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Old 01-23-2009, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Just East of the Southern Portion of the Western Part of PA
1,055 posts, read 1,972,070 times
Reputation: 1025
Question Why Do People Always Refer to Pennsylvania as "P.A."?

I grew up in Pennsylvania and I always wonderered why we refer to our state as "P.A." all of the time.

I understand that it is a post office abbreviation, but why are we the only ones to do this?

How many other states do that? Immagine people saying "I'm from F.L.", or "I'm heading to C.A, or I'm from T.N.

Kinda funny, and I don't understand why we do this in Pennsylvania.

Other states have names just as long as Pennsylvania (California, Oaklahoma, ect.), but they don't seem to have the urge to use the abbreviation. It just doesn't sound as good to say Los Angeles, C.A. as it does to say Pittsburgh, P.A.

Doesn't really bother me though - anybody have any ideas? Is is just because it rolls off the tongue?

This could easily be the biggest mystery of our time.....
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Old 01-23-2009, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Cortland, Ohio
3,170 posts, read 6,574,023 times
Reputation: 1318
I live in Ohio near the PA boarder and almost never say Pennsylvania! haha!
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Old 01-23-2009, 01:55 PM
 
Location: Montco PA
1,420 posts, read 2,390,450 times
Reputation: 637
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny C View Post
I grew up in Pennsylvania and I always wonderered why we refer to our state as "P.A." all of the time.

I understand that it is a post office abbreviation, but why are we the only ones to do this?

How many other states do that? Immagine people saying "I'm from F.L.", or "I'm heading to C.A, or I'm from T.N.

Kinda funny, and I don't understand why we do this in Pennsylvania.

Other states have names just as long as Pennsylvania (California, Oaklahoma, ect.), but they don't seem to have the urge to use the abbreviation. It just doesn't sound as good to say Los Angeles, C.A. as it does to say Pittsburgh, P.A.

Doesn't really bother me though - anybody have any ideas? Is is just because it rolls off the tongue?

This could easily be the biggest mystery of our time.....
Here's an interesting thought:

When I visited Boston, I remember the tourism board there mentioning more than once in its publications that people from the Boston area refer to Massachusetts as "Mass" because they are "so fast-moving" (in other words, cool, urban, and slick).

Then I get one of those "you know you're from PA when..." emails, and on this email was the statement "You refer to your state as PA. No one else does this."

My take was that people in Boston are cool because they say "Mass" but we are uncool because we say "PA" even though we are both shortening a word that is annoying to say.
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Old 01-23-2009, 02:01 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
16,650 posts, read 15,638,179 times
Reputation: 15831
And everybody knows that the most uncool person from P.A. is way cooler than than anyone from Massachusetts ever dreams of being.
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Old 01-23-2009, 03:06 PM
 
Location: AL resident in PA at every oportunity
173 posts, read 380,051 times
Reputation: 141
I'm from Alabama. I've been visiting PA for 20 years and just started saying PA in the last few years. It is better than the term L.A., which we use for Lower Alabama
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Old 01-23-2009, 03:51 PM
 
1,313 posts, read 3,029,064 times
Reputation: 1936
I'm pretty sure I have heard people refer to Maryland (MD) as M.D. Not often, but enough that it came to mind immediately. I didn't grow up in PA, but have called it P.A...but I have no idea when I started to...
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Old 01-23-2009, 05:34 PM
 
Location: Harrisburg, PA
160 posts, read 394,249 times
Reputation: 69
The earliest reference I've seen for PA is from the film 42nd Street. It's a Depression Era (1930s) musical about the cast of a musical theater production. One of the preview locations before taking the musical to NYC is Pittsburgh for a Sunday matinee. The leading lady says: "Pittsburgh PA. And on Sundays it's P.U."
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Old 01-23-2009, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania (NW)
80 posts, read 127,228 times
Reputation: 25
I just call it "home" ..LOL
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Old 01-23-2009, 05:53 PM
 
Location: In the real world.
19,051 posts, read 3,852,455 times
Reputation: 9202
I prefer PA to Pennsy.
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Old 01-23-2009, 06:29 PM
 
Location: Texas
587 posts, read 982,236 times
Reputation: 439
People from other parts of the country don't say PA - they say Pennsylvania. Only if they are from PA or the surrounding states. I've lived in TX for the past 17 years (grew up in PA) and when I tell people where I'm from I say Pennsylvania because I think if I said PA, they would say "Huh????"
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