What the heck is a Hoosier?

Posted by R. Berg on August 15, 2001

In Reply to: What the heck is a Hoosier? posted by Markitos on August 15, 2001

: Once again I came across an Indianan--otherwise--known as a Hoosier--and I asked him what the heck a Hoosier was, to which I received the only answer I've ever gotten to this query, "It's a person from Indiana."

: Anybody know why?

I am so, so tempted to reply "Because that's what the word means."

Oh, you want to know WHY the word means that. Well, the Dict. of Amer. Slang doesn't exactly say, but it does have an entry for the word, as follows.

HOOSIER, n. 1. An incompetent or inexperienced worker; an unworldly person, a rustic, hick, or rube; a fool, a dupe. (Logger, carnival, circus, and hobo use c1925; archaic. "Hoosier" = a citizen or resident of Indiana is the only nondisparaging use of this word.) --> 2. A new convict or prison guard; a prison visitor. (Prison use c1930.)

There's also an entry for HOOSIER UP, v.: "To shirk, to malinger; to plot a slowdown of work."