From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Length of Residency Requirements[edit]

Based upon extensive polling it's become clear as a transplant from Colorado I am in fact NOT a "hoosier" even though I've lived in Indiana for two and a half years.

Wikipedia, what is the residency requirement that would in fact allow me to be called a Hoosier or call others a hoosier?

Merge with Indiana[edit]

Why is this separate from Indiana? It has no independent existence. Wetman 19:12, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Growing up in St. Louis, I used the term "hoosier" long before I knew of the Indiana relation. Think Camaros, mullets, deep-fried turkey in the garage, et al. Those are our "hoosiers" 04:53, 22 May 2006 (UTC)


This article is mostly bollocks. "Hoosier" is a Scots word that dates back to at least to the 18th Century, which in today's parlance translates basically into "damned dirty hillbilly." There are parts of the U.S. where this word is still used in its original 18th Century sense and meaning (as the article appears to very briefly note). To true Hoosiers, which is to say to beer-drinking, euchre-playing, smart-aleck contrarians from Indiana, this insult was turned about in much the same manner as the Continental Army turned about the tune "Yankee Doodle." No mystery here. Edeans 02:57, 22 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Interesting spin on the term, though I'm wondering why you didn't mention the "damned dirty hillbilly" thing along with the "beer-drinking, euchre-playing, smart-aleck contrarian from Indiana" sentence, although hindsight would indicate to me that you pretty much meant that. Sounds like you haven't been around Indianapolis lately. They don't let people spit or throw peanuts on the floor anymore, and the Mayor had all of the hitching posts taken down a long time ago. We even have these new-fangled things called computers... KC9CQJ 05:50, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
Indeed. I'm using my portable computotomoton connected by the new acoustic telegraph right here in the fine state of Indiana! Indeed, my messages are being sent straight through the ether to my electromagnetic receptacle device allowing me to communicate with nary an paper wraped wire betwixt me and the outerworld! 16:14, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

Hoosier daddy? (Who's your daddy?)

I'm not sure I knew people thought we were hillbillys. Who made that up, those so called Buckeyes? Anyway, I'm from Muncie, Indiana, so I can teall you you won't find to many people they say we are around here. For anybody watching Armed and Famous, 3/4 that stuff is staged, and they used my school for the "Training Facility." -A Comcast User without a name.
Also Hoosier is another name for "Redneck". Some Indiana folks are proud to be a Hoosier and others are not exactly fond of the term.

Hoosier = Hoser?[edit]

Is there any link between the word Hoosier and the Canadian hoser? They are very similar words, with very similar meanings, and no one is quite sure of the etymology of either of them. -- 20:32, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

Interesting question. It would not surprise me if there is a connection. Back when lived in Indianapolis (yes, I did live there for a time), I do remember some people referring to the Hoosier Dome (later renamed the RCA Dome) as "The Hoser Dome". Edeans 07:10, 14 October 2006 (UTC)


I can't believe it, but I will. Hilarious. Gautam Discuss 03:13, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

References to St. Louis, et al, uses[edit]

I have a real problem with this material turning up in this article. It was first added by Phil179 on revision of 06:18, 15 October 2004, with no verifiable references. If one follows the history of this article, the so-called St. Louis use has been added, modified and expanded on ever since with no reference except to two online humor articles, one of which is describing and expanding on a 15 minute film made in St. Louis in 2003. Perhaps someone should begin a separate page on that usage to make this page more disambiguous if they feel strongly about it. But based on the article referenced, this page is being used to expand a local custom into a Wikipedia article, a la Jeff Foxworthy's "You might be a redneck..." One problem with the reference article is that it tends to use the word "hoosier" to define "hoosier." It is vague and nonspecific.

