Yeah, I know that we have nicknames and mottos aplenty already: Sportsman's Paradise, the Bayou State, the Gret Stet, That Part of the World, etc. But just as we must adapt for a post-Kat-Rita future, so should we shake things up in the PR department.
Take our current state motto, for example. Our excellent new license plate, which debuted to much fanfare in 2005, proudly touts our outdoorsy heritage:
Louisiana, Sportsman's Paradise. Short, sweet and succinct. And if I may add another adjective that starts with S, "So played out." Indeed, the motto has been on our license plate almost continuously for quite a while now--like, since 1979. And before that, 1964-73. And before that, 1959!
Off-years have included such illustrious Louisiana promotions as "Louisiana Purchase," "LSU Centennial," "Bayou State," "World's Fair" and (no joke) "Louisiana Yams"! But that's not all; the years 1958 and 1961-63 listed the motto as the subtly sexist, "SportsmEn's Paradise." But none of these have ever caught on with the rest of the country. Most people I've talked to from other places think we're the Pelican State or Oil Country or the Waterboy State or whatever.
Even those within the state tend to refer to themselves in obscure terms, such as "Coonass," "Poo-Doo" and other terms that Nick might know. Generally, however, people tend to take the first letter of their hometown and add "-Town" to the end. This is unique and very, very hip. "I'm from H-Town," for example, would be said by someone from Houma. "B-Town" refers to Broussard. "D-Ville," a variation on this slang, refers to Donaldsonville. "Alec" is a shortened form of Alexandria. Still others claim they're from the Dirty South.
And of course, New Orleans is the Big Easy. It's the only unique selling point we really have.
So as you can see, Louisiana could use a new and refreshing, yet relevant, synonym. Something catchy that accurately reflects the spirit of the state in the vernacular of the times. I think I've got it:
Yes, The Weezy. It works for several reasons: 1) It's an unmistakable abbreviation for Louisiana; 2) who doesn't love a woman named Weezy? 3) it rhymes with "Big Easy," "breezy" and "off the heezy"; and 4) the air here makes you wheezy. It's almost perfect! If not for a license plate, then at least for a logo:
Granted, I am aware of the drawbacks to this nickname. For one thing, those who currently pronounce the name "Loo-ziana" would have a hard road to pave with this one. Luzianne Tea would probably pitch a fit. And more likely than not, it violates some blue law in Ruston. But regardless, I submit "The Weezy" as our new state nickname. Maybe if those with power and clout adopt this slang in a desperate attempt to appear "rad," they'll have no choice but to start paying attention to us.
It might not help. But it can't possibly hurt.