learned that MN scoffed not only at the Idiots Out Walking Around, but also Dakotans both North and South, as well as Wisconsinites/Cheeseheads.

Minnesotan here, and I could NOT agree more! I was just sitting here thinking about it, and I realized that, yes, if I am being truthful, I'm always glad I'm not from any of them: either of the Dakotas, Iowa, and Wisconsin. I only give South Dakota a tiny bit of a pass because they have the Black Hills, Mount Rushmore, and some other lovely scenery.
posted by anderjen at 3:02 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


In Louisiana, when I was growing up, the done thing was to make fun of Arkansas.

In Wisconsin, it was Minnesota for the most part.

In Florida, we hated Alabama.

In Washington, it was all California-hatred, all the time.

In California, I don't recall a lot of other-state-hate. Except maybe New York?

I'm in New Mexico now, and again, I don't encounter a whole lot of complaining or dissing of other states, but we do get irritated by Texans.
posted by Pants McCracky at 3:03 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'd agree with others about California. We think we are awesome and are so high and mighty we don't even compare ourselves. This doesn't really fit with your question but us SoCalers think people from the north are weird hicks (see: "hella").
posted by boobjob at 3:03 PM on June 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm from Wisconsin, but at least I'm not from Iowa . . .

I live in DC, but at least I don't live in Virginia.
posted by Rinoia at 3:03 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm from California, too, and I get the impression that we mostly think we are the awesomest state of all. Not that anyone else is beneath us, per se, but there's sort of a blinking wonderment that the rest of the country hasn't figured out how great it is here and come swarming.

This. Though Hawaii sort of gets a pass, as being really a different country (in only the best senses.) And as a Northern Californian, my allegience was closer to Northwest. OF COURSE I felt far more loyalty to Oregon and Washington than to the only-politically-connected Southern California, (those river-sucking dogs!).
posted by small_ruminant at 3:06 PM on June 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Small_ruminant, I just burst out into laughter in my (San Francisco) office.
posted by chatongriffes at 3:07 PM on June 27, 2011


I'm not sure who New Jersey looks down on.

Pennsylvania. Also Staten Island.
posted by crankylex at 3:07 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


And the feeling I got from the Oregonians and Washingtonians was that they'd adopt the Northern Californians out of pity, poor souls, because we were attached to the rest of California, and wasn't it too bad that we had to suffer in that way!
posted by small_ruminant at 3:08 PM on June 27, 2011 [8 favorites]


When I lived in California (Los Angeles), some folks treated the entire country of Mexico as if it were New Jersey.
posted by cazoo at 3:09 PM on June 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Minnesota ---> Wisconsin (aka 'sconies, cheeseheads, etc.) Especially funny when you're about a mile from the border.

NE Colorado ---> Nebraska (also hilarious considering it's about as flat and corn-filled as Nebraska)
posted by the young rope-rider at 3:09 PM on June 27, 2011


Ayup, Tennessee always points to Mississippi. In West Tennessee, sometimes Arkansas is also used, but Mississippi is the gold standard of Other.

Mississippi is actually pretty much the "at least we're not" for just about every state in the South.
posted by absalom at 3:10 PM on June 27, 2011


Grew up in CT and I don't think we really looked down on any other state in particular. We did feel like the practically-New-Yorkers in southwestern Ct (Fairfield County) were fake Connecticut... but I don't think people looked down on actual NYers.

In NY, we looked down on NJ, as has been well-documented.

This doesn't fit with your "bordering-states" thing, but: I live in Texas now and people mostly look down on California. I think this is maybe because there are so many Californians here that it feels like the state borders us.
posted by fugitivefromchaingang at 3:10 PM on June 27, 2011


Originally from Iowa, and we always rolled our eyes at Missouri, and weirdly, southern Iowa. The oft repeated joke is if you take the bottom 20 miles of Iowa and add it to Missouri, you could raise the average i.q. In both states by 10 points. We always looked up to Minnesota because of Prince and the Replacements. And of course anyone from Wisconsin was seen as just a drunken crazy person.
posted by Malla at 3:10 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Illinoisans also look down on the cheeseheads from Wisconsin (I do not share this disdain). May have something to do with the way they treat their unions, up yonder. Though, these days they're even under attack here.
posted by Lieber Frau at 3:10 PM on June 27, 2011


I would say that Coloradoans look down on Kansas more than they look down on the other neighboring states.
posted by medusa at 3:11 PM on June 27, 2011


Michiganders hate Ohio for more than just sports, but credit must be given to Woody Hayes of Ohio State, who once ran out of gas on a recruiting trip because he refused even to buy gas in Michigan. He went decades without calling Michigan by name ("that school" and "those people up north"). That is some Grade A hate right there.
posted by Etrigan at 3:12 PM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Didja hear you can't even get a blowjob in $OtherState anymore?

Yep, all the cocksuckers moved down here."
posted by BeerFilter at 3:12 PM on June 27, 2011


Grew up in Southern Indiana right on the Ohio river -- way better than Kentucky. We were north of the Mason Dixon line, even if only by a few feet :P
posted by theRussian at 3:12 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


People from Washington and Oregon can't drive. Oh, and Nevada is gross. - Californian
posted by elsietheeel at 3:14 PM on June 27, 2011


In California, I don't recall a lot of other-state-hate. Except maybe New York?

Many of us are deeply baffled by Utah. I don't think it goes so far as hate, though.
posted by small_ruminant at 3:15 PM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm in western Maryland, as sandmanwv said, here it's West-by-God-Virginia. Although I can't speak for the rest of the state. We made fun growing up of the hickness, the drivers... pretty much everything.
posted by Stormfeather at 3:15 PM on June 27, 2011


I'm from northwestern Washington, and I don't think I've seen state prejudice, though as queens86 mentioned, western Washingtonians regard those from the eastern half as ignorant benighted rednecks. I live near the border, and locals also resent Canadians for clogging up our parking lots and driving like crazy people... but we don't *dislike* them.
posted by Safiya at 3:17 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


And the feeling I got from the Oregonians and Washingtonians was that they'd adopt the Northern Californians out of pity, poor souls, because we were attached to the rest of California

Yeah, pretty much. Though if Cascadia ever declares independence, I think you all would be better off joining up with the southern half of Oregon and doing the State of Jefferson thing. We could totally be allies, though, for sure.
posted by Mars Saxman at 3:20 PM on June 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Ohioans may hate Michigan, but they feel superior to Kentucky.....the state version of the "Polack joke" is the "Kentuckian joke."
posted by availablelight at 3:21 PM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Illinoisan by birth, but since it was downstate, I didn't really harbor any ill-will towards the neighboring states. Once I moved to Chicago, though, all bets were off. As mentioned, we hated Indiana (the northernmost of the southern states) and Wisconsonites hated us. FIBs (F-ing Illinois Bastards), they called us. And cars with Illinois plates always got picked out of speeding traffic clumps by the state cops when north of the border.
posted by hwyengr at 3:21 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm from Wisconsin, but at least I'm not from Iowa . . .

Where I come from (Michigan) we pronounce it "Ohio." When I lived in Montana we pronounced it "Idaho." Now that I live in Wisconsin we try not to pronounce it at all.
posted by Floydd at 3:24 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Others have said it already but yeah, most of the hating going on in California is against the half of California that you're not from. (Born and raised in SF, here. I actually like LA okay but bashing it is almost a reflex!)
posted by sunset in snow country at 3:24 PM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Agree with the above: that California is too preoccupied with the Norcal vs. SoCal / L.A. vs S.F. thing to hate other states.
posted by drjimmy11 at 3:26 PM on June 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


Having grown up in Arizona, I find myself trying to group myself with the Californians and avoid being lumped in with people from New Mexico and Utah.
posted by mullacc at 3:27 PM on June 27, 2011


I grew up in Texas - I don't recall so much hating on the neighbors as a general sense of "yay TX" to go along with all the abovementioned bumper stickers. Of course, I GTFO as fast as I could.

I currently live in Pittsburgh. Our disdain seems mostly reserved for Ohio (why would anybody want to go there?), and WV (tons of hick jokes).
posted by Metasyntactic at 3:27 PM on June 27, 2011


Louisiana: at least we're better than Mississippi. Or sometimes Arkansas.
posted by Sara C. at 3:27 PM on June 27, 2011


Oh yeah - there's also some disdain for the more rural parts of the state, at least in my social circle ... I've heard PA described as two decent cities, separated by a "T" of Alabama.
posted by Metasyntactic at 3:28 PM on June 27, 2011


I grew up in WV. 49th in literacy, yea! 2nd in obesity, super yea! Well, thank god for Mississippi. Or occasionally Arkansas or Alabama.
posted by Measured Out my Life in Coffeespoons at 3:29 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure who New Jersey looks down on.

The other half of New Jersey (and/or Princeton), New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware. All those damn people clogging up the Turnpike with their inability to drive.
posted by EvaDestruction at 3:29 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I grew up in Maryland and it was a good thing to not be from either Pennsylvania or Virginia. Virginia produced crazy drivers and Republicans. Pennsylvania had shitty roads (there was always a noticeable drop off in road quality on 1-83 at the PA state line).

Then I lived in Louisiana, and everyone was thrilled when Mississippi would hit 50th even if we were 49th.

Now I live in Texas which thinks of itself as the Best State Ever, so much so, that we should secede from the Union and be our own country. In terms of quality of life issues, etc., Texas isn't bad but it really sucks have a crazy man for a governor.
posted by Leezie at 3:29 PM on June 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Virginians, particularly in the south and west (NOT including West Virginians) don't like people from DC or MD. I always thought of Maryland as the New Jersey of DC.

Tangentially, I don't know of anyone in particular who hates Hawaii.
posted by _cave at 3:29 PM on June 27, 2011


I live in Connecticut and I can't think of any one state that other people in Connecticut seem to look down on. There are, however, tons of opinions about which towns and cities within CT suck.
posted by eunoia at 3:30 PM on June 27, 2011


It might be a purely San Diego thing, but my god do we hate Zonies, infesting our beaches and highways every summer as they escape the searing heat in their hellhole of a state, driving around like so many ignorant cicadas in an unstoppable yearly brood.

The only other states that border CA are Oregon and Nevada, which we could really give a shit about. I think we're aware enough that there aren't really many native Nevadans, so they get a pass.

Interestingly, I hear lots of people in town get into conversations about how poor the drivers in San Diego are. At that point, I ask native San Diegans to raise their hands, and I end up being the only person with their hand up. Extrapolate that, and it's quite easy to see that all you bozos from other states are coming here and messing stuff up.
posted by LionIndex at 3:30 PM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


This doesn't really fit with your question but us SoCalers think people from the north are weird hicks (see: "hella").

I don't disagree with this. The flip side is that denizens of Northern California see folks from SoCal as vacuous, reckless-BMW-driving, style-conscious tanning bed freaks who aren't enough steps removed from the Valley Girl archetype of the 80s.
posted by mudpuppie at 3:30 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Another native Texan here. It is definitely true that we are brought up to think we are the greatest, but most city folk these days don't really care for those who live in the small towns, and vice versa. The real loathing, at least in my experience as a Houstonian, was saved for the lovely (and not so lovely) citizens of east Texas, and of course, Lubbock.
posted by backwards compatible at 3:30 PM on June 27, 2011


1. Kentucky

2. Indiana, especially Southern Indiana. Residents of Indiana, especially Southern Indiana, are viewed, generally, as hicks and/or white trash.* No, the irony is not lost on me.




*Note: I don't share this view, although I will freely admit to a general distaste for Indiana.
posted by pecanpies at 3:33 PM on June 27, 2011


I think this might be something like watersheds. The contempt in the east flows into either New Jersey, West Virginia, or Mississippi. Most of it into Mississippi, eventually. We need somebody from Mississippi to chime in and share their take.
posted by duien at 3:33 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I grew up in Ohio. Lots of people in Ohio think of West Virginia and Kentucky as being hillbilly states. Ohio and Michigan have a longtime football rivalry, but I don't recall anyone looking down on Michiganders in any other sense. I don't think I've ever heard anything bad about Indiana from Ohioans, either.