As edits continued, the entire concept was lifted from this humor article and other derogatory names were added into it and eventually became an accepted part of the article. A humorous article and observational essay are not legitimate references that support this inclusion. Nor is the casual diversion of the word as a derisive term in St. Louis a subject of notable context to the subject of this article. It is not relevant to the discussion of the origins of the word and thus is being deleted. Wildhartlivie 06:14, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

You are incorrect. Prior to some earlier editing and deletion (which I apologize for missing this removal), the St. Louis usage was sourced by a paper from a professor at the University of Indiana. This article is about the word Hoosier and should include notable alternative usages. To isolate it to only the Indiana usage is WP:POV. There is no need to have a series of stub articles when such encyclopedic content does not overwhelm the main article. Now I am content to leave the matter with just a one line mention in the lead and its source. However, if you like, I can add more info on the St. Louis usage and cultural dynamic (probably enough for an entire section) if you feel that this area needs more fleshing out.AgneCheese/Wine 07:15, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Also, I'd recommend you take a look at Graff's article. The St. Louis usage is far from only being a humorous connotation. Like most derogatory terms there are class-culture undertones that shouldn't be so lightly discarded. For your convenience, the link to Dr. Murray's article (that Graff references) in the Cambridge Journal about the St. Louis' usage of Hoosier can be found here but a subscription is required. If I find a free link I'll be glad to add that to the article. Also, while I don't see a need to put this in the article, I did get a chuckle out of reading about Dan Quayle's attempts to censor Merriam Webster entry on Hoosier and remove any reference to the derogatory meaning. It was apparently notable enough to make it into the Los Angeles Times and St. Petersburg Times. AgneCheese/Wine 07:54, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
I do have an issue with the inclusion of this as an epithet in the article. I read the Graf article at the same time I researched each and every change in the page history. By the way, the Graf paper is not by a professor at IU, but a reference coordinator. It wasn't a scholarly publication, but an essay self-published on the IU website. If the Murray article is the source used by Graf, then the Murray article a) should be the source and b) should be openly available for examination. The available abstract doesn't mention anything regarding the use of the word Hoosier. Furthermore, the Graf article does not use the term "white trash." The use of the word Hoosier in St. Louis amounts to slang, which is defined as "the use of highly informal words and expressions that are not considered standard in the speaker's dialect or language."
According to WP:POV, including this definition/usage is definitely Point of View: Writing from your local perspective on non-local pages. If you would care to submit a discussion of how the term came to note derision rather than simply saying it is used in a negative way, that would be more conducive to a non-biased article. Also, while the Quayle matter may be humorous, Merriam Webster no longer defines the word with a derogatory meaning, and thus has no place for inclusion. Wildhartlivie 18:03, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm afraid you are missing the point of WP:POV. You are trying to "whitewash" the article and present the POV that Hoosier only has the singular Indiana-based meaning. That is not only factually inaccurate but decidedly bias towards that POV. This "local page" is similar to equating ownership issues of the word to just the state of Indiana alone. While the St. Louis usage is "slang", it notable slang that has been studied on a scholarly level by Universities and noted by major newspapers. I see that you have canvassed on the Indiana Project page. Would you care to request the input of a more neutral circle with a WP:RFC? AgneCheese/Wine 19:01, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Secondly, the "White trash" is used to summarize the source instead of plagarize it. However if you like we can expand the visibility of the section with the use of {{cquote}} and do a word for word definition such as

or how about the Elaine Viets quotes

I don't know about you but I think the simpler one line note with the white trash summarizing these two quote is better then the showy, flashy direct quotes which are sure to be a prominent aspect of this article that catches everyone's eyes. My only consideration is that this article have a mention of this encyclopedic and notable alternative usage. For the sake of presenting a balances perspective of the usage of the word Hoosier, I think its vital to include it. I am not trying to give it prominence in the article and I'm willing to keep it as a "quiet" one line note with a reference. However if you wish for it to be flashier and more eye catching, I can oblige you. AgneCheese/Wine 19:01, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I did refer it to the Indiana Project page page for opinion as this page is part of that project. It appears over the course of the last 7 months, other attempts have been made to remove this reference and you primarily are the one who reverts it. It hasn't reached the point of submitting it for mediation, but my interest is not in whitewashing a page, but making it relevant. I have yet to see any sourced discussion regarding how the use came about in your area, though on the surface I suspect it was the same way the derisive use of Kentuckian came about in the Ohio Valley area. Also, the term white trash is used to subjectively summarize not scholarly research but casual observation.
I don't consider the offer you made to expand the article to quote the casual definition of others a reasonable suggestion. Again, a reference to Martin really should include a source that can be openly verified. As it is, Martin is quoted in the essay published online by Graf, which is not a scholarly study published by a reliable third-party publication, nor is Graf an established expert in that field. To suggest that article is University research is misrepresenting it.
The couple of major newspaper articles mentioned were St. Louis based and the article given as reference in here was not so much newspaper reporting as a column - again, discussing a film made in St. Louis. That doesn't make them appropriate sources either. The Viets quote doesn't merit inclusion as it is opinion, again, in the vein of a Jeff Foxworthy definition (i.e, I can't define it but I know it when I see it). Wildhartlivie 22:07, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
I think some neutral views would be beneficial to this discussion. I'll put in an request.AgneCheese/Wine 03:30, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
I had a Missouri History class when I was in high school and we looked at the history of Hoosier as an insult in St. Louis. As I remember a migration of Indianans moved to the area during the Civil War. The majority of St. Louisans were Catholic Abolishinists. The Indianans were southern sympathizers and Baptist. There were many skirmishes between the groups during the war. St. Louis is a still a Catholic city and the North wins the war, the result being that the word Hoosier sticks as an insult. (I will do some research and try to find some source to corroborate.) jghitzert —Preceding comment was added at 16:53, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Fresh Air[edit]

