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Attention FATs, EYEs, and EARs

Brief by Central Staff

Local Lore – May 1999 – Colorado Central Magazine

Attention FATs, EYEs, and EARs

In a recent edition of the Wet Mountain Tribune of Westcliffe, we saw a headline that referred to a Wetmore resident as a “Wetmoron.”

That ranks up there with our favorite Colorado geographic appelation — Lamar residents who call themselves “Lamartians.”

Around here, most such locutions are pretty straightforward — Salidans, Buena Vistans, Alamosans, Leadvillites,etc. But when we got to thinking about it, there’s some we’re not sure about.

“Gunnisonian” has a nice ring, but we don’t know if it’s preferred over Gunnisonite or Gunnisonner. Villa Grovan? Fairplayer? Hartselite?

As for Saguache, the preferred form seems to be “Saguache resident,” as opposed to Saguacher, Saguachite, or Sauguacheman (rhymes with “the watchman”). One former resident told us she liked “Swatches.” Turning to Ute roots for “people of the blue-green place” would result in something like “Nuchesagwagarici.”

We’ve also run across regional nomenclature based on license plates. The Little Paper of Kingdom Come in Gilpin County refers to locals as “Zekes,” from the old Colorado two-letter license plate prefix of “ZK” for that county.

We remember those for a few of our counties (they’re still used on truck tags), but nothing really comes to mind for the Custer County ZA’s or Park County’s ZD’s, let alone a Chaffee XH or Saguache XU.

The newer three-letter tags offer some possibilities, though. In Chaffee, we could be FATs or FAXes, with EARs in Alamosa and VYPers in Saguache. There would be VATs in Park County, EYEs in Gunnison, EELs in Costilla, EEKs in Conejos, and EFFs in Custer. We can’t come up with anything — anything we’d care to print, anyway — for Lake County’s range of FCD through FDE.