Here in the Chicago area I get the feeling that people think of Wisconsin and Indiana as being less sophisticated... but then again I suspect that anywhere outside of Chicagoland in Illinois is considered pretty "country" as well. I didn't grow up here so I don't know for sure that this is the attitude, it's just my impression from the occasional comments I've heard.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 3:34 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


backwards compatible has a good point. Like the No/SoCal grudge, within Texas there are prejudices against people from "East Texas" (which is a non-specific area, thousands of square miles in size, that starts somewhere east of I-35, mostly where the big pine trees start growing), and "the Valley" -- the stretch of towns between San Antonio and the Mexican border, extending to the west towards, I don't know, Del Rio?
posted by mudpuppie at 3:34 PM on June 27, 2011


Northwest Illinois here. We dislike Minnesota drivers very much. Wisconsin drivers somewhat less disliked. Iowans are boring.

I can attest to hwyengr's comment about Wisconsin referring to Illinois/Illinoisans as FIBs, although the acronym meaning varies. There is actually a restaurant named FIB's in Rockton, Illinois, started by two people from Wisconsin. They wrote "Friends in Business" on the sign but everyone knows the real name is "Fuckin' Illinois BullShit." It's pretty funny.
posted by michaelh at 3:36 PM on June 27, 2011


I'm originally from Mississippi and...well...

um...
posted by gordie at 3:36 PM on June 27, 2011 [14 favorites]


from what I've experienced, nobody really cares where anyone is from if they are a long-term resident.

I have not found this to be true. At all. Regional animosity is hardwired. New Yorkers scorn New Jersey equally, no matter if they came over on the Mayflower or last week's Somali cargo ship.

The real question is: who does Staten Island look down on?
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:37 PM on June 27, 2011


Vermonters and New Hampshirites both think they are better than the other, and better than Maine, though VT would team up with Maine against NH in a fight and not the other way around [VT + NH vs Maine]. Many people in VT either identify with or hate Mass/NY depending on where their allegiances lie [Red Sox vs. Yankees] but I'm not sure it's a "look down on" situation because we are very very clear where the tourist money comes from. Old Yankee Vermonters seem to hate Quebecers and I assume it's mutual.

People in MA think Northern New England is full of hicks and Rhode Islanders are all gangsters and CT people are snobs and NY folks are "too Jewish" [i.e. loud and abrasive and vaguely ethnic] in contrast to the MA stoicism. People from NY/NJ think Northern New Englanders and Massachusettsians have a total stick up their ass and they have never heard of Rhode Island.
posted by jessamyn at 3:38 PM on June 27, 2011 [11 favorites]


1. Born & raised in Southern Illinois.
2. At least I'm not from Chicago.

In Illinois, in addition to a general loathing of Indiana + Missouri, there's more than a bit of tension between Chicago-land and "downstate". (Downstate being everyone south of I-80.)
posted by muirne81 at 3:38 PM on June 27, 2011


In places I've lived I've found it to be more regional hate than state-wide hate. I grew up in Rhode Island and we hated Massholes, but the main focus was Fall River. Now I live in Oregon and people trash Vancouver, WA but not really Washington generally. Oregonians do hate Californians, though, for moving up here and apparently ruining everything (i.e. making it more like California).
posted by janerica at 3:38 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


(Also: We Kentuckians tend to loathe Ohioans (Ohioites?), but for a specific reason: they're some of the worst drivers in the country. They seem to be almost totally, innocently unaware of what a passing lane is for. If there is a semi truck in an Ohioan's field of vision, he will be in the passing lane, regardless of velocity, distance to truck, velocity of other drivers, etc.)
posted by pecanpies at 3:39 PM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


In central Ohio I would say that people have positive-to-neutral opinions about Kentucky and Indiana, neutral-to-negative opinions about Pennsylvania, negative opinions about West Virginia (this is the closest thing to a "look down on" state, I think) and seething, eternal, endless frothy volumes of hate for Michigan. Florida sometimes comes in for the hate, depending on how long it's been since OSU lost to a football team from Florida.

It's my impression that the further south you get, the more likely people are to look down on West Virginia and Kentucky, and the further north you get, the more likely they are to see themselves as superior to Michigan instead of just hating it.

When I was in California, we thought everyone was worse than us, but especially Nevada, which consisted of one decent vacation spot and ten hours of endless desert highway and nuclear testing grounds. Also, because I was in LA, we looked down on Northern California. My relatives from central California find the whole SF/LA thing terribly amusing. People in Ohio find the idea of it baffling.
posted by SMPA at 3:39 PM on June 27, 2011


Arizonan. Most natives hate all non-native residents; the olds in Sun City hate all the youngs; Phoenicians hate Tusconians (who drives 5 MPH under the speed limit??); and the whites generally distrust (at best) the browns. In short, too much state-self-hate to worry about our neighbors, except when we're complaining about Cali drivers while we ruin their beaches and highways.

(still trying to leave. CA? OR? WA? jobs, anyone?)
posted by Chris4d at 3:39 PM on June 27, 2011


Oi, pecanpies, I challenge you to drive in Nebraska before declaring Ohioans the worst. I mean, yes, Ohioans are bad (merge! MERGE!) but driving in Nebraska is just plain tortuous. I fully expect that after our first Nebraska away game, Ohio will be full of people who hate Nebraska drivers.
posted by SMPA at 3:41 PM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm currently living in Missouri. Illinois is clearly far better. Iowa, too, really. (Although I'm not sure Missourians have figured either of those out yet...) At least we have Arkansas and Oklahoma to kick around.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 3:41 PM on June 27, 2011


Fairfield County, Connecticut looks down on Connecticut and up to New York City.
posted by zippy at 3:44 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm from Utah but at least I'm not from Idaho or Wyoming.
posted by baho at 3:44 PM on June 27, 2011


(And yes, I did have a smug sense of self-satisfaction for being from IL when Obama got elected, and then when they recognized same-sex unions. I have been known to refer to MO as 'the slave state' when I'm particularly miffed.)
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 3:45 PM on June 27, 2011


Growing up in Maine, most of the derision was pointed at people from Massachusetts and Quebecers. Both were thought to be terrible drivers. People from Massachusetts were dismissed as wealthy, self-entitled pricks and French Canadians were alleged to clog up our beaches with men in snug bathing suits and their personal hygiene was said to be lacking.

The attitude about Bay Staters was the classic rural-versus-urban disagreement, where the city people seem hurried, aggressive and flashy because of the differences in their daily lives that they don't leave behind when the situation changes. I'm convinced the anti-Quebec attitude came from a mixture of xenophobia and Maine's largely Quebec-extracted population wanting to loudly demonstrate that the were no longer so French. Both groups objectively do in fact drive too aggressively for the norms of the area (and I include my Boston self in that assessment when I visit Maine.)

I was surprised to learn that in Eastern MA, it's reciprocated-- if you want to conjure an image of a rural idiot with his finger up his nose, a Mainer is the most likely target. Occasionally New Hampshire, Vermont or Western MA stands in for Maine, but New Hampshire is the go-to stereotype for crazy paranoids and VT and Western MA are generally used to evoke hippies. If you are in MA and want to submit an image of non-rural, sleazy degenerates you mention Rhode Island if you're not bothering with the agreed-upon communities inside MA for that.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:47 PM on June 27, 2011


Former Atlantan here. Alabama was seen as the lame-o discount southern state that couldn't get its shit together and didn't wear shoes (no real reason that I can think of now).

I don't recall anyone really dogging South Carolina, and Florida was immune due to beaches. Maybe just a tiny bit about Tennessee.

But really outside of Atlanta, that island in the sticks, and maybe Savannah, the rest of Georgia is really ripe for derision as these things go, which is to say not really but yeah. You can't really brag about Georgia, and plus it can't decide on a barbecue style, god damn it.
posted by Askr at 3:48 PM on June 27, 2011


The real loathing, at least in my experience as a Houstonian, was saved for the lovely (and not so lovely) citizens of east Texas

Yes, this is absolutely correct. Never mind that Houston is in east Texas. We mean, east of us to the state line. There's a long history that explains this (see for examples, Greenville with its long-gone "Blackest land and whitest people" sign, and Vidor, a possible-still "hotbed" of KKK activity).

In the early 1980s, it was people from Detroit and New Jersey because many came down to Texas during that recession, and there weren't enough jobs for us all. Also, they came with their Northern ways and manners. We think they are ok now.
posted by Houstonian at 3:48 PM on June 27, 2011


Asked a friend from Indiana, they said Kentucky is full of hicks who marry their cousins.
posted by royalsong at 3:52 PM on June 27, 2011


I'm in MD and have lived in a few others states. I've never had any experience with other states saying anything negative about the residents of MD as a whole but I have heard talk with people in MD looking down on other areas in MD. For example, people from Baltimore are generally thought of as "Baltimorons" due to their unique accent as well as some other things...

There is also a vibe that Northern VA people look down on the rest of VA and WV.

People in DC have a reputation of being thought of as self-absorbed and as terrible drivers. The last part is true, they routinely rank at the absolute bottom, with Baltimore. People in this whole area are known to flake out on everything but there are two terrible beltways that are constantly gridlocked with murders to try to contend with so who's to say they aren't in the right thinking their time is more valuable than yours.
posted by zephyr_words at 3:52 PM on June 27, 2011


Michigan proudly and profoundly hates Ohio.
posted by snickerdoodle at 3:53 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's about the geography in Oklahoma. Extreme eastern OK is superior to Arkansas; the rest of the state doesn't care; all are superior to those braggarts in Texas. (Recently spotted in the University of Oklahoma bookstore: In the "Keep Austin Weird" font, "Keep Norman Normal". Because Norman is where the university is, see, and with the alliteration and Texas bad.)
posted by ormondsacker at 3:54 PM on June 27, 2011


It's funny I was in South Africa and I was asked whether California was really as ridiculously awesome as all the movies make it out to be and I was like well it is really beautiful, and the weather is basically more or less perfect year round, and there are tons of beaches, and great surfing, and you know I do see the odd celebrity every now and then, it's not bad... So yeah can't say I don't live up to that stereotype.

However, I think the state California really looks down upon is Nevada.
posted by whoaali at 3:56 PM on June 27, 2011


Maryland and Virginia hate each other. (There's a lot of history there; including honest shooting wars in colonial days.) Virginia screws up crab cakes, has no interest in saving the Bay, doesn't have a real city, etc.

West Virginia is considered benighted by Maryland and Virginia. Ohio does not border Maryland, but the distance is small, and it's considered to basically be the level of West Virginia, except without the natural beauty.

Maryland and PA also dislike each other. PA is considered to have stolen a lot of land from Maryland; leading to the Civil War-era taunt that Philadelphia was "the second nicest city in Maryland".
posted by spaltavian at 3:57 PM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm from Southwestern PA, "but at least I'm not from..." West Virginia or Ohio. (As the locals who aren't me might say.)
posted by booth at 3:58 PM on June 27, 2011


Grew up in northern Nevada. Californians were considered benign idiots that flooded over our border to escape the SoCal swarm. Real animosity was only for Las Vegas. That was a pretty well-founded animosity, much like, I suspect, southern Illinois' disdain for Chicago. They have the majority but they have no notion of how life works in the rest of the state.

Oh, and Nevada is gross ...Please do keep thinking that, everyone. Repeat it like a mantra.
posted by bricoleur at 3:59 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I live in south Florida, where we're really too far from any other state to remember to be disdainful.

When I was growing up in Key West we had some friction w Miami tourists, who seemed constantly baffled that people live on the island, with running water and everything! (also, lots of bumper stickers that say 'slow down, this ain't the mainland.').

About 10 years ago I formulated a theory that "everyplace has a stock island." stock island is key west's nearest neighbor. Same zip code, incredible scorn. New York has Jersey, Seattle has Tacoma (don't deny it), etc.
posted by bilabial at 4:01 PM on June 27, 2011


I grew up in North Dakota and want to state for the record that it is indisputably the greatest Dakota. I have a little bit of an inferiority complex when it comes to Minnesota, though.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 4:04 PM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


As stated, New Yorkers think of New Jersey as their cesspool overflow area. I find it odd, since NJ is really a beautiful state. I am from NY.

