Indiana tidbits

Indiana Quick Facts  

Capital: Indianapolis (population 795,458) 

Population of Indiana: 6.4 million people+  

Percentage of ethnic groups: White 81%, Black 9.1%, Latino 5.2%, Asian 1.4%, Native Amerian 0.3%. People reporting two or more ethincities 1.2% (data from US Census Bureau)  

The largest single religious denomination in the state is Roman Catholic followed by Protestant, Baptist, other Christians, Methodist, Lutheran 

Square miles: 36,418  

Time zone: Eastern Standard Time  

State motto: “The crossroads of America”  

Bordering states: Michigan (to the north), Illinois (to the west), Ohio (to the east), Kentucky (to the south)  

Indiana is famous for: The Indianapolis 500 which is the largest single day spectator event in the world (250,000 people attend the Indy 500 held each May during Memorial weekend)  

Indiana weather  

Warmest month: July low: 65.2 degrees F (18 degrees Celsius), high: 85.6 degrees F (30 degrees Celsius) with humidity, the temperature is warmer 

Coldest month: January low: 18.5 degrees F(-7 degrees C), high 34.5 degrees F (1 degree C) 

Rainiest month: July with 4. 42 inches on average 

Average number of tornados per year: about 20 

August 2010 reportedly the dryest month ever recorded 


What’s a Hoosier?
The term “Hoosier” refers to a resident of Indiana. Indiana is known as the Hoosier State. I often see commercials with people referring to residents as “Hoosiers.” It is not really known how the word came about, but one common suggestion is that when a stranger came to someone’s house, the homeowner would answer with a “Who’sh ‘ere?” (who’s here). 
Sundays are alcohol free days

You can't buy booze on Sundays

You can buy alcohol at the grocery store, convenience store, drug store, and even at Costco, but you can’t buy alcohol anywhere in Indiana on Sundays. However, I think that you can still buy alcohol at a restaurant.  




 The Crossroads of America has roundabouts  

Roundabout at Keystone in Carmel

The city of Carmel has roundabouts scattered all over town (see Time article You Want a Revolution).  Often times, there are two lanes heading into the roundabout from each direction. These roundabouts can be a little intimidating if you are unfamiliar with them.  




Famous movies  

Say it Isn’t So (2001) – A romantic comedy with Chris Klein, Heather Graham, Orlando Jones
In and Out (1997) – Starring Kevin Kline, Joan Cusack, Tom Selleck
Now and Then (1995) – A story about 12 year old girls who reunite 20 years later.
The Hudsucker Proxy (1994) – Produced by the Coen brothers and starring Tim Robbins, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Paul Newman
Hoosiers (1986) – Cult classic  basketball movie about Indiana State basketball 
A Christmas Story (1983) – A Christmas movie classic
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) – starring Richard Dryfuss 


 Indiana Talk 

How do you pronounce “foyer”? Most people here say, “FOY-er.” I don’t think that there is a necessary right or wrong answer, but I think that “foy-AY” sounds better. People tend to stress the second syllable of a word more than the first syllable. Examples:  

I say:                         Hoosiers say:
FI-nance                             fih-NANCE
DE-tails                              deh-TAILS
ROOF                                   ruff
PREH-zen-ta-tion               PREE-zen-ta-tion (presentation)
VEE-eh-cul                         VEE-heh-cul (vehicle)
sor-BEH                              SHER=bet (sorbet/sherbet)
en-DYURE                          en-DOOR
OFF-en                                 OFF-ten (often)
Then there are some differences everyday words:
vacuum                          sweep
I.D.’d                            carded
CAR-a-mel                    CAR-mel
bag                                sack
you guys                      y’all (not everyone says it)
flick                               forehand (ultimate term)
kitty-corner               catty-corner
tuque                           wool cap, or sometimes called a “toboggan”

I once heard a local speech therapist explain that when there is a word with an “o-l” combination, Hoosiers typically pronouce the words without making the “l” sound, example: for cold, they may say “code” or for Colts, they may say “Cotes.”

When you say:               they reply:
“Excuse me.”                       “No, you’re fine.”
“Thank you.”                        “Uh-huh.”
“I’ll have an iced tea.”       “Do you want unsweetened or sweet tea?”

I am used to the expression:     They use the expression:
“Hell-OO!” (with attitude)                “Well, YEAH!” (w/ attitude)
“Darn it!”                                                “Dagnabbit!” 

