What do you call someone from Oak Bay?
Here at the Oak Bay News we call them Oak Bay residents. It’s not as neat as Saanichites, as fun as the Chemaniacs of Chemanius (which might be the coolest name in B.C.) or as punk rock as the Smithereens of Smithers.
The mayor agrees.
“It seems obvious, given how amazing Oak Bay is, that we deserve a unique name that people will stand up and take notice,” said Mayor Kevin Murdoch.
All this with due respect to the formally shelved term ‘Tweedies,’ a somewhat disparaging comment for those fortunate enough to live east of the Tweed Curtain.
In the mid-2000s Saanich News’ then-editor Jim Zeeben put the question out to his community.
“We ran a story asking for feedback and then followed up with a decision a few weeks later,” Zeeben recalled.
As a result, Saanich News and the District of Saanich both use the term Saanichite. Saanich, it should be noted, is an Anglicized version of the name borrowed from the WSANEC people that meant “emerging land.”
But what do you call someone from Central Saanich? It isn’t Central Saanichite, nor is it North Saanichite for that matter. More like, Central Saanwiched.
Victorians? Victorianites? Hippies?
Back to Oak Bay. Here are a few names to get it rolling.
Oak Bay City Rollers. Oak Baygles (with cream cheese?). Oak Bayliens. Oak Bayngels (angels). Oak Bayniacs. Oak Braniacs. Oak Bayers.
On the Chemaniac scale of 1-to-10, Chemaniac being an 11, Victorian being a 1, Oak Bayers is, well… We can do better, even if it’s just for fun.
As for our neighbours to the north, the Saanich-ers… it gets complicated.
“Saanichite” prevailed over some fun names.
Saansquatches, and Saanwichers, were finalists for top spot.
Someone sent us Esquimaltians. We only suggest it because Esquimaltians is a lot like Esquilmartians which, with Oak Bayliens, would put Victoria residents into a space Saanwich.
The West Shore is also void of names. Langfordians? Langfuddites? Sookies?
Checking in around the country there are some good ones. Haligonians and Torontonians. Calgarians. Edmontonians. Montrealers. Vancouverites and Seattleites. Portlanders.
Think it’s silly? Need we remind you there are people from Punkeydoodles Corners, Ont., Mushaboom, N.S., and the towns of Climax and Urin, Sask.
Play along on Twitter at @travisApaterson.