Lafayette Baby Boomers and Millennials Debate On Facebook Over The Nickname ‘Laffy’
Get ready to read about one of the most ridiculous local internet arguments in Lafayette history.
Nope, I'm not here to discuss drainage, dredging the Vermilion, Drag Queen Storytime, or those makeshift Trump merch tents popping up at closed Chevrons around town. Today I'm here to talk to you about the current epidemic, known on the streets simply as "Laffy."
"Laffy" (obviously short for Lafayette) is a cute nickname that I can remember hearing as far back as the early 2000s. The first time I heard "Laffy" was from out of town friends who were usually describing their plans for the evening.
Ex: "What ya'll wanna do tonight? We were thinking of making a trip down to Laffy—they sure know how to party out there!"
It's a term that has literally been around for two decades of my life—and maybe even longer for some of you reading this—but one this is for sure, it definitely doesn't deserve the outrage and attention that it's getting right now.
At first, it seemed like it was an argument between the Lafayette Baby Boomers who thought the nickname was a travesty and local Millennials who felt like people were overreacting over a very common nickname—but soon members of both generations began to make their case for and against the most debated local nickname since "Zoosiana."
To add even more confusion to the conversation the Lafayette Memories admin seemingly made a tongue-in-cheek decision to change the group name to Laffy (it wasn't well-received).
Here's a solid example of the debate for anyone who wants to dig through the comments.
Developing Lafayette followed suit with a humorous logo update as the debate continued to go viral.
Another member of the group actually took the time to do some unofficial research and yielded these results.
By Monday, a trivial weekend Facebook argument turned into something that felt like it could possibly be discussed at the next LCG council meeting. And for what it's worth, people are debating over a nickname that probably wasn't even given to us by anyone who is actually from here.
After the news went viral, the admin offered the following words—which are definitely worth reading.
Wow. I wanted to get people talking...and you've certainly been talking! Who knew something as simple as a name would have stirred up so much emotion. We even made the news!
One thing that's become very clear during the past day is that you guys have so much passion for Lafayette. I love that. Please remember that your experiences are not everyone's experiences. Lafayette means something different to each one of us, and we shouldn't belittle others just because their experience is different from ours. For me, it's where I met my wife (at Joey's), where my three biological daughters were born (Women's & Children's), and where I got started in my career in economic development (at LEDA). I don't know if I'll ever live there again, but I'll always miss you guys and will visit every chance I can.
I started this group 11 or 12 years ago to give us all a place to share stories and teach each other about Lafayette's colorful history. Since then I've spent hundreds of hours moderating the group, keeping the conversations civil and on course. It's allowed me to maintain a connection to a city that means so much to me, and the name-calling and vicious attacks have really hit hard. This group is part of me and I love reading the things you guys share. Here's what's going to happen next: Facebook allows you to change group names every 28 days; once we've hit that mark, we'll change back to Lafayette and everything will go back to normal. Right?
Stay cool, Lafayette/Hub City/Vermilionville/Laffy/and whatever other nicknames you embrace. Love you guys.
The silver lining here is that at least the polarizing nickname is pronounced "Laffy" and not "Lahffy." I would hate to see the debates that would ensue over "The Flats" or "Laffy Taffy."
Nicknames and abbreviations are very common when it comes to cities and their respective surrounding neighborhoods, wards, and districts. A few that come to mind are NOLA, H-Town, San Fran, and Chi-Town. When it comes to shopping and art districts, I immediately think of places like Little Five Points in Atlanta, Fairfax in L.A., SoHo in New York, Deep Ellum in Dallas, and most recently I discovered the NoDa Art District in Charlotte.
Personally, I think it adds a lot of character to any area and we've definitely got enough of that to go around for anyone visiting our area. It also made me wonder if people get this heated over Da Berry (New Iberia), Da Cro (Carencro), or The Ville (St. Martinville). Also, are there any local nicknames that I don't know about?
Do you have a nickname for Lafayette? If so, share it—and be sure to love our unique city, no matter what you call it.