In Hawaii people from other islands whine about Maui a lot, "Maui thinks it is so cool," "Maui is so overblown." It is really very odd. Mauians whine about people from Oahu, especially when the super ferry was running and Honoluluians were coming over and stealing seaweed and rocks, and bringing in drugs.
posted by fifilaru at 4:05 PM on June 27, 2011


I grew up in New Mexico. Growing up there, we liked to joke about how New Mexico was the most poorly ranked state in everything except drunk driving, where we were second only to Mississipi (or some other Southern state, can't remember exactly).

There was never much inter-state rivalry, though we did tend to say things like "at least we're not Texans." Mainly, we just clung to extolling the virtues of Hatch green chile.
posted by pravit at 4:06 PM on June 27, 2011




Recently spotted in the University of Oklahoma bookstore: In the "Keep Austin Weird" font, "Keep Norman Normal". Because Norman is where the university is, see, and with the alliteration and Texas bad.

I've seen "Keep College Station Normal." I suggested "Keep A&M Average," noting that the sense was basically the same and the alliteration better, but the Aggie didn't seem to think that was funny.
posted by fugitivefromchaingang at 4:08 PM on June 27, 2011


Grew up in Maine and called people from Massachusetts Massholes. Damn Massholes can't drive....
posted by nikkorizz at 4:09 PM on June 27, 2011


Spending my teens in Arizona I'd say we looked down on Utah. From what some friends told me there was also some derision focused on Texas because the Arizona cowboys thought they were the real deal and that the Texas ones were just posers who were all about Stetsons and putting horns on their Cadillacs.

Now as an adult living in Utah I've got to say I think Arizona jumped on the crazy train.
posted by TooFewShoes at 4:12 PM on June 27, 2011


I grew up in WV, and like others have said, we can't stand Ohio because of their driving. I went to school in Ohio and quickly learned why. In Ohio, the lightest of turns receives warning for miles in advance. You get to WV and you're lucky to see a warning sign on a switchback.

Sometimes I also think it comes from the migration to Ohio when the mines closed. People had to leave home and usually they did better for themselves, comparatively. Culturally, through the generations, I imagine there is some contempt for those that left. All those cousins that come to reunions, families that have long since left their accents behind and giggle under their breath at yours.

But I digress... We also didn't like Kentucky too much, bunch a violent hillbillies in Kentucky, ya know.
posted by wg at 4:12 PM on June 27, 2011


New Jersey looks down on all the other states that incorrectly think New Jersey sucks.

Really, I don't totally mind it because the rest of the nation gets to think we're all factories and boardwalks while all of the good parts of the state are kept semi-secret.
posted by rachaelfaith at 4:15 PM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Born & raised in Texas and basically was taught: TEXAS > everything. Having said that, we especially didn't like New Mexico.

When I lived in IN, we despised Michigan.

In GA, we don't care for Alabama.
posted by SoulOnIce at 4:16 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm from Georgia, and I grew up around people making lots and lots of genuinely unfunny Alabama jokes.

For example: Two men from Alabama are walking down a path. They happen across some strange tracks and are baffled; they've never encountered the creature that makes these prints and they decide to trail it. After a couple of miles, they at last catch up with a man wearing shoes.

Also: What's the only good thing to come out of Alabama? Interstate 20.
posted by DeusExMegana at 4:18 PM on June 27, 2011


I grew up in a kind of crappy part of SoCal (inland an hour from LA) and I was still mocking my relatives in Nebraska by the age of ten.

I like LA, lived on the beach in San Diego for years but San Diego is kinda the least interesting of the metro areas once you're over how pretty and nice it is. I still have San Francisco envy and I would gladly change sides in the NorCal/SoCal war if they would have me.

Having grown up in Arizona, I find myself trying to group myself with the Californians and avoid being lumped in with people from New Mexico and Utah.

AHHAHAHA! Oh you're so cute. Maybe the Nevadans will take you.
posted by slow graffiti at 4:19 PM on June 27, 2011


I grew up in Alaska; we tend to view the whole "Lower 48" as a single indistinguishable block. It's too far away to engender real hatred, although we can get pretty annoyed by the annual influx of tourists. Mostly we pity them, because our state is so much more rigorous, fun, and awe-inspiring than theirs.

Hawaii we view as a sort of kindred spirit in its isolation and natural beauty. Washington also gets a pass, since it's our gateway to the rest of the country.

We do occasionally make fun of Texas specifically, especially by threatening to cut Alaska in half so they'll be the third largest state.

Having also lived in California and Washington, I'll concur with what some others have said about those: California barely notices the rest of the country and saves its energy for the north/south rivalry, and Washington is pretty easygoing when it comes to immediate neighbors but dislikes Californians.
posted by fermion at 4:26 PM on June 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Oh, and taken from a larger rant/love letter I wrote once about CA:

I probably won't live there again soon. The good places are too expensive for a decent quality of life when you don't make a healthy six figures. The state is mostly ungovernable thanks to Prop 13. Minnesota is starting to look liberal by comparison, and it's *this close* to making Florida look like the land of the sane and sensible. I probably sound like an asshole writing this, and that's probably the California in me talking, that's concerned with status and power and having the best.

Thank god you can at least get a decent taco here in Texas. If it weren't for that, I might have to move back anyway.

posted by slow graffiti at 4:28 PM on June 27, 2011


Well, I've lived in Wisconsin all my life and didn't know "we" hated Illinois-ians til this thread, so whatever animosity is there is lukewarm at best.
posted by ella wren at 4:30 PM on June 27, 2011


Yep, I'm from Ohio but at least I'm not from Kentucky. It helped (?) that I was right across the river from them in Cincinnati.

OSU has the football rivalry with Michigan, but outside of a college context I've never heard any Michigan hate. Maybe it's stronger in the north of the state?
posted by Gordafarin at 4:32 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ohhhhh yeah, I'm from North Carolina and the general opinion seems to be that South Carolina is lame, backwards, boring and old-fashioned compared to us. Also, we think of ourselves as just KINDA 'in the South,' meaning we have all the good traits of the South and not quite so many of the bad ones, whereas SC is DEFINITELY in the South. (Disclaimer: I have never actually spent any significant amount of time in South Carolina. I'm sure it's lovely.)

We also share borders with Tennessee, Georgia and Virginia, but SC gets most of the hate, for sure.
posted by showbiz_liz at 4:39 PM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


but dislikes Californians

I thought anyone who brushed up against Californians hated Californians. Idaho folks, Oregonians, Washingtonians, Coloradans, Hawaiians, Nevadans... who did I miss?
posted by small_ruminant at 4:40 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Idahoans? Idahoians?
posted by small_ruminant at 4:40 PM on June 27, 2011


I've lived in Boston, NYC, and now Los Angeles, and all three places' residents have in common the fact that they are all living in the Best Place On Earth.

In California, agreed that Bay Area folk look down on SoCal (though, on the flip side, Angelenos tend to LOVE visiting San Francisco). SoCal doesn't really look down on anyone else except maybe Mexico.
posted by emily37 at 4:41 PM on June 27, 2011


Born and raised in The City. If you're from Illinois, no further explanation is needed.

We (meaning people from Chicago) look down on, or are really just vaguely aware of, anything "downstate", which includes everything in Illinois south of I-80, give or take, (excluding Champaign, which is really just a Chicago suburb), but also takes in Missouri and Kentucky and most of Iowa. St. Louis is contained within its own Special Circle of Hate, due to the Cubs/Cards rivalry, but Missouri in general isn't really hated, just ignored.

We do reserve special derision for Indiana, except during Indy.

Wisconsinites are mocked for being drunken corn-fed dopes who might shoot their own foot off during hunting season. But we do love their cheese, brats and water parks, so we treat them as strange cousins who wear weird hats.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 4:41 PM on June 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Idahoans?

I'm pretty sure the box of mashed potatoes says "Idahoan".
posted by LionIndex at 4:44 PM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


VA > WV (You're already very familiar with that obviously.)

To Virginians the rest of the South is the "Deep South." It's not hate, but we like to make fun of their accents, as if we don't don't also have a Southern accent. ('Yeah, yeah, but not that kind of Southern accent.')

On the other hand Northern Virginia is "like a foreign country," ie. not southern enough. (There're too many cars, and they talk funny.)

I moved a while back from Richmond VA to Charlottesville VA. Both cities claim to be in "Central Virginia." (They're not in the same part of the state.) The first claim is sort of accurate if you look at the map. Charlottesville's claim to be "Central Virginia" seems to be based entirely the idea that, well, we're here, and the rest of the state is somewhere else, It has nothing to do with geography, unless you imagine that there had never been a civil war, and West Virginia had never succeeded from the rest of the state, and you hold the map sideways and squint at it sympathetically.

Charlottesville is a fairly wealthy liberal enclave in a state that's mostly not very liberal or very wealthy. It's also the home of "The University" founded by "Mr. Jefferson" (also known as "TJ"). People here definitely do look down on the rest of the state, and, as far as I can tell, pretty much the rest of the country and rest the universe.

(Sorry for the rant.)
posted by nangar at 4:49 PM on June 27, 2011


Indiana native here.
Kentucky has always tended to be the one we pointed to as lesser kin. However, if you live here long enough, you also hear a lot of disparaging of Indiana itself by natives. Some of us refer to Indiana as Michi-tucky.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:52 PM on June 27, 2011


I grew up in L.A. and the only place I recall being being derided was The (San Fernando) Valley. I don't remember anyone being particularly snobby about California, though; everyone sorta embraced the whole kooky reputation.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:59 PM on June 27, 2011


I grew up in NH, and besides the well covered Massholes term, there was also a strong belief that those in Vermont were all hippies and yuppies.
posted by chiefthe at 5:04 PM on June 27, 2011


Also from the Chicago area. It's definitely Indiana and Wisconsin, with some hatred for Missouri as well. There's also lots of Chicago vs. Downstate tension. (Downstate = any place in Illinois not located in Cook, DuPage, Lake, Will, Kane, Kendall, and McHenry counties. Hence we have Downstate Rockford and Downstate Galena)

I went to college at Indiana University, and there was tension between Northwest Indiana and the rest of the state. There was no love lost with Kentucky either. (To people in some parts of southern Indiana, IU-Kentucky was a much bigger rivalry than IU-Purdue!)
posted by SisterHavana at 5:12 PM on June 27, 2011


I'm from Northern Virginia. This has already been confirmed, but yes, we were raised to look down upon West Virginia (hillbilly jokes), Maryland (especially the DC suburbs - bad drivers), and other parts of Virginia (especially Richmond, where I don't think they much liked us either). I also remember a generalized contempt for most other states on the Eastern Seaboard.
posted by treefort at 5:15 PM on June 27, 2011


Originally from Oregon, and yep ... California was the nemesis ... and yes, Oregonians generally had some pity on Northern CA ... but not enough to welcome them into the fold.

Most recently having lived in Mississippi (by choice!), I read through this whole thread looking for who Mississippi looked down on, because I never heard/ experienced anything while there for three years. And the only references from a Mississippian was "I'm originally from Mississippi and...well...um..." ... which did not surprise me .... I think Mississippi kind of accepts with a vague shrug that they are the brunt of most jokes and the bottom of the barrel. Not that Mississippians think that, just know everyone else does and don't fight it.

As an aside, Mississippi was 50th on my list of states to visit ... then I ended up there for a few months accidentally, and went back to live for a few years, because it is a beautiful state. Really.
posted by batikrose at 5:17 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


one more chime in:

I grew up and spent most my life in Oregon, and feel eminently qualified to say that growing up in rural Oregon, California was the object of loathing. this was compounded by Californians moving into smaller areas/towns because they were "quaint". or as I told someone, I grew up thinking that "fucking California" was all one word. they restrict guns! they're all yuppie leeches! they steal our water and electricity and try to run a natural gas pipeline through our state!

etc, etc.

Washington is a perfectly respectable state - though the eastern versus western thing is, I think, an important distinction when talking about Washington and Oregon. Idaho, not so much respectable, my perception of it growing up always being some mess of potatos and white supremacists fighting it out in the desert.

so those are the prejudices that I grew up with. it's kind of funny to type them out.

I live in Tennessee now, and would agree with the hate rolling down towards Mississippi. My friend from Mississippi .... uh, well, he really likes Louisiana.
posted by circle_b at 5:18 PM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


I went to college at Indiana University, and there was tension between Northwest Indiana The Region and the rest of the state.

ftfy.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:20 PM on June 27, 2011


Born and raised in The City. If you're from Illinois, no further explanation is needed.
Uh, excuse me, a quick correction? The City is San Francisco.