Re. the "Fresh Air" broadcast - isn't "Jeffrey Lunberg" really "Geoffrey Nunberg"?Sleepnothavingness (talk) 01:17, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

Predates Chrysler[edit]

I removed the following for lack of sources and first hand knowledge that it is incorrect. The use of hoosier as an epithet predates the Chrysler plant, I grew up in Fenton, my Grandfather was it's first mayor and my whole family used the term before the plant existed. "The term "hoosier" began to take on its negative connotation in St. Louis during the mid-1950s when the Chrysler Corporation built a large automobile assembly plant in the St. Louis suburb of Fenton and closed a plant it had been operating in Indiana. At the time, the city of Fenton was at the then-rural southwest rim of St. Louis county. During this time, many former employees of the closed Indiana plant moved to Fenton for employment; so many, in fact, that entire subdivisions of new homes sprang up south of the plant, near what was then US Route 66. It became something of a local joke to refer to the new arrivals from Indiana as "hoosiers", and before long, anyone from the rural edges of St. Louis County was considered such."jghitzert April 20, 2013 —Preceding undated comment added 18:39, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

Request for comment[edit]

I put in a request for comment. Hopefully we can get some extra input that will allow us to come up to a suitable compromise. As I mention previously I am not looking for "undue weight" or extensive discussion of the St. Louis usage. I do, however, believe for the sake of being WP:NPOV, the article should not be isolated to the singular Indiana usage and should include notable alternative usages. AgneCheese/Wine 03:42, 6 August 2007 (UTC) (RFC): Inclusion: Yes. I think significance has been demonstrated, and it should be included somewhere on Wikipedia. In This Article: Prefer. I think it could stand to be in this article, or a disambig page could be used. I don't think there's enough material for it to get it's own stub, at least not what's been presented thusfar. I would prefer to not have to see a disambig page for something like this; a section titled "other uses" seems plenty descriptive. -- Rei 17:43, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

For further review[edit]

Wildhartlivie seems to object to the source from the Indiana University reference department. For review here are some additional sources for the notability of the St. Louis usage of Hoosier.

  • "American Voices: How Dialects Differ from Coast to Coast" By Walt Wolfram, Ben Ward pg 126 Blackwell Publishing Limited ISBN 1405121092
  • "How We Talk: American Regional English Today" By Allan A. Metcalf pg 99 Houghton Mifflin 2000 ISBN 0618043624

I need to investigate the Wolfram reference. However, I don't consider the second source viable. It simply quotes a Viets column, which is a biased source. Viets doesn't give a legitimate source, but her own spin on a definition, which isn't a valid source. That's the problem with a lot of these sources - they are circular references. Wildhartlivie 19:45, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

