Friday, February 23, 2007

Coloradan/Coloradoan; potato/puhtahtoe

Why are people who live in the state of Colorado called “Coloradans,” rather than “Coloradoans?” I was born and raised in the city of Chicago and people there are called “Chicagoans.” I wrote to a couple of TV stations after hearing “Coloradans,” but never received a reply.
- Laurance Moe

ANSWER:“Coloradan” is the most widely used pronunciation in Colorado. “Coloradoan” is accepted, but is the second choice. If you punch “Coloradoans” into Google, you’ll end up with “Did you mean to search for Coloradans?” Several people in public office — including Colorado’s new governor — have been referring to residents as “Coloradoans” and the Fort Collins newspaper is called The Coloradoan, but traditionally "Coloradans” is far more common on Web sites, in local history books and on the street.

Fact Monster lists several other states with two or more names for state residents and, like the dictionary, the first is the most widely used:
Alabamian, Alabaman
Connecticuter, Nutmegger
Floridian, Floridan
Indianan, Indianian, Hoosier
Louisianan, Louisianian
Michigander, Michiganian, Michiganite
New Jerseyite, New Jerseyan

You mentioned you are from Chicago. Several Web sites list “Chicagoans” and “Chicagans” as accepted names. According to our sources, “Chicagoans” is preferred, although “Chicagans” is okay.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a native Coloradoan. I say the Coloradan came from transplants with an accent. :o)

4:17 PM, September 22, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you speak Spanish, you will not call the people from Chicago, Chicagans.

4:10 PM, January 12, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am also a native Coloradoan. The CU Boulder English Dept. changed it when it became too difficult for the hoards of Californians and Texans converging on the state to pronounce it correctly.

9:50 PM, April 21, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the other natives. I've always known the term to be Coloradoan. Thanks to the previous posters for explaining why it has changed. I think I'll stick with Coloradoan. :)

9:59 AM, May 31, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Great Grandparents homesteaded here in the 1800's. I have always heard Coloradoan, NOT Coloradan. As a teen I asked my dad why some people had started saying Coloradan and his reply was those were transplants, not natives.

3:54 PM, July 09, 2014  
Anonymous Ian Santopietro said...

"Chicago" comes from a Native American word, and so the -an ending is added to the end without deleting the O. The same goes for Pueblo and its Puebloans. Colorado, on the other hand, is derived from Spanish, so the o is deleted when adding the -an, to get Coloradan. This usage is shared with New Mexico and its New Mexicans.

Coloradoan is generally archaic, though also acceptable. Sounds weird to my native coloradan ears thogh.

8:07 AM, December 01, 2016  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have lived in Colorado for 50+ years and have not heard the term Coloradoan until recently. Everyone that I know that has lived hear over 25 years uses the term Coloradan instead of Coloradoan.

7:06 PM, December 31, 2017  

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