That's all, have a groovy day, dude.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 5:23 PM on June 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Downstate = any place in Illinois not located in Cook, DuPage, Lake, Will, Kane, Kendall, and McHenry counties. Hence we have Downstate Rockford and Downstate Galena

You must be from the suburbs. If you were from The City you'd have said:
Downstate = any place in Illinois not located in Chicago.
posted by esmerelda_jenkins at 5:24 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, and my North Dakotan mother claims that there's nothing in Iowa but pigs and corn, and that the entire state has a particular, distinctive aroma.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 5:26 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can confirm, as others have, that North Carolina > South Carolina and Georgia > Alabama, Mississippi.
posted by ohsnapdragon at 5:27 PM on June 27, 2011


Although the northern part of the state melts into Metro Philly, there's always Slower Delaware.
posted by 5Q7 at 5:31 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yes, definitely North Carolina > South Carolina. When I was an undergrad at UNC, an editorial in the student paper proposed setting charges along the border (in conspiracy with Georgia) and forcibly ejecting SC physically from the US. I mean, they did want to leave and all...

I was born, however, in SC and have lived in Virginia as well. In SC state pride was very focused on the past, especially pre-Civil War. If any interstate comparisons were made, it was to that old whipping boy, Mississippi. (What would the South do without Mississippi?)

In VA, also very focused on the past - I lived in Charlottesville, which is TJ-obsessed. (I love the man myself, but some people ...) Much talk about how many presidents each state has produced (guess who wins?) and Patrick Henry and so on. NoVA is an oddity if you're liberal, a cancer if you're conservative.

North Carolina was described at the time of the Civil War as a "vale of humility between two mountains of conceit" (VA and SC) and having lived in all three, I heartily agree.
posted by clerestory at 5:32 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I grew up in Colorado and Wyoming.

In my experience, Coloradoans look down on Wyomingites as right-wing rubes with guns, while Wyomingites look down on Coloradoans as idiot liberals who can't drive for shit (Colorado tourists are derisively called "greenies" on account of the color of their license plates). Each side thinks their skiing is better, but can generally agree on being superior to Utah.
posted by scody at 5:33 PM on June 27, 2011


I highly recommend reading The Nine Nations of North America for some additional insight into this.

(I live in Ecotopia and we thank God we're not from Mexamerica.)
posted by Gusaroo at 5:36 PM on June 27, 2011


TheNewWazoo: "Uh, excuse me, a quick correction? The City is San Francisco."

Huh. I-80 ends in San Francisco. So I guess you can also call yourself "The City" if you want to, since you're not Downstate.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 5:37 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wyomingites sneer (rightfully) at people from Colorado.

I'm a liberal guy living in Wyoming, but even I have bought into the perception that people from Colorado are hippy-dippy snobs who think everything in their state is so much better than anything in Wyoming.

Well, I'm here to tell you, aside from Denver, they are wrong.
posted by Fister Roboto at 5:37 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I live in Portland, Oregon, not a native, I've lived lots of places. (Lots of Oregon responses here, interesting.) My observation is that most Portlandians completely disdain Vancouver, WA, AKA "The 'Couve", and for good reason. I don't think we disdain all of Washington though, in fact there's a current of jealousy about Seattle.

My own attitude toward Vancouver, WA is that the city is a parasite. Most big cities have parasites. Vancouver is ours. Saint Paul is equivalent for Minneapolis. They don't pay tax to support our great city, yet they mostly work here. They can't even seem to understand what a benefit running our great light-rail to their city would be when we finally build the new bridge over the river.

In fact, they just seem like a giant suburb which wants to continue enjoying the benefits of living next to a world-class city without paying for it. It's no surprise. Most of them live there because it is cheaper for housing. Cheaper with easy access to a great city. Won't it be uncomfortable when they have to start paying $10 each way across the new bridge? I'm finding it difficult to feel sympathy for them.

I've worked in Vancouver. Bleah. The house prices are (much much) cheaper for a reason. Avoid.

As far as the "some sympathy for northern CA" mentions. Yes, pretty much. If we were a country, we'd happily take northern CA. They aren't the jerks that come into our neighborhoods, pay cash for a house (with their cash from the sale of their ridiculously overvalued LA condo) and then start whining because we neighbors aren't upholding every single ordinance. In other words, these are the people who will call the police about an RV on the street for an hour past the legally permitted limit. I've personally seen it happen to several neighbors in more than one neighborhood. New CA neighbor = trouble.
posted by Invoke at 5:38 PM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Minnesotan, brought up to look with utter disdain at both Dakotas, Iowa with just a tiny bit less for Wisconsin. Because damn, they can put down a shit ton of beer.

And I can drive there on Sundays before softball for beer, and that has to count for something.
posted by Sphinx at 5:38 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


And as Scody pointed out, both states look down on Utah.

Poor Utah.
posted by Fister Roboto at 5:38 PM on June 27, 2011


As has been mentioned, people in South Florida are too far from any other state to feel the kind of neighborly contempt you allude to. Instead, we (or I should say they -- don't live there anymore, praise the lord) disassociate ourselves from North Florida hicks, who I gather look down the nose at Alabama. To this day, I never say I'm from Florida, but South Florida. Important distinction. Old-time native Floridians sometimes resent New York transplants, but mostly the divide is North Florida vs. South.

CT also doesn't seem to fit the mold, too divided in loyalty between New York and Mass., I think.
posted by reren at 5:43 PM on June 27, 2011


In Washington, I think we've gotten over our dislike of California (that was mainly in the '90's) but still have a state divide between East and West. Or between Seattle/Tacoma/Olympia and Eastern Washington.
posted by Margalo Epps at 5:49 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


OSU has the football rivalry with Michigan, but outside of a college context I've never heard any Michigan hate. Maybe it's stronger in the north of the state?

You're from Cincinnati, that's practically not even in Ohio, by Columbus/Mansfield/Toledo standards. Your airport is out of state, for heaven's sake. And yeah, the Michigan hate more or less gets stronger the farther north you go, and is stronger on the Indiana side than the Pennsylvania side. I think a large part of the reason it's weaker in Cleveland and Cincinnati is that you guys have professional sports teams (and no, the Blue Jackets and Crew do not count.) Also, the further north you get, the more likely you are to have actually gone to Michigan - all the BGSU kids going to drink in Windsor, etc.
posted by SMPA at 5:50 PM on June 27, 2011


Seconding the "Washingtonians hate California and everyone that comes from it" thing. I was born in SoCal during my Pac NW family's 25-year stay in the nethers, and one of the first things I learned upon moving up here and enrolling in first grade is that apparently being from California is right on par with raping babies. Or so it would seem from the way people react.

(My favorite thing is listening to a fellow Washingtonian rail about how people move here from other states and pretend they're, like, Seattle natives, and then they'll ask me if I've ever "been out to the lavender fields at, uh, See-quim? Is that how you say it?" Just because you're from Ohio and not California doesn't make you any less an "interloper", brah.)
posted by palomar at 5:51 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Growing up just a county south of the of the CA-OR border, I heard a fair amount of Oregonian-hate. Mostly centered around the fact that they drove below the speed limit and spent five minutes trying to figure out how to pump the damn gas when they pulled up at the gas station.

When we drove into their fair state to take advantage of the lack of sales tax, there was also much griping about the fact that you had to have *permission* to make a U-turn.
posted by Gori Girl at 5:54 PM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


"When you cross the border from Georgia into Alabama, you go back an hour--and twenty years."
posted by galadriel at 5:54 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just moved to Northern Indiana from Australia and apparently everyone here looks down on Michigan. Which came as a shock to me as I thought the state was rather pretty.

Not relevant to your datagraph but this seems a very universal problem, as every state in Australia has at least one other state they looked down on. I came from South Australia and everyone looked down on us and we looked down on Tasmania, but hey at least they weren't the ACT.
posted by wwax at 5:57 PM on June 27, 2011


I grew up in Cleveland and moved around a bit as an adult. I can only speak to the regions where I've lived, which may be different from the rest of the state (Cleveland is a hell of a lot more liberal than basically any other part of Ohio, so there is some hate for the neighboring red states).

Northern Ohio- We didn't like Kentucky or West Virginia
Central Michigan- We liked Wisconsin because you could drink underage with your parents. Didn't notice much animosity towards any states, but maybe people didn't want to piss off the wiley Ohioan.
Central Pennsylvania- I think it's mostly self-loathing here. See also: Pennsytucky.
East-central Illinois- Also some self-loathing as far as I can see. Pretty sure this is different upstate though.
posted by quiet coyote at 5:59 PM on June 27, 2011


Massachusetts born and still live here.

Q: How does a girl from Maine get ready for a date?
A. She brushes her tooth.

I've heard Maine called "The South" of New England with all that implies.
posted by JohntheContrarian at 6:00 PM on June 27, 2011


Born and raised Massachusetts girl. Not WASPy, not Irish-Catholic, not very stoic, but I like to think of myself as classic Hardy Yankee, though I'm a product of two parents who were both children of immigrants who still lived very Old Country. I like my two northern neighbors, NH and ME and frequent them often. I do think MA is a little superior to NH and ME in that all the people I know and love from those states tend to think of themselves as "Living Off the Land" in their "Super Rural" homesteads. Some of them live ten minutes over the border from MA, twenty minutes from where I grew up in Lowell. Doesn't matter if there's a WalMart within 15 minutes of them and they work there, darnit, they're all lumberjacks in NH and in ME they're all fishermen, subsisting off the briny waves. This is not to say I don't know actual lumberjacks and fishermen from the north, just that it seems like all my friends claim some sort of kinship with the land that they feel I couldn't understand, since I've crossed the magical border 30 miles away from them. I feel somehow compelled to be annoyed by that fact alone.
posted by takoukla at 6:16 PM on June 27, 2011


I'm from Arkansas, and I'm pretty sure we have neutral to positive feelings about all of our neighbors. And based on the answers in this thread, I think that Arkansas is at the very bottom of the heap, feeling superior to no other state in particular. However, much within-state boasting happens, as in, "We have the best _____ in the state!" And the northern part generally looks down upon the southern part.
posted by joan cusack the second at 6:19 PM on June 27, 2011


Southwestern Pennsylvanian here. I don't often hear people with an opinion about the eastern states (Maryland, Jersey) but rather an ingrained superiority to Ohio and West Virginia (Ohiya and Werst Verginer). Ohio's flat and rusty and boring; West Virginia is mountain folk and bad teeth. But these seem like such obvious jokes I don't even really hear them put into words; it's more like a general attitude.
posted by amicamentis at 6:22 PM on June 27, 2011


I'm a southern Arizona native, and in addition to sneering in the direction of southern California (while being secretly envious that they have no rain and temperatures that support human habitation), we also think Utah's a bit backwards and New Mexico is mind-numbingly boring, and Nevada is all crazy people. The real hate, though, is reserved for the Phoenix metro area and Maricopa county in general. Flagstaff is just stoned hippies wandering the forests.

For hate on a micro-scale, I was astonished when I lived in (near) San Francisco by how much The City hates The Peninsula, despite occupying the most peninsular part of The Peninsula. The disdain with which SFites can pronounce San Bruno is kind of magnificent.

(And, yeah, Chicago hates everything, but mostly downstate and Iowa. Western PA looks down on WVa and the Ohiowish.)
posted by MsMacbeth at 6:23 PM on June 27, 2011


Many Pennsylvanians (at least in Southern PA) can't stand West Virginia.

Some hate Ohio, but I feel that that's probably just a sports thing.
posted by nuclear_soup at 6:23 PM on June 27, 2011


Oregonian, born and raised (Corvallis, to be precise). Western Oregonians are just as prejudiced against Californians as Eastern Oregonians are, just for different reasons. In Eastern Oregon, they hate Californians because they're hippies. Here in the Willamette Valley, we hate Californians because they're rich shallow yuppies who have abandoned their hippie principles.

Really, the antipathy mostly comes from the huge wave of Californian retirees that moved up here in the '90s and voted down all of our school levies, ruining the state of Oregon schools for years to come (Measure 5 was the big one). I still hear this reason given for the sad shape of OR schools - it's those awful Cali retirees who don't have kids in the school system and don't give a damn about anything but their property taxes.

