Why "Hoosier"?

For over 160 years we folks from Indiana have been called Hoosiers. The term seems to have come into usage in the 1830s.

The odd thing is that no one seems to have a good idea why. Even the Indiana State Library doesn’t offer an origin.

However, one theory from the Indiana Historical Bureau is that there was a contractor named Thomas Hoosier who was employed on the Louisville and Portland Canal. For some reason, he really liked to hire men from Indiana, who were, among Hoosier’s cohorts, referred to as “Hoosier’s men.” Eventually it caught on.

Any other ideas you’ve heard?

2 thoughts on “Why "Hoosier"?

  1. Mike…
    Why do you have to be such an interesting blogger? Ahhh!
    I have a friend who takes care of my blog. She is going to redecorate it after Lent is over as she gave it up for Lent..computer time..period. Anyway, she lives up in Canada and she called last night. I was telling her I need her to fix some things on my blog. She puts up my favorite blog list and so I'm telling her I need a couple added..yours being one of those and told her she needs to read your blog..she'd love it. Anyway, she says she can't wait. So..you and your Holy Spirit friend.. đŸ™‚ is going to reach further and further.

    Back to Hoosier..this may just be a old wive's tale as what you said..sounds pretty solid.
    I heard that it came from people who lived far apart out in the countryside and if they heard someone approaching they'd yell our “Whoooossshair?” to see who was coming. Now, that may be the case..sounds a little Tennessee hillbilly to me, but there could be Indiana hillbillies too! Ha!
    It is so strange..I know we'd all like a definite answer for this one! Maybe you'll find one..still yours sounds reasonable.

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  2. Suzanne, The entire southern part of the state is full of Indiana hoosierbillies! didn't you know that?

    That is the story I was always told, Hoosyear? was the question that was yelled out to find out who was coming onto your property.

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