I think you are missing that there are a published scholarly works on American dialect and word usage. The authors (and publishers) have deemed the St. Louis usage is notable enough to include in their work. Per WP:V, WP:RS and WP:NPOV, I think it is clear that the St. Louis usage meets the threshold for a one line mention in the hoosier article. AgneCheese/Wine 09:23, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
Apparently my idea of a scholarly work and yours differs. Because someone publishes a book, in which they quote a newspaper columnist's biased viewpoint, does not make it scholarly. The only thing the publisher is responsible to verify is that Elaine Viets said it. There is nothing in that which reflects research and data gathering. As for the Graf article on the IU website, it is self-published by a lay person (not a professor) and not submitted to journal committees for scrutiny and criticism, nor published in an authoratative scholastic journal and cannot therefore be considered a scholarly work. It is no more than a self-published essay.
My view continues to be that the use of the word hoosier as it is used in St. Louis is nothing more than pejorative slang and thus should be addressed on its own page such as any other pejorative is in Wikipedia, with time given to the etymology of this usage of the word. To include it makes this article ambiguous. Wildhartlivie 00:00, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
Your interpretations and Wikipedia's policies for inclusion are clearly divergent-especially with WP:RS and WP:V. This article is about usage of the word Hoosier and a WP:NPOV article will include notable alternative usage of the word. I'm sorry that you seem to have a revulsion to the St. Louis usage. Even the reliable sources note that St. Louisians make it a point to clarify that their usage has no meaning in regards to natives of Indiana. I fret (and this is only my interpretation) that you are taking the inclusion of the St. Louis usage as a insult to the Indiana's usage. I'm not sure what can be said or done to alleviate that sentiment but I'm hoping that for the sake of NPOV you can look beyond the singular Indiana view of this article and to what the worldwide audience of Wikipedia would perceive. Not every subject is painted in positive and perfect light and there are some aspects and details that might not be pretty but the call of NPOV is to show all notable, verifiable and relevant angles--even the ones that strike an emotional cord. AgneCheese/Wine 08:01, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
It isn't so much a matter of Wikipedia's policies, as Wikipedia allows for separate pages for disambiguation. I am sorry that you view my objection as a personal affront. I see it as a totally divergent discussion that could and should be addressed separately and more fully on its own merit. Though it does call to wonder if you would be arguing so strenously were you not a part of the St. Louis Project. If this usage in St. Louis is that credible and ingrained, it merits full discussion beyond a sentence in the opening. Otherwise, it appears to simply be stuck in there with no explanation. Once that exploration begins, its own page would be appropriate. Simply because something may be veriable doesn't by definition mean that inclusion on a specific page is appropriate. Wildhartlivie 22:45, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

More food for thought[edit]

Some other wikipedia articles about phrases that have meanings in different areas and are all treated in the same article- Carriage, Yankee, Table (verb), Bloody, Entrée, and Grilling. I'm sure there are bunch more but those were the few that I could think of off the top of my head. AgneCheese/Wine 08:01, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

Except for Yankee, the rest of those words don't fall into the category of pejoratives. Trailer trash, white trash, cracker, honky, redneck and a whole host of ethnic disparaging words have separate pages that address that specific meaning, and discuss the use there. Wildhartlivie 22:30, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
The point is not whether or not they are pejoratives but whether or not there is more then a "stubs-worth" of info about the alternative usage. In the examples that I cited, such as Carriage, the notable alternative usages may only be a few lines worth of info but they are still notable enough to merit inclusion in an article about the word. With the examples that you cited, if they were all merged into a main article about the word it would undoubtedly overwhelm the article and make it lengthly and unwieldy. Hence the proper reason to keep it separated-not because they are pejoratives.AgneCheese/Wine 07:42, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
In St. Louis, Hoosiers were originally a particular group of people. They are the people who came to St. Louis from the Ozarks to work in the City factories after all the timber was all cut down in the 1920's. Like African Americans that migrated north from the flat part of the south, they were economic refugees. They were mostly Scotch-Irish and their families mostly came from Appalachia before they were in the Ozarks. This was the same time as the Irish and German immigration was starting to tail off and the black immigration from the South was occurring with the mechanization of cotton farming and other agriculture. They aren't simply white trash (although that's the way it is often used now). They aren't just people from the country (a German farmer from Ste. Genevieve for example whose family moved to the city doesn't count). St. Louis was (and is) a city of ethnic neighborhoods and hoosiers had their own neighborhoods, just like the Irish, Germans, Italians and Blacks/African Americans. Like Diego for italians or Kraut for German, or Colored for African Americans, it become more and more of an insult as people became more politically correct. At least that is what I have been told. 01:56, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
I think we came to a good compromise on this issue within the article. It's still mentioned, and has its place in the article. Wildhartlivie 04:18, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Real story of Hoosier[edit]

