Saturday, May 21, 2022 May 21, 2022
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Awesome Things

Are We Dallasites or Dallasonians? Fort Worthers or Fort Worthians? Etymology Tells Us Who We Are

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Barry Popik, a lawyer in Austin, likes words. He spends a lot of time researching the history of familiar phrases. He once went to great lengths to convince Nancy that hamburgers weren’t invented in Texas. He has a website on which he discusses the etymology of a host of terms, posts photos of himself with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and otherwise makes it clear that his intellect is superior to yours.

Part of his site is devoted to assembling a “Lone Star Dictionary,” and lately he’s been adding to it with a series of posts about the history of terms for referring to the inhabitants of specific geographic locations. I’m sorry to say that “Dallasite” appears to be the only legitimate option for those of here in the region’s biggest city. Residents of Fort Worth have two options: “Fort Worthian” or “Fort Worther.”

My favorite discovery on the site is that “Cedar Hillbillies” is apparently a real thing. But I was bowled over when I read the entry about my own hometown and its “Dentonites.” While the citations on most of his posts are fairly dull and taken from Wikipedia and its sources, the entry for Denton sees fit to cite the Urban Dictionary:


n. One who exhibits all or many signs of Dentonitis, a common condition mainly affecting born citizens of Denton, Texas and a high number of move-in residents.

Major symptoms include poor hygiene, low neural activity, strong aversion toward conversation of any kind, and/or total absence of emotion, as well as a very exclusive interest in five or more of the following things: Indoors, video games, fast food, cigarettes, concrete, indoors, television, facebook, indoors, beer, pot, youtube, indoors.

I have seen the affliction too many times myself merely to laugh this off.