Hoosier (own name)
Origin and meaning
The origin and original meaning of the term are unclear. Popular interpretations are a corruption of the regionally customary question “Who is there?” (Eng. “Who is there?”) Or the question “Whose ear?” (Eng. “Whose ear?”) When a severed ear is found. Linguistically more satisfactory is the derivation from the word hoozer, which comes from the Cumberland dialect and denotes unusually large things ; this is probably due to the fact that the first inhabitants of South Indiana were tall mountain people from Kentucky (see D. Carkeet, Double Negative, 1980 and Webster's New Word Dictionary of the American Language, Coll. Ed., 1969).
Use as a swear word
The name does not only stand for the inhabitants of Indiana, but can also be interpreted negatively, meaning white trash or hillbilly .
- Kurt Vonnegut used the term in his books Cat's Cradle and God bless you, Mr. Rosewater . Vonnegut himself had attended Shortridge High School in Indianapolis .
- David Carkeet refers in his book Double Negative (German: Minus mal Minus , Diogenes 1987) to all explanations of the word mentioned
- In the movie The Texan with Clint Eastwood , the term is used.
- Serial killer Carl Panzram is said to have insulted his executioner as a Hoosier.
- In the film We Are Not Angels , Sean Penn uses the term as an insult.
- In Joseph Pistone Donnie Brasco's book: My Undercover Life in the Mafia , gangster Benjamin “Lefty Guns” Ruggiero uses the term in a derogatory way.
- Soldier Bill Smith was nicknamed "Hoosier" in the television miniseries The Pacific .
- The US sitcom The Middle has a food market called Frugal Hoosier for expired products.
- The film free throw , original title Hoosiers , named after a well-known provincial basketball team of the same name
- Hoosiers is the name of the sports department at Indiana University in Bloomington
- In the feature film In & Out , a teacher tries to explain the meaning of the term Hoosier, but is always interrupted.
- In the television series Chicago Fire (season 7 episode 14 Valentine's Day ) an injured person calls himself Hoosier based on his origins, whereupon Sylvie Brett repeats this and the others wonder what it means.