One time, we were driving along one of the freeways and I kept seeing billboards for businesses that I was not familiar with. Finally I asked B.B. about the signs that were offering “Free checking.” I asked, “What are they checking?” He told me that they were billboards for banks. The spelling got me! I wouldn’t have asked if I had seen “Free chequing.” 

Another time I was out on a lake in a kayak with B.B. when a storm suddenly swept in. We had to paddle for shore. I was a little scared because there was a lot of thunder and lightening and it happened quite suddenly. I was sitting in the front of a two-person kayak, paddling like I was paddling for my life when B.B. yelled, “Bail!” I almost jumped out of the boat because usually when I hear “bail” it means to get out of a situation. However, he meant, bail the boat. But he was just kidding. Haha. 

Famous Hoosiers 

Dave Letterman – talk show host, comedian
James Dean – actor (Rebel Without a Cause)
Shelly Long – actress from sitcom Cheers
Florence Henderson – actress Brady Bunch
Larry Bird – NBA Hall of Famer (Boston Celtics)
Abraham Lincoln – 16th President (born in Kentucky, raised in IN)
Benjamin Harrison – 23rd President (began his political career in IN)
Jim Davis – creator of Garfield
Orville Redenbacher – the popcorn man
John Mellencamp – singer, songwriter
Lewis Terman – psychologist and inventer of the Stanford-Binet IQ Test
Vivica Fox – actress
Jenna Fischer – actress, The Office
Brendan Fraser – actor, born in Indianapolis
Michael Jackson – singer, born in Gary, IN
Janet Jackson – singer
Jackson 5 – musical group
Colonel Sanders – the founder of KFC was born in Indiana
John Dillinger – famous bank robber
Jimmy Hoffa – founder of labor unions
Kyle Cook – guitarist from Matchbox 20
Cy Williams – MLB player, Cubs (1912-17), Phillies (1918-30)
Jane Pauley – television journalist
David Lee Roth – singer, Van Halen
Shannon Hoon – singer from rock band Blind Melon
The Ataris – alternative rock band
Jamie Hyneman – TV host of MythBusters
Donald Brashear – NHL hockey player, born in Indiana  
Jared Fogle – the Subway guy (lost weight eating Subway sandwiches)

Places named after other places:
East Germantown
Frankfort (vs. Frankfurt)
New Amsterdam (apparently only one person lives here)
North Manchester
Rome City

Unusual Indiana town names:
Battle Ground
Floyds Knobs
French Lick
Gas City
Gnaw Bone
Santa Clause
Steam Corner
Toad Hop 

References to Indiana
Indiana Jones – a movie character that George Lucas named the character after his dog, Indiana
Parks and Recreation – popular sitcom which takes place in a fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana 
The Middle – TV series on ABC set in the fictional town of Orson, Indiana
Last Dance with Mary Jane – Tom Petty song that mentions Indiana (“She grew up in an Indiana town…”)
Dani California – Red Hot Chili Peppers (“Robbin’ on a bank in the state of Indiana…”)
Indiana Wants Me – Richard Dean Taylor song (1971), a Canadian singer, songwriter, recording artist and producer 
Indiana Girl – Pat Boone, 1970’s
The Indiana Girl – Marty Cooper 1973
The Jeff Foxworthy Show – story set in Bloomington, Indiana
Woody Boyd – character from sitcom Cheers was from Hanover, Indiana 

Other random facts 

  • School starts earlier here. This year, school starts on August 9. (When I went to school, it was the first day after the labour day weekend in September).
  • I like my tea (Earl Grey or Orange Pekoe) with sugar and cream/milk. No one drinks tea with milk here so if you order tea in a restaurant, they only bring milk if you ask.
  • There is a restaurant in Indianapolis that serves waffles and fried chicken (Maxine’s Chicken & Waffles). Supposedly, it’s delicious even though it sounds like a heart attack on a plate. I plan on trying it at some point. I predict that this dish will not be as good as people claim it to be (people on Urban Spoon give it high ratings).



3 thoughts on “Indiana tidbits”

  1. I suspect I’m a horrible Hoosier, since I hate basketball pronounce almost all of those words the Canadian way. (And also say kitty-corner, and bag far more frequently than sack.)

    Very likely it’s regional differences in Indiana, since I live in Indy, but was raised in NW Indiana, up near Chicago!

  2. Michelle said:

    Lebanon, IN is another on the NW side of Indianapolis. They pronounce it LebaNIN which I’m still not used to after 5 years here. And the pronounce Peru as PEEru. So odd

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