Differences between a Shoobie and a Benny

Depending on where you live in New Jersey, you’ve probably heard the terms “Shoobie” or “Benny” every summer.

Both are, well, rather pejorative terms referring to vacationers. Vacationers are, of course, a mixed blessing for our coasts. They bring revenue, but they also bring traffic – and dare we say it – sometimes rudeness.

Let’s start from the south and work our way up.

The term “Shoobie” was first used in the late 1800s to describe people who took the train from Philadelphia, with the price of their ticket including lunch, packed in a shoebox, according to Wikipedia. It later became synonymous with anyone who came to the beaches of South Jersey and packed a lunch.

Wikipedia says: “In any case, these day-trippers deprived local businesses of the revenue tourists would have spent on food. Owners (whether year-round or seasonal) often walk the beach barefoot or remove their shoes immediately after hitting the sand.”

Wikipedia indicates that while the term originated in South Jersey, it is also used in Delaware and coastal towns in Southern California.

“Shoobie” appears to be used in Cape May, Atlantic, and parts of Ocean Counties. From Mid-Ocean County to Monmouth County, the word “Benny” comes into play.

According to Wikipedia, “Benny” “is a pejorative term used by permanent residents of the Jersey Shore to describe stereotypically rude, flashy, and loud tourists from North Jersey and New York.”

Regarding the origin of ‘Benny’: “A common theory is that the term originated from an acronym that was affixed to bathers’ train tickets, representing the town in which they boarded the train for the coast of New Jersey: Bayonne, Elizabeth, Newark, and New York. The term “Benny” may also have originated from the early 20th century practice of wealthy New Yorkers making trips to the Jersey Shore for treatment of a myriad diseases such as anemia, hemophilia, and hysteria. These therapeutic trips were referred to as “beneficial” by physicians and patients. Often visitors claimed to be at the Jersey Shore on a “beneficial”, hence the term Benny.”Benny” refers to Ben Franklin, whose picture appears on the $100 bill.Yet another theory refers to off-shore boat races in the 1970s sponsored by the chain of “Benihana’s” restaurants.

Again, whatever you call them, Shoobies and Bennies come with pros and cons.

SOURCE: Wikipedia.com

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