I hate the word Cincitucky.
I mean, the term itself isn't so bad.
If used differently, it could be amusing or even endearing. But those who use it mean to be offensive, and I find that flat ridiculous.
Cincitucky shouldn't be a pejorative. It should be a celebration of people from each side of the Ohio River coming together for the greater good.
Those of us who come from southwest Ohio shouldn’t be ashamed of this association. I know I’m not. We should wear it with pride. There’s nothing wrong with being from Kentucky, Indiana, Pennsylvania or (probably) Michigan for that matter.
(I mean, those states aren’t Ohio, but only one is, right?)
And yet I’d be lying if I said use of that word doesn’t get under my skin.
Kentuckians didn’t invent powered flight, but they love their sports, and their freedoms, and enjoy their right to a good time just as much as we do. Sometimes we even root for the same teams.
Cincinnati aligns itself with our southern neighbor (and Indiana for that matter – hence the tri-state weather and traffic updates on Cincy radio), but that’s not the point.
There are plenty of Pittsburgh sports fans on this side of our eastern border, and the landscape doesn’t change much on either side of the border with Indiana, either.
If there were no sign, you’d have no idea which state you were in out there when the fields of corn and beans start flattening out.
And yet I've never heard anyone use the term Clevelvania or Indiahio.
Growing up between Cincinnati and Columbus, this is never something I thought about.
When I got to Ohio State, I met people from all over the state, including those raised in towns and cities of all sizes. Yes, even a few people who identified their home county because there weren’t any towns around.
I learned there are people who grew up rurally all over the state. And I also learned there are a bunch who had no idea what that was like.
Turns out, the latter are more vocal on the internet I guess.
But I got news for you: A lot of things projected negatively on the Bluegrass State can be found all over Ohio.
You know — farms, hills, pickup trucks and county fairs.
Small towns where everybody knows everybody else (for better or for worse).
Even a little bit of an accent depending on where you go.
Ohio has all of these things, and many of us who live here like them.
Many Southwestern Ohioans have relatives ‘back in the deep dark hills of eastern Kentucky,’ to quote Darrell Scott’s tune, “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive," (immortalized in FX's TV series, "Justified") even if our parents or grandparents trace their origins to the northern side of that big, beautiful Ohio River thanks to migration north for jobs.
Everyone has to make a living, and it’s good to maintain connections to our past.
I’m proud of those associations, thank you very much.
So save that insult next time. Maybe work on something closer to clever.
Or just mind your own business up in Clevelvania.