Other relationships: we don't mind Washington (though Portland definitely has a thing about being superior to the 'Couv, as mentioned above), and Idaho is said to be nothing but racists, militias, and potatoes.
posted by dialetheia at 6:30 PM on June 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Everyone from Connecticut who says they don't look down on anyone is really just a polite uptight Protestant way of saying they look down on everyone. This is also, oddly, subdivided by people east and west of the Connecticut River: West-river people think east-river people are hicks, while east-river people think west-river people are snobs. Most of us hate Rhode Island, the hernia of Connecticut (even though that's where we go to the beach 'cause all of ours are polluted).

Other places I've lived: Mainers hate people from Massachusetts and New York, as well as all Yankees fans. As mentioned above, Marylanders (pronounced "Murrlynnders") hate Virginians. People from DC just hold a general grudge toward all states because they're all flaunting their statehood.
posted by landedjentry at 6:31 PM on June 27, 2011


Yeah, in Michigan, the only thing we like about Ohio is Cedar Point. The rest of it we hate just as much as Ohioans hate the fact that the University of Michigan is the winningest college football team of all time.
posted by jasondigitized at 6:31 PM on June 27, 2011


Raised in Minnesota. Iowa was definitely looked down upon. I vaguely remember one of the put-downs was "shit sinks." Which the Iowans would counter with "shit floats." I may have dreamt this.
posted by 2ghouls at 6:33 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Grew up in North Dakota.

South Dakota and Montana were equally looked down upon.
posted by Windigo at 6:33 PM on June 27, 2011


Growing up in Georgia, we were grateful for Alabama: it protected us from Mississippi.
posted by Andy's Gross Wart at 6:34 PM on June 27, 2011


I grew up in Oklahoma (Tulsa specifically). People from Texas were assholes. People from Arkansas were rednecks. People from Kansas were boring. And people from Missouri sold real beer.
posted by fishmasta at 6:38 PM on June 27, 2011


I live in Connecticut now and find that it is mostly an inner divide, Fairfield County against the rest of CT. That being said, people here tend to either be NY people OR MASS people, not both.

I grew up in Texas and I definitely saw a ton of hatred towards OK, but also as was mentioned earlier hatred towards CA. I think the CA thing has a lot to do with TX being a generally conservative state and sees CA as a bunch of crazy liberals... also part of the reason a ton of Texans hate Austin... "A little bit of CA in TX."

Texans seem to think it only borders Oklahoma and Mexico.
posted by trishthedish at 6:47 PM on June 27, 2011


I grew up in northern California. Northern California looks down on southern California. Later I moved to Los Angeles and discovered that southern California is unaware of this rivalry.

Then I lived in Oregon and Washington, both of which states resent Californians for moving to Oregon and Washington. In Oregon they even had bumper stickers.

Now I live in western Massachusetts, and need to clarify for those above that the term "Masshole" applies only to residents of Boston and its surrounding gravitational well. The rest of the state is perfectly nice; almost as good as Vermont. But better than upstate New York, those poor sods.
posted by ook at 6:50 PM on June 27, 2011


1. Native Missourian

2. Southern Missouri = might as well be Arkansas, i.e. "You could cut off the boot-heel of MO (birthplace of Rush Limbaugh) and give it Arkansas and increase the average IQ of both states by five points"

Also IOWA = Idiots Out Wandering Around
posted by pantarei70 at 6:51 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Heh.. I live in Mississippi. It's really not that bad, I promise.
Here, I've heard "At least we're not in Alabama." (also: Louisiana, Arkansas)
In Alabama, I heard the same about Mississippi.
posted by cp311 at 6:56 PM on June 27, 2011


Grew up in Columbus, Ohio - in my experience, Ohioans definitely "look down on" West Virginia most of all, and Kentucky to a somewhat lesser extent, just because we see them as being hicks. We "hate" Michigan above all, to be sure, but that's mostly sports rivalry and it's not exactly the same feeling as what you're asking about.

Spent a significant amount of time in southern Missouri, and they look down on Arkansas. A couple people have already posted variations on the IQ joke, which I was going to note here, about the stupidest 10% of the people in Missouri moving to Arkansas and increasing the average IQ of both states.
posted by jef at 6:59 PM on June 27, 2011


NE Ohio here. If I may quote my boyfriend? "the Mason Dixon line starts at I-480." Sometimes you can sub "West Virginia" for "Mason-Dixon."

Note, 480 is the highway near Cleveland's airport. NE Ohio is a LOT more liberal/Dem than the rest of the state...
posted by bitter-girl.com at 7:03 PM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


It might be a purely San Diego thing, but my god do we hate Zonies, infesting our beaches and highways every summer as they escape the searing heat in their hellhole of a state, driving around like so many ignorant cicadas in an unstoppable yearly brood.

Which is probably why many Zonies refer to these excursions as going to Scum Diego.

Each side thinks their skiing is better, but can generally agree on being superior to Utah.

I don't know if it's still true but at one time people on the Eastern slope of CO pretty much didn't recognize that anything west of the mountains existed, and were looking forward to something like that scene from the movie 2012 when LA breaks off and sinks down into the ocean and Las Vegas basically disintegrates.
posted by fuse theorem at 7:09 PM on June 27, 2011


My husband is from Colorado, and judging from what he says, the western slope at least looks way, way down on Texans.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:11 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I agree with Greg Nog and jessamyn on the NH/MA antagonism -- I grew up in southern NH and wow, do they ever hate Massholes. I live in MA now and wow, do Massholes think NH is full of squirrel worshippers. Some of my family is from Maine and I get the idea they think MA is full of the super rich (not this Masshole). Unless we live near VT or CT, no one thinks twice about them.

And anyone who's been to upstate NY from here generally wonders whether a shitbomb went off there.

(Not endorsing, just stating for documentary purposes. All hail the mighty squirrel leaders!)
posted by theredpen at 7:11 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Californian -- nthing that NorCal hates SoCal, but SoCal pays so little attention to NorCal that the rivalry is very one-sided. Northern California is very aware that to most of the country/world California is LA/OC, and that really bugs them.

In Southern California (the superior part of the state, where I now live ;) ) I've seen increasing anti-Arizona sentiment, mostly due to the fact that they seem to have lost their minds. This is in LA though -- OC people probably wish we were more like Arizona.
posted by wildcrdj at 7:23 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pretty much every state in the South looks down on Mississippi, with Alabama running a close second. Nobody knows what to do with Florida. Missouri looks down on Arkansas.
posted by thinkingwoman at 7:24 PM on June 27, 2011


Born in NC but have lived in SC most of my life. And never, until this day reading this thread, did I know our fair neighbors to the North felt such disdain for us! We don't feel the same way about NC, as we focus our state prejudices against Mississippi.

And we don't say, "but at least I'm not from Mississippi", no no, we "applaud" them by saying, "thank GOD for Mississippi!". (Only because while we are 49th in the nation in such indicators such as education, healthy lifestyle, etc., Mississippi is often 50th.)
posted by ourroute at 7:27 PM on June 27, 2011


I think Masshole is my new favorite insult. Even if the person doesn't live even remotely close to Massachusetts.
posted by Leezie at 7:30 PM on June 27, 2011


Dialetheia has it spot-on, as far as Oregon is concerned. Washington is fine (Around the Eugene area there's some grumbling, but that's just University of Oregon/University of Washington football rivalries flaring), Northern California is fine as they're basically a decent chunk of land that accidentally got declared as part of the wrong state, but Southern California is basically seen as the spawn of all tangible evil. They ruin local politics, they flood into towns and turn them into enclaves of California-ness ((Sunriver is seen as a key example of this. Drive into there and there's a giant board with all the new California-esque laws that show up. It's creepy.)), and they think that they're *so* important.
posted by CrystalDave at 7:33 PM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


I moved a while back from Richmond VA to Charlottesville VA. Both cities claim to be in "Central Virginia." (They're not in the same part of the state.) The first claim is sort of accurate if you look at the map. Charlottesville's claim to be "Central Virginia" seems to be based entirely the idea that, well, we're here, and the rest of the state is somewhere else, It has nothing to do with geography, unless you imagine that there had never been a civil war, and West Virginia had never succeeded from the rest of the state, and you hold the map sideways and squint at it sympathetically.

Actually, nangar, the geographic center of Virginia is Mount Rush, in Buckingham County, just south of Charlottesville, and nowhere near Richmond. We have a far more plausible claim on Central Virginia than Richmond. You seem to have forgotten that Virginia goes farther west than Detroit—there's a whole western half of the state over there.

Redeeming myself from that near-derail (I hope), I really wish somebody from West Virginia would weigh in. I'd like very much to know who West Virginia looks down on. Kentucky is my guess.
posted by waldo at 7:33 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


(I had to stop reading, too many posts already.)

I'm from NoVA (northern Virginia). At least I'm not from RoVA (rest of Virginia).

We also look down on Marylanders. (What, are you afraid those turn signals are going to wear out???--and also they drive on our side of the Beltway.) Maryland is (as much as I hate to admit it) basically equal to VA in a bunch of ways, in that the closer parts tend to commute to the same jobs that NoVAns commute to.. So MD is the closest legitimate competition. I have heckled Marylanders across the Potomac at Great Falls.

DC: There's the OK part where they have all the museums--that's the only part they put on the maps--and then there's the other half where people get shot. But it's not a real state, they can't vote, and almost no one who lives there is actually a full time resident (except people in the other half who get shot, but that part isn't even on the map), so why bother wasting time looking down on it?

West Virginia: OK, so they stole our name, which is annoying. But they don't drive on our roads... partly because I'm not sure that any humans live there any more, and partly because if any do then they're probably too poor to afford a car. So it's basically like some weird third world country where you know it's there but it's too far away to have a real impact.

Other states: I know there are some other states attached to RoVA, but I have to think hard just to remember which ones.
posted by anaelith at 7:34 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Seeing as I was born and raised in San Diego/SoCal and live in North Dakota, I'm not so sure I'm allowed into this discussion.

Nonetheless:

SoCal: looks down on fuckin' Zonies (Arizonans) first and foremost. The penalty for a Zonie driving with their turn signal on for twenty miles down the freeway should be immediate deportation back to their Phoenix suburb and no re-admittance.

North Dakota: loathes Canadians ('another bloody Canadian holiday? No wonder we can't get into the Target parking lot') but in the 'at least we're not' sweepstakes, I think that'd be 'at least we're not Montana.'
posted by librarylis at 7:34 PM on June 27, 2011


Been in Mass for twelve years... Sorry, I don't really think about the other states... with the occasional hatred of New York. Realistically, I don't think about other states - except Wisconssin, California, Texas and Florida... but only because those states have some interesting budget issues.

I feel bad for my birth state of Maine, but I understood when I lived there that the majority of the state was intentionally under-educated.
posted by Nanukthedog at 7:38 PM on June 27, 2011


The following does not reflect my views on any area or group of people. Except maybe Nashville.

Currently, in Pittsburgh, the sorts of things I hear are that Ohio is flat to a disturbing degree, bland, and homogeneous. West Virginia is cousinloving Deliverance territory, albeit beautiful. And New Jersey is Guidoland and in the way of getting to NYC. The middle of the state is seen as Amish country, a fly-over zone of cornfields (and, if you're Democrat, a regrettable ocean of red between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia).

Growing up in Memphis, it was much more tied into and dependent upon class and history. When one of my school friends moved with her family to the Chicago area, we couldn't have been more sorry for her, since everyone knew that up north (no real differentiation between individual states) was nothing but ugly industrial cities with rude people and terrible food; it was a relief to learn that at least she was being sent to a good boarding school. Within the state, Nashville was seen as nouveau and increasingly embarrassing. Missouri was a bit of a rival, since they were operating under the delusion that they did music and barbecue better. Arkansas was an impoverished mudflat that we literally looked down upon from the Memphis bluff, and the Ozarks were just sort of confusing, a part of Appalachia that had somehow broken off and drifted west. Kentucky was a merciful buffer zone between us and the north, sort of negligible except when discussing thoroughbred racing.

