Most people know that someone from the Big Apple is a New Yorker and folks from the Rose City are Portlanders. Those of our fair state are Oregonians, and folks to the north are Washingtonians, and even further north are Canadians. People from the Windy City are Chicagoans, and people from San Francisco are San Franciscans. Those in Seattle, Seattleites, not Satellites.
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So what exactly are people from Hillsboro called? Hillsboroians? Hillsborites? Hillsboroans? Hillsboroers? Hillers?
Now, there are “rules” for this sort of thing, which were laid out by George R. Stewart, Jr., a historian and novelist. You can find them in Labels for Locals: What to Call People from Abilene to Zimbabwe by Paul Dickson.
But, as that book points out, there seems to be more exceptions to the rule than cities actually following the rule. For instance those from San Francisco would technically be San Franciscoans. So some cities have simply declared a standard for themselves, which is what Akron, Ohio, did in 1930. They are now known as Akronites instead of Akronians, in case you were curious.
As to our metropolis of 90,000, maybe we should do the same, get the city council to declare an official demonym, the term used for what people from a place are called.
View full sizeM.O. StevensEntrance to Hillsboro along 185th in Tanasbourne
First off is Hillsboroans, which is what the unofficial “rules” call for. That option tends to lead to a pronunciation of the Hillsboro part as rhyming with burro, Spanish for donkey, or rhyming with something digging into the ground. And Hillsboro should be pronounced like you are cold at the end, saying berrrrr-o. Basically, its more of an -er sound, not an -or sound before the final o.
Now, for my money, the best option then is Hillsborite, as this better accentuates the proper pronunciation. Plus, I just think it sounds more sophisticated/better than Hillsboroans. But, it is not up to me, it is up to the city. So vote in the poll below, and let's see if we can get an official demonym to join Hillsboro's official city flower, the rhododendron, as an official symbol of the city. Or something like that.
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