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Sunday, January 30, 2022

What is the Snobbiest State, and What Criteria Would You Use?


A reader question:

 Hi Muffy,

I don't know if you already covered this but I thought of you and your readers as I came across this list of the Snobbiest States from last April.   All six New England states made the top ten and I thought the reactions from Boston were a hoot!

I would be curious what you readers would consider the snobbiest states.

Thank you!


47 comments:

  1. South Carolina didn't make the list?

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    1. Living in Virginia, I've heard it said that North Carolina is a vale of humility between two mountains of conceit.

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  2. Wine, ubiquitous as it is, is a poor criterion for determining sagacity. Perhaps if they used port we'd have a better indicator.

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    1. Or beer! Texas thinks it's all that and a bag of chips.

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    2. The best chips are made by Julio's in Del Rio accompanied by a bottle of Modelo. Personally. I drink a gin rickey to keep the malaria in check. Enuff said.

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    3. A gin and tonic would stand you in better stead for malaria prevention, dear Texan- the quinine is crucial.

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  3. Snobbery never looks good on anyone. In Europe it has more negative connotations. The articles should have used the terms "elitist" or "posh".

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    1. Perhaps posh, not elitist. Elitist has even more negative connotations in Europe in recent years, mainly due to self named "elite establishment", political and economical, shady "business" people, they too like to name themselves elite. Former taxi driver as a vice-chancellor of the biggest EU country as one more great example...Noblesse oblige they say. There is a negative snobbery indeed, loads of it and there is a positive snobbery I would say. Much more of the first one of course. This is about Europe, looking forward to hear about most snobbiest states in the US. Apologies for my English.

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  4. These are the snobbiest towns in these states; Darien, Connecticut, Manchester “by-the-sea” Massachusetts, Scarsdale, New York, Newport, Rhode Island, Stowe, Vermont. Everyone knows.

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    1. Scarsdale is unfairly maligned! I grew up there and have visited my parents a lot there. I never noticed much snobbery.

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    2. Larchmont, Mamaroneck and especially Bronxdale would all take issue with you saying Scarsdale is snobbier.

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  5. Snobbiest with good reason: Connecticut. Snobbiest without good reason: Texas. Reverse snobbery: Colorado. Aspires to snobbery: Mississippi.

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  6. Used to be snobby: Virginia. Will be snobby in the future: Vermont. Has never heard of snobby: Montana. Has heard of snobby and assumes it's bad: West Virginia. Thinks they're snobby but their not: Florida. Snobby for the longest: Massachusetts. Should be snobby but isn't: New Hampshire. Shouldn't be snobby but it: Maine. Looks down on snobbery with snobby contempt: California.

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    1. Currently living in West Virginia, there is no snobbery here.

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  7. Secretly admires snobbery: South Carolina. Openly contemptuous of snobbery: New Jersey. Most subtle snobbery: Delaware. Least subtle snobbery: New York.

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  8. Rankings are inherently driven by the chosen criteria. Using Ivy schools as a criterion virtually guarantees a Northeast-weighted result. Education excludes large swaths of the country. Wine pulls in California and Oregon, the big producing states. Though wine and champagne can be 'snobby,' i don't think of box wine or three buck chuck that way.

    There are plenty of other data points that could be used to flag people for being elitist: graduates from colleges currently ranked in the US News top 25; ownership of luxury possessions like expensive jewelry, watches, yachts, motor vehicles, second/third/fourth (and beyond) homes; net worth in excess of $50 million; most consumption of alcoholic beverages that cost more than $100 per bottle (substitute single malt scotch, small batch or single barrel hard alcohol).

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    1. Interesting, most of the " better" Northern schools are a ( strictly unspoken) faux pas/social liability among many in the South. Exceptions that come to mind are BC, for girls,also the old, pre-hemorrage Pine Manor RIP, St. Lawrence, Dartmouth to an extent, Hamilton, Kenyon, and Denison.

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  9. The middle to upper-middle classes along Massachusetts' North Shore tend to be unpleasantly snobby. Source: self; was retail worker in stores that catered to them.

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  10. Bud's Eye's comments are a hoot and they ring true to me. I think of Connecticut as the snobbiest-seeming state and Texas as the most snobby state outright. But I think in different regions, "snobby" can mean anything from elitist to chauvinistic. From that perspective, snobbiness abounds almost everywhere.

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  11. This needs the same reminder as used for the well-kmown, original "Preppy Handbook"; tongue-in-cheek rules and only as "real" as you wish for it! Why stop with wine when we can add bottled water, energy drinks and organic, shade-grown, fair trade coffee to the criteria? Why use the "humanities" for a snobbery scale when there are plenty of stuffed shirts in the USA that have no academic credentials whatsoever? Why is the Zippia article so poorly written? All of these comments are simply rings of smoke without substance, and I agree that Bud's Eye's comments are a hoot! ;-)

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  12. Fun topic.

    I basically agree with the rankings, New England is definitely provincial, and not tolerant of rubes from elsewhere. And they truly believe they are the center of the known universe. For example, here is the famous New Yorker USA map:

    https://brilliantmaps.com/new-yorkers-world/

    As you notice, there’s nothing much worth seeing out there beyond the Hudson River.

    Yes, New England is crawling with unbearable know-it-all, self-righteous kolidge graduates who don’t believe in free speech or opinions other than their own. I believe it’s called being sanctimonious. And it always amazes me how such an intelligent, educated, sophisticated populace could always be voting for such crazy politicians.