Mississippi was often afforded more respect by people whose heart belonged to Dixie, due to its being Deeper South, and the existence of Ole Miss and Oxford. Additionally, many family homes (which is to say, inherited plantations) were located in Mississippi. Nostalgia, among the sort of people who could afford it, also had a softening effect on impressions of Alabama and Georgia. There was a sense that it didn't so much matter if a place had money, as long as it had had money.
posted by notquitemaryann at 7:54 PM on June 27, 2011


Originally from Michigan and the loathing of Ohio is extreme. And now I live in Chicago and get the feeling that there is more of a down state v Chicago disdain than Wisconsin (who hates Wisconsin?) and yes, people look down on Indiana in both Illinois and Michigan but it is not such a big deal.
posted by mutt.cyberspace at 7:57 PM on June 27, 2011


Poor Iowa is getting a lot of abuse here; Nebraska looks down on it, too.
posted by martianna at 8:02 PM on June 27, 2011


From southern Indiana originally-- people tend to look down on Kentucky. People used to call the rival high school town (called Rockville) "Rock-tucky" because it was supposedly full of rednecks.

But there's also kind of a low key animosity toward both of the coasts because people see them as snobby.
posted by geegollygosh at 8:17 PM on June 27, 2011


I grew up in Maryland, and West Virginia played this role for us, growing up. We certainly had specific prejudices about Virginia (make sure to equip your floodlights with a pickup, and don't forget to vote Republican!), but in terms of a phrase that could conjure up the sense of an inferior sort of person: West Virginian.

Now I live in Pittsburgh, and both Ohioans and West Virginians are viewed as natural inferiors.

(I am not endorsing these views, just reporting.)
posted by palliser at 8:18 PM on June 27, 2011


I'd more or less second what others have said about Connecticut not particularly looking down on its neighbors for the most part, but in my experience Massachusetts and New Jersey do get some flack around here- mostly in the form of a perception of people from Massachusetts as being ridiculously bad drivers (I've heard jokes about how Massachusetts driver's licenses come as free prizes in Cracker Jack boxes, how Massachusetts is the only state where the driver's manual shows you how to give people the finger, etc.), and New Jersey being looked at in about the same way as New Yorkers tend to. As for Rhode Island, I can't even think of what the stereotype of it might be- the existence of Rhode Island seems to enter into the minds of people here about as much as does that of, say, Wyoming, which itself probably says something about Connecticut perceptions of Rhode Island. New York, meanwhile, seems to be viewed in a fairly positive light, for the most part, though I have heard the "people who live in New York City are rude and think they're better than everyone else" stereotype on occasion- that one doesn't strike me as being any more common in Connecticut than it is in the rest of the country, though, and it might even be less so.

All of this might apply more to my particular area of Connecticut than the whole state, though. Where I am, we definitely seem to come down on the side of New York in the NY vs. MA rivalry- pretty much everyone I knew growing up rooted for New York sports teams, for example, which I don't think is generally the case in all parts of Connecticut.
posted by a louis wain cat at 8:18 PM on June 27, 2011


I think you have to distinguish between friendly rivalries and actual disdain. Minnesota and Wisconsin have a friendly rivalry that goes way back, as do Washington and Oregon. But those pairs of states are practically identical twins in terms of wealth, social values, history, etc. Then there's the actual-for-serious dislike that Washingtons and Oregonians have with Idahoans, or Minnesotans and Wisconsins have for Iowans.
posted by miyabo at 8:18 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Growing up in Montana, we told North Dakota jokes, which were Polish/blond jokes. Who knows why?
posted by Ideefixe at 8:28 PM on June 27, 2011


I'm from the Phoenix area. Most people I grew up with look down upon Southern Arizona (Tucson in particular.) Second to that is New Mexico. A guy I know bought a house there (I don't recall where) planning to retire and moved back a year later, saying New Mexico was the "armpit of the Earth."
posted by !Jim at 8:30 PM on June 27, 2011


I'm from Maryland and always slung mud at West Virginia and Delaware.
posted by cheerwine at 8:32 PM on June 27, 2011


I'm from suburban Massachusetts and I don't recall this universal derision of other states people are talking about. I loved going to Maine, NH, VT. However, we are better than New York City, because the Yankees suck. QED.
posted by shii at 8:40 PM on June 27, 2011


I'm a bit surprised no one mentioned VT vs. New Hampshire (the Mississippi of New England).
posted by Ideefixe at 8:40 PM on June 27, 2011


1. Arizona
2. Most of the time I'm just apologizing for being from Arizona (crazy hot & crazy politicians), but if I had to choose another state to slam it would be CA. In the early 2000s, they invaded our state and inflated the cost of our real estate - it's all their fault. If they'd ever have that big earthquake folks have been predicting, we might finally end up with some nice beachfront property.
posted by kbar1 at 8:41 PM on June 27, 2011


Most of the time I'm just apologizing for being from Arizona (crazy hot & crazy politicians), but if I had to choose another state to slam it would be CA. In the early 2000s, they invaded our state and inflated the cost of our real estate - it's all their fault.

Actually, earlier than that. I heard of a lot of people that moved out to AZ for work in the recession of the early 90s. One of my friend's dads worked for General Dynamics, which completely shut down their plant in San Diego, and they all packed up for AZ in '93 or so, and they weren't the only ones.
posted by LionIndex at 8:53 PM on June 27, 2011


I will n'th the animosity of Michiganders toward Ohioans. We also think Hoosiers and Wisconsinites (?) are a bit backwards, but Ohio takes most of the hatred.

There's mild Canadian bashing in some quarters but it tends to be more good natured.

The true Michigan regional hatreds, though, are internecine; the typical Outstate vs. Detroit divide, but also Yooper vs. Troll (Upper Peninsula / Lower Peninsula) and within the Lower Peninsula hicks (northern wildernessish half) vs. flatlanders (urbanized/agricultural southern half), West Michigan vs. Eastern Michigan.

I now live in Chicago along with about a million other Michiganders, and I'm sure that the natives here have a name for us behind our back.
posted by tivalasvegas at 8:55 PM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Northern California is very aware that to most of the country/world California is LA/OC, and that really bugs them.

Also, there's the water thing.

For the record as a very native northern Californian, and despite their recent efforts to change this through increasingly bizarro politicians, I don't know anyone who had any dislike for Nevadans. In fact, many of us admired Nevada for failing to cave to the Protestant (aka East Coast) prohibition on prostitution and gambling, the way California and everyone else did. We always admired a population that marched to its own drummer, especially a drummer that harkened back to the wild west days, which Northern California can still vaguely remember.
posted by small_ruminant at 9:09 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Kansas has east vs. west intrastate hate. People in eastern Kansas think anyone west of Topeka is an inbred hick, and people in western Kansas think anyone in the KC-Lawrence corridor is either an elitist or a hippie. The rest of us (central Kansas) are in kind of a no-man's land of cautious suspicion.
posted by amyms at 9:12 PM on June 27, 2011


NYC'ers all hate Los Angeles, even though we all eventually end up in LA. We will live here for decades and still consider ourselves New Yorkers/Better Than anyone who admits to liking LA.

Northern Californians dislike Southern Californians. They really are like two different states. Northern Californians find Southern Californians shallow and fake.

San Diego hates Los Angeles with a passion I found baffling. Los Angeles is too pretty to care!
posted by jbenben at 9:32 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, I rarely admit I'm originally from Long Island. I always say Manhattan, instead.

(I'm not really lying, just omitting the first 12 years of my history. No accent means it didn't happen!)
posted by jbenben at 9:38 PM on June 27, 2011


I'm from Iowa. And I gotta say, with the occasional exception, we don't look down on much of anyone. We like other people.

Except I really don't like many of you, anymore.
posted by captainawesome at 9:46 PM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Grew up in New Jersey, and I have to say that state pride is fierce. We genuinely believe that we're the awesome underdog of every kids' sports movie, and will one day rule over all other states with, I don't know, an iron fist. Or something. But within New Jersey, the North/South/Central divide is also important. If you're from North Jersey, you hate South Jersey. If you're from South Jersey, you hate North Jersey (and probably deny that Central Jersey even exists).

And if you're from Central Jersey you're just rolling in awesome.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:53 PM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


More specifically: Jerseyans think Pennsylvania is boring (except for Philly), Delaware is incredibly boring, New York is pretty and has the city, which is cool, but snobbish, and Connecticut is full of yuppies.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:56 PM on June 27, 2011


It rocks as chatfilter, but the answers in this thread to date have pretty much reinforced my guess (at least to me) that every state pretty much looks down on all its neighbors.

A shorter thread might be a list of neighboring states that a state admires or looks up to.

In other words, MsMolly, I'm pretty sure your map can just connect every state to every neighbor and be accurate, one way or the other.
posted by rokusan at 10:02 PM on June 27, 2011


I grew up in northwest PA, and PA was better than Ohio, but Ohio was better than West Virginia.

I've been in Seattle for 16 years. Eastern WA might well be West Virginia. But anything is better than California, in my experience.
posted by Lulu's Pink Converse at 10:06 PM on June 27, 2011


Yeah, nthing all the people who say Californians don't see any other state as serious competition for the "best possible state" title. Some will grudgingly concede that New York City is a better city than theirs, though. I think most Californians don't actually devote any mental resources to what states border them. For instance, while we all know Nevada is next door because most of us have driven to Vegas for a bachelor or bachelorette party, I suspect if you polled Californians on whether we share a border with Arizona, a large proportion of them would not know, and a smaller proportion would be unsure whether Oregon was north or south of Washington. I suspect that many, many non-Mormons would have to guess at random whether or not we share a border with Utah.

The Socal vs Norcal thing was something I didn't even know about until I went to a UC and discovered that people from the north thought we had a rivalry. I don't think it counts as a rivalry if only one side has any kind of stake in it; that usually implies that the side with the stake is jealous and resentful, and the side without is assured of its superiority. In general, if you ask an Angeleno what they think about the Bay Area they'll have nothing but positive things to say about its touristy appeal, fantastic job market, great universities and relatively green terrain. I'd say the one thing they'd mention as a negative is that the Mexican food is a bit subpar. If you ask a Norcal resident what they think of the LA metro they'll actually just throw up on your shoes. In fact, I've met Fresnans, San Diegans and even fools from behind the Orange Curtain who will spew bile about LA on command. As if Fresno had a leg to stand on, y'know?

One thing people from coastal areas of CA love to do is tell you how adorably low home prices are in your area. This is common to north and south alike. I've actually said "Is this a joke?" in dead earnest when looking at real estate listings elsewhere (this was when I had never lived outside CA before and I honestly had no idea there was anyplace left in the United States where you could buy a house for under 100k - it had never crossed my mind that any house could be that cheap in 2007 when this occurred). I'm sure this endears us to people not from here.
posted by troublesome at 10:11 PM on June 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


I definitely pick up the "but at least I'm not from SoCal [Southern California]" 'round these Northern California parts.
posted by aniola at 10:12 PM on June 27, 2011


I suspect at least part of the reason that Californians don't think about other states is that the population centers of California tend to be very far, geographically, from other states. Compare, say, Eastern states where the borders tend to be rivers and the cities tend to be on the rivers. Growing up in the Philadelphia area it seems weird to me that "out of state" automatically means "far away" in the West.
posted by madcaptenor at 10:30 PM on June 27, 2011


I'm from Austin and we look down on the rest of Texas. Often described as a blue oasis in a sea of bloody red, Austin with its weirdness and live music disdains the ignorant crassness of the rest of Texas. As far as neighboring states, Oklahoma and Arkansas are just continuations of North Texas hickdom, Louisiana is just more East Texas bubbas, only swampier, and New Mexico is just so damn far away it's not worth thinking on.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 10:45 PM on June 27, 2011


I grew up in Connecticut, Fairfield County to be exact. Every other state besides New York was beneath us, and every other city and county was too. Bridgeport especially. We looked down on New Jersey the most.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:52 PM on June 27, 2011


MA > NH : buncha rightwing nutjobs
MA > RI : tom menino > buddy cianci
MA > CT : rich fucks and watch out for the staties who'll pull you over at the border on 84
MA > NY : whatevah
MA > VT : buncha hippies
MA ≥ ME : they used to be part of mass; they drive as bad as we do; lobstah; they're all crazies in the woods

[disclaimer: i am speaking in character, mostly. except for the vermont part.]
posted by not_on_display at 11:04 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


How many Californians does it take to change a lightbulb? Four: one to change the bulb, and three more to relate to the experience.

