Whaddaya Call Us

March 23, 2008 at 8:50 pm Leave a comment

In today’s NY Times‘ City section, there was this Q&A in the FYI column:

Q. There are simple names to describe residents of the other boroughs: Manhattanites, Bronxites, Brooklynites, Staten Islanders. Why isn’t there a word to describe Queens residents?

A. Well, there is one, as awkward as it may sound: Queensites. Though rarely spoken, it shows up in Queens newspapers from time to time, said Claudia Gryvatz Copquin, author of a new book, “The Neighborhoods of Queens” (Yale University Press).

The lack of a common identifying word may be related to the borough’s fragmented nature, Ms. Copquin said in an e-mail message. “Residents of Queens identify more with their particular neighborhoods than with the borough itself,” she said.

For example, she said, many residents use their neighborhoods in their mailing addresses: Instead of Queens, their mail is sent to Long Island City, Jamaica, Flushing and so forth.

Neither Queensites nor, as Ms. Copquin referred to us, “residents of Queens” quite does it. We could just as well call ourselves Queensians or Queensese. But today, Mickie T., ace blog sub for vacationing Steve of Queens Central, used the phrase “Queenzies” in a post about the newish Transportation Alternatives Committee (bike enthuzies) in Queens, which he noticed was western-Queens focused and not all that familiar with the borough beyond Steinway:

Yeah, whatever. The point is that these Queenzies don’t know their 73rd Street from their 73rd Avenue.

Leaving aside the fact that most people in Forest Hills don’t know the difference between 73rd St. and 73rd Ave., could this moniker fly?


Entry filed under: Forest Hills.

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