Date: Wed, 15 Oct 1997 13:11:03 -0600

From: charles fritz juengling cjuengling[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]STCLOUDSTATE.EDU

Subject: Re: 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

My favorite explanation appeares in Schele de Vere's _Americanisms_. He

reports that "Hoosier" came about because of the way people there

(Indiana) said "Who's here?"

Fritz Juengling

Dept of Foreign Languages

St Cloud State University


Fritz Juengling

Foreign Languages and Literature Department

St. Cloud State University