Beacon Hill identity crisis: who are we?

Writing these blog posts for the last month now, it has become apparent to me that we on Beacon Hill have a problem — one shared with a few other Seattle neighborhoods, and a small problem in the overall scheme of things, but a problem nonetheless. What do we call ourselves? Beacon Hillites? Hillians? Hillers? Or even… Hillbillies?

I looked through Seattle’s Beacon Hill and the term used there was usually “residents of Beacon Hill.” That’s a little too long, I think.

Some other Seattle neighborhoods seem to have settled on reasonably short and snappy names for their residents: Ballardites, West Seattleites (well, that one’s easy). Wallingfordians seems to have seen some use, though not much. Capitol Hill, our neighbors to the north, have used Hillites and Hillians occasionally, but Hillers seems more popular, according to Google.

Residents of Beacon Hill, what do you call yourselves? The headline writers of the Seattle neighborhood blogosphere need to know. If you’re from another neighborhood, what do you call residents of your neighborhood? We’re curious about that, too.

(We could always be… Beacon Hellions!)

16 thoughts on “Beacon Hill identity crisis: who are we?”

  1. I don’t think I’ve ever labeled myself as a Beacon Hill resident. I’m pleased to live here and all, but I’ve never had the need to identify myself as a representative of the neighborhood or as one of “them”.

  2. Yeah, i’m not sure if I’ve ever really considered what we’d be referred to as a group. But, it does seem that one of the problems with Seattle having so many hills (especially since my last name is “Hill”) is that you have a lot of people who could claim they are Hillers or Hillites or whatever.

    I vote that we are “Beaconians.”

  3. Last night a couple of us were talking about this and came up with Beaconites.

    And NoBes for North Beacon Hill residents and SoBes for South Beacon Hill residents. MidBes isn’t quite as catchy, though.

    It is possible that this question is more important to us at the blog than it is to normal neighborhood residents, because we frequently have to write things that refer to a collective noun for those who live on the Hill.

    So far I like Beaconians and Beaconites, leaving “Hill” out entirely.

  4. Not sure why we have to have names at all. It seems kind of divisive. I certainly don’t categorize people based on what neighborhood they live in. Intra-neighborhood categorization (Nobes vs Sobes) seems even sillier.

    Although I can see why it would be important for bloggers as a practical matter. I think I prefer Beaconites, although it sounds a bit like some sci-fi religious sect.

  5. Sigh. I don’t understand the feeling that having neighborhood subdivisions is “divisive.” Is it divisive that we have “Beacon Hill” as a neighborhood instead of just “Seattle”?

    “Beacon Hill” is huge. Like Rainier Valley, it is much bigger than a normal neighborhood, and it makes complete sense to have smaller neighborhoods within it; even North, Mid and South are fairly large themselves, and there are smaller functional areas within those. (A couple of weeks ago someone posted here that they live in the Lockmore neighborhood of Beacon Hill, which turns out to be a small neighborhood within Mid Beacon Hill. I was just browsing through the Seattle’s Beacon Hill book the other day, and saw that Lockmore is mentioned in there, too — so the name goes back a while.)

    If you haven’t read it already, check out this post, where we discussed this issue a bit, but it was right after the blog started publishing, so a lot of folks never saw it.

    Having neighborhood names, or names for people who live in them, does not mean anyone is being divisive or stereotyping or anything like that. It just means we want an easy way to refer to people who live in an area without having to keep using a long awkward phrase. “Seattleites” is much easier to work with than “residents of Seattle.” “Beaconites” or whatever is easier to work with than “residents of Beacon Hill.”

  6. Beaconians! It sounds like the Draconians from the old Buck Rogers TV show. I could get used to that.

    Or we could just call ourselves “Beacs”. Of course that makes us sound like a gang from West Side Story.

  7. My vote is to shorten the neighborhood name to BHill.
    And call us BHillers.

    I was never a fan of BeHi and I kinda like just calling it Beacon Hill, but I think BHill rolls off the toung and it’s just as short to say as BeHi. Who knows, maybe Capitol Hill would follow suit as CHill. Oh…Chill. Maybe it needs a dash, C-Hill. B-Hill. B-Hillers.

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