Bennies and Shoobies: A Guide to Beach Blanket Lingo

Travel Blog  •  Eva Holland  •  08.09.10 | 5:26 PM ET

In the New York Times, Ben Zimmer unpacks the vocabulary of beach tourism from coast to coast. Turns out, nearly every American coastal region has its own term for the summer invaders:

Old-time New Englanders have disdain for the summer people. On the Eastern Shore of Virginia and Maryland, the come-heres are pitted against the from-heres. Hawaiians call white visitors to the islands haoles. West Coast surfers, a territorial lot, have a plethora of terms for nonlocals: Trevor Cralle’s “Surfin’ary: A Dictionary Of Surfing Terms and Surfspeak” lists put-downs like hondo, inlander, flatlander, valley and casper. (The last one is reserved for tourists whose pallid complexion resembles that of Casper the Friendly Ghost.) On the Jersey Shore, the two main terms for unpleasant outsiders are bennies and shoobies.


Eva Holland is co-editor of World Hum. She is a former associate editor at Up Here and Up Here Business magazines, and a contributor to Vela. She's based in Canada's Yukon territory.


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