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The Official Terms For Each State's Residents Have Caught Lots Of People Off Guard

The Official Terms For Each State's Residents Have Caught Lots Of People Off Guard
Pgiam/Getty images; @cmkinmia/Twitter

We have names for everything. It's a great way to categorize our world.

The little plastic bit at the end of your shoelace? That's an aglet.

The smell of rain after a dry spell? That's petrichor.

And when you're the resident of a state in the U.S. of A., you also have a name.

Whether you know it or not, whether you agree with it or not, there is an official term for residents of your state. It's so official, the U.S. Government Publishing Office has it listed in a style guide.

How did we come across this information?

Someone wanted to win an argument, of course.

I'm not going to lie, depending on your state, this is either going to feel like a no-brainer or a life revelation. As someone born and raised in Arizona, I rarely hear anything other than Arizonan, though some try to make Arizonian a thing.

On the other hand, what in the name of the creator is a Wyomingite? This one feels so weird to think about or even to say, but now that I think about it, I'm not sure what else they would have been called.


It's possible you have a different preference than what is listed here, or maybe you think one of the listings sounds wrong.

Which is totally fine and valid.

On the other hand, some people may have never heard of these names.

In particular there's Massachusettsan.

Like, what is that? What even is that?

Has anyone from Massachusetts ever used that term? I'm sure if you ask them, they'll tell you they're called a Bay Stater or a Masshole.

And I'm not sure how old this government document is, but it we know it's at least slightly outdated.

Back in 2017, the State of Michigan passed a bill that revised and modernized historical markers. As part of it, they defined residents as Michiganders instead of Michiganians.

It's enough to make you mad!

Maybe you aren't mad. I mean, it's just an official government document. Who even cares?

We do. We cares.

Look, some of these are great names. The fact Indiana gets to be Hoosiers in an officially capacity is genuinely impressive. And New Mexican is what I want everyone to call me.

On the other hand, this just helps people reinforce their favorite names.

While Connecticuters and Massachusettsan look like fake names, and in fact, my spell check is telling me I misspelled them, they are as real as Arizonan and New Yorker.

But they say knowledge is power, and now you know what to call someone from another state.

The book The 50 States: Fun Facts: Celebrate the people, places and food of the U.S.A! is available here to learn more.