Date: Mon, 6 Oct 1997 14:17:51 EDT

From: Michael Montgomery N270053[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]VM.SC.EDU

Subject: Etymology of _Hoosier_

Mitford Mathews cracked this etymological nut on page 830 of his

_Dictionary of Americanisms_, wherein he indicates its most probable

source as _hoozer, "very large" in the dialect of Cumberland, northern


DARE attests the term quite widely and early outside Indiana. Indeed,

until the mid-20th century, mountaineers in Tennessee and North Carolina

were called _hoosiers_. How the term has come to be associated with

Indianans is a more recent but intriguing story.

Michael Montgomery

Dept of English

Univ of South Carolina

Columbia SC 29208