Also: How many Oregonians does it take to change a lightbulb? Five: one to change the bulb, and four to chase off the three Californians who have come to relate to the experience.

[disclaimer: i have never lived on the west coast. and i still mean it about vermonters being hippies.]
posted by not_on_display at 11:15 PM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


There is certainly some NorCal vs. SoCal friction within California. At least in San Diego, though, the state that gets shat upon the most is Arizona, with people complaining about the "Zonies" clogging up our beaches and roads in the summer and being generally unable to obey traffic laws and regulations. I think these feelings are similar to those in NH and ME about the Massholes (and, God forbid, New Yorkers) coming up for leaf season in the fall and the beaches and lakes in the summer.
posted by Aizkolari at 4:47 AM on June 28, 2011


I grew up in Queens, NYC. Generalizations and stereotypes that I've noticed, though they aren't state-specific in all cases.

Queens > "the city" (aka Manhattan) - you might have had to grow up there to see this
Manhattan > Queens
Manhattan > any outer borough
NYC > NJ
Everyone? > Staten Island

Above list shows the power of rivers!

Upstate NY > NYC / downstate: this reminds me a bit of how OR/WA looks down on CA.
NYC > Boston: Yankee fans, at least :)

I also lived in CA, mostly the bay area.

SFO > LA: I lived in LA for about 6 months and never encountered the same level of disdain for SF
SFO > OAK
SFO > Silicon Valley / Peninsula
posted by jacquilinala at 5:06 AM on June 28, 2011


Pretty much anyone who lives anywhere in the west looks down on Idaho. The stereotype seems to vary, though. In WA, OR, and MT, it's all about "white racists and black helicopter types" in northern Idaho..whereas the rest of the west doesn't see much of a difference between the northern panhandle and the rest of the state, and just makes potato jokes.

In Western WA and OR, the eastern parts of one's own state are often derided as "practically in Idaho" or "really in Idaho." At least that was the case when I lived in Seattle.

(Also, Californians used to say that people from western WA and OR were "really/practically Canadian.")
posted by Wylla at 5:19 AM on June 28, 2011


Originally from NH. No one has mentioned Vermont's most egregious sin yet: they're upside down!
posted by casualinference at 5:33 AM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Texans think they've got the best state -- California is only bigger in "population" not size, and Alaska, why that hardly counts as a real state and aren't there only a handful of people there anyway? And it's surrounding neighbors? Hardly worth mentioning.

Californians think they've got the best state -- how many times did I hear that CA has the 5th largest economy in the world, larger than France!

Rhode Islanders wonder why anybody would live in Mass., especially Boston (which is as expensive as NYC and not even close to being as good). There's the whole "Massholes" thing, especially in regards to driving. CT, while on the border, is Yankee territory, and therefore not officially part of New England. New Yorkers can have it for their weekend getaways.
posted by mmmcmmm at 5:46 AM on June 28, 2011


TEXAS> all other 49 and the US Territories. Nuff said.
posted by ATX Peanut at 5:58 AM on June 28, 2011


OMG! So much negativity towards Indiana! "Chicagoans look waaaaaaay down upon Indiana"

I live in Indiana, and we Hoosiers look down at Kentuckians as country bumpkins and incest breeders.. (which if any KY mefites are on here.. sorry!)

But as mentioned above.. we all hate Ohio.

Hoosiers I've been around don't really have issues with Illnois and Michicgan, but perhaps that's bc we're in Indianapolis.
posted by xicana63 at 6:02 AM on June 28, 2011


Missouri borders 8 states. The most of any state, therefore clearly the best! ;)

Kansas gets looked down on the most, mostly from Civil War era rivalry. They were right then, but now they don't believe in science and are generally backwards.

Illinois is mostly fine, except for Cubs fans, those poor pitiful bastards...

Arkansas is the butt of the bootheel joke referenced upthread and is also the butt of many other jokes...

Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Iowa are mostly OK, except on big football weekends...or you have to drive through them...

Tennessee and Kentucky are mostly ignored...
posted by schyler523 at 6:06 AM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, I forgot that Hoosier is a derogatory remark in the St. Louis area that roughly translates to white trash. It is sometimes shortened to Hoos (pronounced Hoozh).

So, maybe at one point St. Louisans looked down on Indianans.
posted by schyler523 at 6:08 AM on June 28, 2011


tivalasvegas: "I now live in Chicago along with about a million other Michiganders, and I'm sure that the natives here have a name for us behind our back."

Michigan is ok by Chicagoans. When Chicagoans think of Michigan, we first think of The Lake, and then we think of vacations (and wine) on your western shores. We don't think of your eastern half much, except for the cognitive dissonance when we realize Detroit is in the same state as all those beautiful beaches and forests you show off in your tourism commercials.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 6:18 AM on June 28, 2011


MA here. What everyone else said. Maine is where the hicks live. VT is where the hippies live. CT are a bunch of wanna-be New Yorkers and the state troopers there are Nazis.

One time, while driving on the dirt roads in Baxter SP in Maine, a guy from New Hampshire was following me. Once we finished our long drive to the campsite he got out of his car, walked up to me, and said "I've never, ever seen a Masshole drive so slow." It was a pretty confusing moment.

Not a state, but I once met a guy from North Haven, an island off the coast of Maine. I mentioned to him that I had been to Vinalhaven, a neighboring island so close that you could throw a rock between the two. He then went on a 30 minute rant about all the horrible qualities the people from Vinalhaven possessed. Now, perhaps I'm just a Masshole but there's no way in hell I can believe these two neighboring lobster fishing communities can have residents who are that different.

This is a very interesting idea for a project. I could see a Google-maps type mashup where you could zoom in from the state level to the town level, to see how much, say, people from Framingham, MA hate the people from Ashland, MA, and then zoom in further to see what the people on Elm St. have to say about the sheepfuckers from Maple St.

Speaking of sheep fuckers, that's exactly the term someone from Calgary used to describe the people from Edmonton to me.
posted by bondcliff at 6:24 AM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you're not from Vermont, you're just another fucking flatlander.

VT > Everywhere else.

:)
posted by brand-gnu at 6:45 AM on June 28, 2011


This is AWESOME, you guys! It's exactly what I hoped to get.

rokusan, I think once I get the map put together you'll see more what I'm talking about. While it's true that every person, if pressed, could say something stereotypical about each of their neighboring states, I think this thread has shown that particular states come in for more dislike than others, and that the map will show "wells" where a state is looked down on by pretty much all of its neighbors. (Ohio and Iowa! Who knew?) I have a good idea of how I'm planning to show this state-hate on a map, but it might take some time. I'll post a link here and on MeFi Projects when I'm done. Thank you everybody, and please weigh in if you're from one of the underrepresented states. Delaware? Hawaii? Alaska? Utah?
posted by MsMolly at 6:59 AM on June 28, 2011


I live in MA and Connecticut is the armpit of New England.
posted by marginaliana at 7:01 AM on June 28, 2011


1. Pennsylvania

2. Good for nothing, pipsqueak Delaware.

2a. Pardon, it's good for commercial sprawl, massive polluting industry, and no sales tax on liquor

3. Also should mention... Philly and Pittsburgh hate each other, and they both mutually hate the middle of the state if they've happen to recognize it as a viable location in the first place.
posted by jay.eye.elle.elle. at 7:16 AM on June 28, 2011


In NY it was everywhere else (: In Pittsburgh, PA it was West Virginia. In Memphis, TN it's Mississppi, Alabama, and South Carolina.
posted by ifjuly at 7:18 AM on June 28, 2011


And in New England it's known that Maine considers itself the only "true" New Englander's state, ie, not tourist-y and with all the qualities one tends to highly value for the region (true fishing and harvesting, small town rural solitude, etc.).
posted by ifjuly at 7:20 AM on June 28, 2011


I now live in Chicago along with about a million other Michiganders, and I'm sure that the natives here have a name for us behind our back.

We do. And you'll never know what it is.

Michigan is ok by Chicagoans. When Chicagoans think of Michigan, we first think of The Lake, and then we think of vacations (and wine) on your western shores. We don't think of your eastern half much, except for the cognitive dissonance when we realize Detroit is in the same state as all those beautiful beaches and forests you show off in your tourism commercials.

You must be from the suburbs, too. Michigan the state itself is not totally offensive to Chicagoans, but the people from Michigan who moved here over the past few years? Loathsome. Take your DMB love back to your mitten, frat boys!
posted by esmerelda_jenkins at 7:22 AM on June 28, 2011


I live in Virginia, and a common consensus, as you go north on 95, driving gets worse...
posted by fozzie33 at 7:55 AM on June 28, 2011


Also, I went to college in Detroit and now live in Chicago. Both places look down on Ohio and many consider it a waste of a state that exists simply for people to drive through to reach other destinations.
posted by Windigo at 8:05 AM on June 28, 2011


Yes, Maryland doesn't like Viriginia. "Virginia is for traffic," as they say.

There is some degree of county by county rivalry in Maryland. Folks who aren't from around here don't understand it. Montgomery County thinks it's the best, but they ain't hard like we are in PG. Howard County is snooty, too, and don't even ask about Cecil County or Carroll County.
posted by frecklefaerie at 8:19 AM on June 28, 2011


I grew up in Mass and Delaware and live in Philly now.

1. Mass
2. Connecticut isn't really New England.

1. Delaware
2. Tough one, what with the Dela-where? and all, but definitely south Jersey.

1. Philly
2. South Jersey is actively scorned; Delaware gets sort of a blank look; central PA is an embarrassment.
posted by Pax at 8:51 AM on June 28, 2011


Southern Michigan looks down on Ohio, although that might be more from the Universities' rivalry than any other cultural phenomenon.
posted by thewestinggame at 8:51 AM on June 28, 2011


Also:

Q: What are the two best cities in New Jersey?

A: New York and Philadelphia.
posted by Pax at 8:53 AM on June 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's funny I was in South Africa and I was asked whether California was really as ridiculously awesome as all the movies make it out to be and I was like well it is really beautiful, and the weather is basically more or less perfect year round, and there are tons of beaches, and great surfing, and you know I do see the odd celebrity every now and then, it's not bad...

This is EXACTLY why people from NorCal hate SoCal.

That sentence pertains to a relatively small section of the state, yet the entirety of California is smeared with these SoCal stereotypes. And it's annoying as hell.
posted by elsietheeel at 8:54 AM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, for Delaware:

If we were at the beach, the north Delaware folks scorned anyone from out of state (usually mostly DC-ers) and the local (lower Delaware) folks scorned out of staters and northern Delaware folks.

At some point close to the Cecil County, MD line, Maryland definitely got the side for being a Klan hotbed.
posted by Pax at 8:56 AM on June 28, 2011


*points
posted by Pax at 8:58 AM on June 28, 2011


I'm from Indiana. We make fun of Kentucky. Those of us from Central Indiana also make fun of people from "the region" (the area in Indiana bordering Chicago), because they will often claim to be from Chicago.

Schererville isn't Chicago.
posted by po822000 at 9:08 AM on June 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm from Austin and we look down on the rest of Texas.

Go for it, Texas is ultra lame and Austin is super cool.

I've lived in Dallas for 7 years and can say that Texas basically looks down on every neighbor state. (Well, every other state, period.) My first trip here I saw someone right away with the state of Texas tattooed on his leg. It's been a wild ride since.

(In Michigan, we looked down on Ohioans)
posted by getawaysticks at 9:10 AM on June 28, 2011


I can't believe all this anti-Kentucky sentiment. I grew up in Ohio and am now a proud Kentuckian. I find when I travel that people are much more interested if you say you're from Kentucky than Ohio - even in Europe.
And you can only marry your cousin here if you were raised in separate trailers. (I kid! I kid!)
posted by tizzie at 9:29 AM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is EXACTLY why people from NorCal hate SoCal.

That sentence pertains to a relatively small section of the state, yet the entirety of California is smeared with these SoCal stereotypes. And it's annoying as hell.


Are you sure you don't really hate us because you are jealous of our foglessness?
posted by whoaali at 9:32 AM on June 28, 2011


When I lived in LA, it seemed like people were too busy slagging on people from the OC and the valley to slag on NoCal folks...
posted by schyler523 at 9:40 AM on June 28, 2011


yet the entirety of California is smeared with these SoCal stereotypes.

