What Do You Call Someone From Queens?


    What do you call someone from Queens?

    There are Staten Islanders, Brooklynites, Manhattanites. There are those who from “da Bronx.” More often than not, when referring to the residents of Queens, the media and or government use “residents of Queens.” Can it possibly be Queensite? To me, Queensite sounds like something that requires an antibiotic.

    Queenser just sounds odd.

    This may sound dumb at first, but I’m asking it out loud: What do you call a resident of the Borough of Queens?


    An elected official once advised me that the correct protocol is to use the name of the neighborhood — Astorian or Sunnysider for instance — as this represents the polyglot origins of the borough as a collection of villages and towns (and one or two small cities) which consolidated with Brooklyn, Staten Island, Manhattan (most of the Bronx and Manhattan had already gotten married) and the eastern Bronx in 1898 to form the City of Greater New York — setting up our familiar five boroughs with the seat of government embodied by a Chief Executive and City Council based in Manhattan.

    That’s when the term “New Yorker” began to be used to describe people from Brooklyn and Queens as well as Manhattan.


    In the historical record, these little towns and villages which formed the neighborhoods of modern Queens (Woodside is pictured above) are more often than not referred to as “Long Island,” so perhaps “Long Islander” is appropriate — although the folks in Nassau and Suffolk Counties might take issue with that (even though Nassau was part of Queens County until the 1898 consolidation).

    Queensdwellers? Queenslanders?  Queenstonians?


    Having grown up in Brooklyn (Canarsie), my habit is to quote borough first, then neighborhood. In Queens, it’s the opposite: You say “Ridgewood” first, then Queens. So, my question is put to you, gentle readers… What do we call someone who calls Queens home?

    The correct answer, given its huge immigrant population, is American, but there must be some borough-specific appellation out there which has escaped notice.

    A Queensican, or perhaps a Queensylvanian, or is it really just Queensite?


    What's Happening