Simanaitis Says

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I RECENTLY heard the demographic descriptor Henry, as in High Earner Not Rich Yet, and this got me thinking of more familiar terms, which in turn led me to some Internet sleuthing.

What follows is my compendium and I encourage you to add your favorites.

I suspect the first I knew were Townies and Gownies, the psychographic distinction between those living in a college environment and those actually attending the college. I was a gownie in Worcester, Massachusetts, when I attended WPI. I didn’t even talk like the townies therah.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute, founded in 1865 in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Related to townies and gownies were the Preppies who attended prep schools as opposed to those of us mixing it up in public schools. I doubt we were called Publies, at least not to our faces.

Hippies flourished in the 1960s. The term’s etymology traces from hipster, which in turn described one who was hip, or hep, these last two terms arising from the jazz culture of the 1940s and 1950s.

Yippies were politically active hippies. The term arose in 1967, when Abbie Hoffman formed the Youth International Party. According to Wikipedia, the Y.I.P. fostered Libertarian socialism, Anarcho-communism, Green anarchism, and Free love. Detractors called it “Groucho Marxism.”

The flag of the Youth International Party. And, yes, the five-leafed plant is what you think it is. So is the red star.

Trippies were a mind-loose offshoot of hippies experimenting with peyote cacti, aka mesc; psilocybin, aka shrooms; or lysergic acid diethylamide, aka LSD.

John Lennon swore that the song title didn’t mean what you thought. Image from Rolling Stone.

Once youth left the homestead, their thankless parents possibly joined the Dinkies, Dual Income No Kids. One assumes that some of these parents may also have been Bippies, as in Beautiful People.

Image from

This last term is not to be confused with Professional Beauties, P.B.s as they were known in Edwardian England: attractive young things invited seemingly everywhere. Lots of P.B.s were rich American heiresses, and are you surprised?

Yuppies were Young Upwardly Mobile Professionals who perhaps didn’t like the sound of the more correctly formed term Yumpies. Or it’s possible they were actually Young Urban Professionals.

Nimbys exist to this day. They may not mind one thing or another, but Not In My Backyard. This hypocritical stance has made the term nimby something of a pejorative.

A particularly radical nimby is termed a Banana, as in Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone/Anything. A banana is related to a Sobby, , as in Some Other #&%$’s Backyard.

These particular Tweenies aren’t the ones I have in mind. Image from BBC Tweenies Facebook.

To conclude on a note of youthful innocence, there are the Tweenies. Not to be confused with the Brit BAFTA-winning pre-schooler TV show, these tweenies are kids approaching teenage years, but not quite there. I suspect, for example, they still don’t mind being seen in the company of their bippies. ds

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2018


  1. MikeB
    May 28, 2018

    Good collection! Here are a few others from the Planner’s Glossary ( and similar:

    CAVEmen: Citizens Against Virtually Everything
    DUDE: Developer Under Delusions of Entitlement
    SLAPP: Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (this is a real term used by lawyers!)
    LULU: Locally Unwanted Land Use
    NIMTOO: Not in my term of office
    NOPE: Not on planet earth
    PowerPoint Poisoning: State of mind induced by viewing “professional” presentations.
    Taupeville: A neighborhood that requires buildings to be all neutral colors, usually beige and taupe. Generic, nondescript, lacking in personality and boring.
    Bungalow Bill: Tract house architect.
    Developer: Contraction of “devil worshipper.”
    Consensus: When all sides are equally mad at the planner.

    SEMPER GUMBY! Blessed are the Flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape!

  2. Michael Rubin
    May 28, 2018

    Bippies? I thought those were instruments of wagering on Laugh-In, i.e. “You bet your Bippy!”

  3. sabresoftware
    May 29, 2018

    And don’t forget the Boomers, a.k.a baby boomers.

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