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Fudgies, Flatlanders and Leaf Peepers
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Larry Rogers
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  Onlast Saturday’s Way With Words it was stated that the Vermont and Colorado equivalent of Michigan’s “Fudgies” was “Flatlander”.  I don’t know about Colorado, but this is not quite correct here in Vermont.
    In the autumn of each year we have a lot of tourists up here to look at the changing foliage.  These folks are known, somewhat affectionately, as “Leaf Peepers”, sometimes shortened to simply “Peepers”.
    Flatlanders are something else entirely.  A Flatlander is someone who lives in  Vermont that was born somewhere else  This is a faintly pejorative term which carries some interesting  political and sociological baggage
     Historically Vermont was a bastion of rock-ribbed Republican conservatism.  It is now what is probably the most liberal state in the union.  In Vermont the median age is high, the birth rate low, and a recognized problem is the exodus of younger Vermonters to other states where job prospects are better.  And yet with all of this, the population continues to slowly grow.  A large part of this growth is caused by an influx of Flatlanders, many of whom who are affluent retired liberals from other northeastern states.  There is, as can be imagined, a degree of friction in this arrangement.
        Larry Rogers who was born in New York City and migrated to Vermont 35 years ago
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Welcome, Larry, and thanks. The historical context is wonderful.

The closest equivalent in Alaska to Flatlander must be Cheechako. Originally a Chinook Jargon term meaning, essentially, newcomer or non-native person, it seems to have transferred to English as meaning greenhorn or tenderfoot, thus still newcomer, but is pejorative to a greater or lesser extent depending on the speaker, the circumstance, and the era. Most recently it seems to have been used with a mixture of disdain and humor, sometimes with a touch of showing off, usually used by someone who hasn’t been here all that long to refer to someone who’s been here even less time. I haven’t heard the word much in the past twenty years or so, so my unscientific belief is that it’s in decline.

While I’m not quite alone, my liberal vote makes scarcely a ripple in this conservative state. I can’t imagine ever leaving.

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