Hoosier is from a name of an African American preacher who was very popular in the late 1700's early 1800's. He was very anti-slavery as you might imagine and his name became a term for those who shared that belief. Here is a link to the story. There are several stories there, scroll down to find his.Leafsmission16 (talk) 22:24, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

His name was Hosier and he almost certainly has nothing to do with the usage for Indianan flatboatmen and hillbillies, but he's worth mentioning. — LlywelynII 15:37, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

See Also[edit]

That's an awfully long "See Also" section. What say we eliminate it altogether, and cram most of it into the Hoosier (disambiguation)? Mingusboodle (talk) 03:16, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

That works for me. Charles Edward (Talk) 03:17, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Done. Mingusboodle (talk) 03:55, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Huissier French for Hoosier[edit]

Charles J. Balesi The Time Of The French In The Heart Of North America 1673-1818 Revied Edition pgs.226-227 1996 The huissier served summons, insured the presence of litigants in court, made public announcenemts. While the notary was paid by the fees he collected, the bailiff was paid by the King. It is worth noting that very often in Illinois, many of the funtions were assumed by men not trained in the task at hand but who were the best that the commandant could find." Assuming "huissier was pronounced "hoosier" by the British as the Crown gain control French Illinois many of the hoosier moved to Spanish controled Missouri, Ste. Genevieve and St Louis. Your story grows from this history, be it the Vincennes, Terre Haute, Ft.Ouatenon or Prairie du Rocher and Kaskaskia, your St Louis "Huissier/Hoosier" got it's raps from the poor French. Thank you, Dr.Charles Balesi for the research and Alliance Francaise Chicago the publication and Mothersill Printing Inc.— Preceding unsigned comment added by BrunoLasalle (talkcontribs) 20:43, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Most are universally accepted[edit]

Currently the article reads: According to Bill Bryson, there aren't many suggestions for the derivation of the word, but most are universally accepted. Wait, what? The various suggestions are mutually exclusive. How can most of them be universally accepted?-- 10:48, 2 November 2011‎ User:Ordinary Person

I don't know what Bill Bryson thinks, but presumably many serious scholars would think that none of the commonly-offered etymologies are very probable... AnonMoos (talk) 15:07, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Assuming the quote is correct, keep in mind that Bryson is in part a humorist and his statement is likely intentionally ironic. olderwiser 15:23, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Actually, the statement was perverted by an IP edit on 12 August 2011. I have reverted those edits. olderwiser 15:41, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Missing Personal Introduction[edit]

The second paragraph begins with “Smith found…” without having previously introduced “Smith”. Unless one follows the footnote in the paragraph above, they would have no idea who Smith is. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:55, 4 September 2013 (UTC)


I restructured and cleaned up the article based on the content and sources provided so far but, looking over the literature, it seems like Dunn nailed this except for the specific dating on his earliest source and pending any record that suggests a Mr. Hoosier ever worked for the L&P Canal Co. (The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who should be able to, can't seem to find one.) If "Hoosier" really was in widespread use across the Inland South, we should date and source that usage and come out and just say "hillbilly" was almost certainly the original meaning, instead of giving WP:UNDUE weight to nonsense claims about ears or highly improbable ones like early 19th-century white men naming themselves after a black man (however talented and awesome) who didn't even generally use his surname (which was "Hosier").

Other hand: if the term was much less common than Dunn claimed, we should note that instead. — LlywelynII 15:48, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

Carl Panzram[edit]

In this article, it states that Carl Panzram said "I could hang 10 men before you get done." In the article for Carl Panzram, it states that he could hang a dozen men. So which one is it? I'd like to clear this up, please. Thank you.-- (talk) 13:09, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

Sean Penn Misquoted[edit]

Sean Penn say's "We look like a couple o' hoosiers." — Preceding unsigned comment added by Longinus876 (talkcontribs) 22:33, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified 3 external links on Hoosier. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true or failed to let others know (documentation at {{Sourcecheck}}).

You may set the |checked=, on this template, to true or failed to let other editors know you reviewed the change. If you find any errors, please use the tools below to fix them or call an editor by setting |needhelp= to your help request.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 22:57, 11 September 2016 (UTC)