This used to REALLY bug me but now I think it's a feature, not a bug. If the north coast is and Redwoods every get popular the way SoCal beaches are, it'll be a real bummer. I've been sorry to see the SoCal-ization of the Bay Area, especially that weird pseudo-Mediterranean architecture style in the 43-bazillion new malls. The more we can keep that actually IN SoCal the better! (Except then they'll use up more of our water.)

The idea I grew up with about SoCal is a little like the idea everyone else has about the states. They're a mindless, big happy dumb yellow lab, so sure everyone loves them while their wagging tail leaves mayhem in its wake, sweeping the china off the coffee table onto the floor, using and wasting resources right and left, and not understanding when people get upset. This image was really cemented when I was a kid and we were going through a serious drought (wells dried up, animals suffering, plants all dead, etc) and on TV we could see LA's fucking LAWNS were still green! In a desert! Let alone private swimming pools, which seemed about the most wasteful thing I'd ever heard of.

That's changed a lot. LA has gotten much more water conscious but they still haven't completely lived it down.

Texans think they've got the best state

So true! And when I first meet a Texas native I start a mental countdown to see how long it will take them to tell me that Texas was its OWN COUNTRY once!
posted by small_ruminant at 9:49 AM on June 28, 2011


"north coast is discovered" I meant. Must learn to preview...
posted by small_ruminant at 9:50 AM on June 28, 2011


I grew up in upstate NY (near Syracuse) and we didn't do this with another state, but we sure looked down on NYC and anyone who assumed NY always meant NYC or who thought anything above Westchester was upstate. In fact, we hated all such people with a burning passion. I've never met anybody from upstate NY who gives a crap about New Jersey, so it's certainly not a statewide thing, just a downstate thing I think.
posted by rosethorn at 10:23 AM on June 28, 2011


I'm from Milwaukee (WI) and it would be Illinois "flatlanders" and their driving skills that are most impugned.
posted by catatethebird at 10:29 AM on June 28, 2011


Yeah I don't feel that SoCal bashes NorCal so much as NorCal bashes SoCal in an incredibly pretentious fashion and SoCal tries to defend itself. Everyone I know in SoCal loves NorCal, but they also like SoCal. Unlike NorCal, whose identity is closely tied to hating LA and, by association, anything within a couple hundred miles of LA.
posted by whoaali at 10:49 AM on June 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


I grew up in Northern Virginia and, as you already know, we sniffed at West Virginia. (We felt pretty neutral about Maryland and D.C.) Now I live in Western Pennsylvania, and the locals *also* sniff at West Virginia. Sorry.
posted by jocelmeow at 10:55 AM on June 28, 2011


Yeah I don't feel that SoCal bashes NorCal so much as NorCal bashes SoCal in an incredibly pretentious fashion and SoCal tries to defend itself. Everyone I know in SoCal loves NorCal, but they also like SoCal. Unlike NorCal, whose identity is closely tied to hating LA and, by association, anything within a couple hundred miles of LA.

When my sister moved from Berkeley to L.A. years ago, she said there were two things she especially loved about being here: the sun, and the knowledge that she would no longer have to endure on a daily basis some variation on the pretentious "OUR part of that state is better than the OTHER part of the state, AMIRITE" harangue, because SoCal can't really be bothered, yo.
posted by scody at 10:57 AM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


[folks, the thread will go better if we don't meta-analyze much. It's a small wonder it has gone as well as it has.]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:13 AM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


This thread is awesome. I'm originally from Seattle, WA, and heard hate in two directions.

Down below: Oregonians are dirty hippies who can't drive, and can't be trusted to pump their own gas. Californians drive even worse, and they all want to move to Washington and steal all of the jobs.

To the side: Eastern Washington is full of hicks. Idaho is full of bigger hicks. And Montana is full of bug-eyed, booger-eating sheep-lovers.

Now I live in Florida, and Washington-Oregon-Idaho seem to be lumped together in this giant northwesternly clump in people's heads.
posted by themissy at 11:43 AM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Northern Delaware and southern Delaware are two different worlds. I live in northern Delaware, and the people here have disdain for the folks in "lower slower Delaware," Cecil County MD, south Jersey, and the neighboring Pennsylvania counties. There are few complaints about Philly, since many people who live here work in Philly.

I often here people complain about the traffic at the malls. Traffic is blamed on out-of-staters coming here to shop tax-free.
posted by amelliferae at 12:26 PM on June 28, 2011


NJ resident here. We look down on PA for being the sticks.
posted by never.was.and.never.will.be. at 12:29 PM on June 28, 2011


I'm from vermont. I'm speaking for my social group, people in their 20s/30s who grew up here, haven't left and probaby haven't gone to college

We are pretty neutral in terms of new hampshire/upstate new york.

Mass and NYC/NJ might as well be the same place because no one seems to hear the difference in the accents and everyone just looks fancy.

Quebecers get the most hate, jessamyn is totally on point with that.
posted by pintapicasso at 12:29 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm from Wisconsin, but thank God I'm not from Illinois. I lived there for a few years and was very careful to specify "but I was born and raised in Wisconsin."
posted by desjardins at 1:22 PM on June 28, 2011


Until now, I didn't realize that my general dislike of Ohio might be because of my father and brother's love of football; I always had this general impression of Michigan's superiority because we're surrounded by the Great Lakes and seemed to be overall less industrial than Indiana (which everyone I knew growing up spoke about disparagingly), Ohio and Illinois (excepting Chicago, which is well-loved). However, Wisconsin seems to be held in great affection by Michiganders. I grew up in a resort community (Charlevoix) so generally was blind to the existence of places like Flint or urban Detroit, and always thought Michigan to be the greatest in the Midwest.
posted by thesocietyfor at 3:04 PM on June 28, 2011


Masshole here:

- NH is full of conservative crazies. Consequently we would never live there.
- We have great fondness for ME (Maniacs - salt of the earth), and VT (real deal/hippies). Respect.
- Ambivalent feelings re NYers themselves, though it is a city that begets loudness and rudeness, it is also a great city. (I never heard any anti-semitic comments re NY/Jews.) Of course we hate the Yankees and Yankees fans. And, NYers think too much of themselves.
- NJ is the armpit of America, or so we hear. It would be a shame to be from there.
- People are too nice in CA; they must be fake or slow. And, they think too much of themselves.
- FL is where old people go to die.
- The whole midwest is ... not something we ever think about.

Now I live in DC (and have lived in NoVa and Souther Md). Clearly NoVA is inferior (why live there when you could so easily live in DC?) Southern MD very well might be better, dammit.
posted by semacd at 4:26 PM on June 28, 2011


I forgot to mention that South Dakota has some inter-state hate going on, too. It's divided by East River and West River. The dividing line being the Missouri, of course.

West River = cowboys
East River = farmers and city people

I don't know what West River thinks of East River, but East River kind of looks down on West River as very curious and odd...perhaps a little backwards.
posted by bristolcat at 4:43 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]




As a NorCal person, we like Oregonians well enough, pretty much are similar to them except we have better weather (or did... I swear to god my end of the state is turning into the PNW when it pours rain in June). Most NorCal folks want to move there and Oregonians hate us for that, and well...we can't blame them.

What I look down upon is Nevada. Other than Vegas, Reno, and the Black Rock Desert, you could turn the entire state into a nuclear testing site for all I care because there is nothing but sagebrush and gambling! Everywhere! People complain about New Jersey. I've never seen the place, but can it possibly be worse than Nevada?
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:10 PM on June 28, 2011


This thread is such an excellent argument for the virtues of our federalist system
/sincere
posted by clownschool at 11:23 PM on June 28, 2011


Washingtonian -- currently living in NY and yet who is about to move to a new state again so this has been very revealing.

When I lived in WA these were the stereotypical sentiments on the state-level:

We have a friendly rivalry with Oregon.
We looked down on Idaho (a state where everyone is either a Potato farmer or a racist or both).
We hated California* (for all the people moving from it to the Northwest and ruining everything).
* Though it's true we will cut those from the northern part of CA some slack -- the south takes what the north delivers after all.

In other words, more data confirming what's been said up thread.
posted by safetyfork at 7:07 AM on June 29, 2011


I grew up in NJ, where at least we weren't Pennsylvania (this was before the Jersey Shore era; possibly now it's "at least we're not those Long Island kids", but that's not the stereotype set in MY head). I lived a few years in southern Illinois, where I have a vague impression that Indiana was the joke-butt, but less strongly. I currently live in (downstate) New York, where at least we're not New Jersey or any of those strange people who live upstate in NY.
posted by badgermushroomSNAKE at 11:14 AM on June 29, 2011


OH YEAH. Thanks, bristolcat, for mentioning East River/West River! I don't know how that slipped my mind. Unfortunately, I don't have any input on West Riverites' concepts of us on this side.
posted by Judith Butlerian Jihad at 8:17 PM on June 29, 2011


When I visit my parents in Arizona, and I tell their friends that I'm from Massachusetts, their response is almost always one of pity.
posted by not_on_display at 9:15 PM on June 29, 2011


I grew up in Indiana and Cincinnati, OH, and yeah, the hated state in both places was Kentucky.
posted by Because at 1:49 AM on June 30, 2011


I've lived in Maryland and New Mexico. New Mexico is extremely antagonistic towards Texas, and Maryland towards Virginia. Texans are reputed to be crass, stupid tourists who come and shit up everything— essentially, the America of America. Virginians are terrible drivers who are unable to think about other people in any way.

Within Maryland the different counties had pretty severe antagonisms too. If you're interested in me trying to pull up as much as I can remember about this, MeMail me, because otherwise it's a derail.
posted by Electrius at 11:54 AM on July 1, 2011


I lived in West Virginia for a while, and there's quite a lot of state pride in the mountains and culture, although people are well aware of the many jokes about West Virginia, so in some part it's reflexive. Virginia and Ohio are certainly held in contempt, especially Virginia in part because the two states are so commonly confused and they have a rather contentious history (secession and all). In general, I'd say Virginia is considered to be too fancy/rich for its own good. In Morgantown, there's a lot of hate for New Jersey, because of the large numbers of Jersey kids at WVU. Pittsburgh is liked, can't say for sure about the rest of Pennsylvania.
posted by ajarbaday at 7:59 AM on July 13, 2011


Just saw this thread.

I'm GRITS (Girl Raised In The South), Florida born and bred, lived in central FL all my life, on one coast of the state or the other.

Native Floridians hate California. Their Orange County gets more press than ours, and that song about wishing they could all be CA girls? Pisses us right off. Half the tourists that should be ours end up going to Disney Land instead of Disney World. Everything, even housing and utilities, is super expensive there and Californians think that's normal. Plus, we have this mindset that CA women are all wannabe actresses/models/waitress bimbos with plastic faces and fake boobs and CA men are all stoned hippy vegan bicycle messengers who don't know how to put in a full's day work, and we are secretly awaiting with gleeful anticipation the day when that damned state finally sinks into the ocean.*

We also get irked with NY retiree "Snowbirds". They don't know how to drive, they complain that we don't have any good delis or "culture" like NY does. NY Women are obsessed with fashion and still think mink coats are acceptable winter wear. NY men think Southern girls are easy because they're friendly, and they're rude to their waiters. And everyone knows they all vote in NY and FL and mess up our elections.

[Note: IRL, I've rarely run into anyone remotely like the horrid stereotypes in my rants!]

We love our Ohio and Pennsylvania transports, though. Don't know why we embrace them and not the NYers. A lot of us follow Ohio teams, even, and will say nice things about the Browns and the Indians to make Ohians feel better when they lose. We do giggle a bit when they insist on calling perfectly good soda "pop", but that's about it.

My son just said Floridians "hate New Jersey."

I asked him why.

"Because everyone hates New Jersey!" Pffbt.

*I've been to CA and love it, honestly. The City is eminently walkable; cool events seem to be going on all the time and there's neat places to discover everywhere. You get mountains and beaches in CA, which is just wondrous, the people are diverse and the general liberal attitude of the entire state is refreshing.

posted by misha at 1:46 PM on July 13, 2011


« Older Do paleontologists ever assume that a fossil was a...   |   Wolf in Sheep's Clothing Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.