    Want to meet some real snobs like you find in Boston? Please, check out Seattle, Washington, a place I had the misfortune of living in once-upon-a-time. Perhaps, at least the snobs in Boston have some justification simply not found in the Pacific Northwest. High-tech geeks, with more money than taste or manners, and grunge rocker slugs ueberalles. Remember these are the same wonderful, violent people who took over and seceded their downtown from the Union in the summer of 2020.

    Human beings being territorial mammals, it’s only natural to be proud of your own state even if outsiders don’t agree with you. How snobby this is depends on a lot of factors besides those listed in the article.

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  13. I prefer good natured trash talk to the hubris of snobbery.

    The traditional way to tan a deer hide is to use the deer brain in the tanning process. You can still get brain-tanned deer hide. Well, a Nebraskan told me that when you go squirrel hunting you should NEVER shoot the squirrel in the head, because if you do you then have to shoot 3 guys from Missouri to get enough brains to tan the hide. I am sure Missourians have a retort.

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  14. That article on Zippia was written by someone with the IQ of a Chiclet. "Wine is a bit of a smug beverage."

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    1. Still, you have to admire the line: How do you tell someone went to Harvard? You don’t, but trust me, they’ll tell you.

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    2. It's so true...

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    3. And alumni/alumnae of certain schools, most notably Harvard and Yale, will not only let you know upon first meeting but thoughtfully remind you on subsequent encounters. Those who went to school in California, on the other hand, are not likely to let you know they went to Cal, Stanford, one of the Claremont colleges, or Cal Tech.

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    4. True story, we were attending our son's lacrosse match (I know, I know) at Greenwich High School (we were the visiting team). One of the Greenwich player's fathers introduced himself and it took him less than two minutes to let us know he was a Harvard alum. It became the running joke for the balance of the season.

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  15. Y'all seem to be having a problem with the definition of snob. In the case of this list, it appears to be the states where you are most likely to deal with someone who is a snob about art, wine, etc. It is not about the likelihood of dealing with someone who thinks his or her state is the best thing ever.

    So for example, Texans would not qualify under the most likely to be a snob, unless y'all think our chili and country music opinions are snobby. However, we would certainly qualify for the latter definition. In that regard, we're full of it.

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    1. No, their list isn't about where you are likely to deal with someone who is a snob about wine. It's simply about which states have a lot of wine drinkers. Who I guess are assumed to be snobs?

      The category of Ivy League colleges is especially laughable -- it's not how many people in the state went to Ivy League colleges, it's about how many Ivy League colleges there are in the state! So presumably the used car dealer up in Plattsburgh, NY is snobbier than the one in Brattleboro, NH because there are two Ivy League colleges in NY State.

      I can't believe I wasted another minute on this. It really is sub-mental.

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    2. It's easy to generalize. Wealth and elitism often go hand-in-hand, whether it's the Boston Brahmins or old/new Texas money.

      Barbecue and chili vary enough among states and regions that it's more of a state pride/style debate than elitism, as if anyone would be a snob in a discussion about brisket, chili, or the alcoholic beverage one uses to wash it down (probably not wine).

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    3. Mon cher Satre, I know I speak for all Muffiites when I say how sorry we are for embracing a sub-mental topic with such enthusiam. We, unlike you, are lost in a void of meaningless thought and speech. You, unlike we, live and think in a rarified world of existentialism, a concept so subtle and at the same time so complicated and ephemeral that mere mortals are unable and perhaps more importantly, uninclined, to consider it. We, therefore, look to you to contribute a more erudite topic for all in Muffy land to ponder.

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    4. I must be sub-mental then ... I just wasted a minute reading Sartresky comments. Sorry.

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  16. I'd comment, but I'm from Vermont...

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  17. "Looks like the northeast may have a smug problem." because of all the college graduates? I can think of other ways of wording the disparity, but that wouldn't make the other 40 feel very good.

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  18. OMG you all have missed it. (With apologies to Professor Satre above), by far, without question, bar none the snobbiest state is the smallest, first state: Delaware. Delaware is the only state with one and only one monarchial family: DuPont. From the DuPonts were spawned a few precious thousand of relatives over the past century, all of whom live just outside Wilmington with a second home in Rehobeth Beach. These folks look down on everybody because, well, they can.

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    1. But do the DuPonts (of which there are a smattering in Osterville) have their own poem? I think not.

      And this is good old Boston,
      The home of the bean and the cod,
      Where the Lowells talk to the Cabots,
      And the Cabots talk only to God.

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    2. Touche, Patsy. You nailed it! Love that poem!

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  19. 02138: the World's Most Opinionated ZIP Code.

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  20. I know it is not a state, but you seem to have left out DC

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  21. Who has the time or temperament to sit in judgement of others based on their place or residnece?

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    1. Those who keep open their minds, and their eyes and ears when they travel.

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  22. As someone with homes in New York, Connecticut and California, I am happy to make the list three times!

    I'm not sure I'd use booze consumption as a decider... A more reliable leading indicator might be: The amount of twenty-five year plus Volvos still on the road X Harris Tweeds in circulation + Ivy degrees X Black Labs, that answer to the names of famous authors

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  23. Silly topic really, it is of course Delaware but one very specific parcel that runs north from Wilmington to Longwood. We called it "The Kennett Pike" and dear old Pierre purchased the road, so we no longer need to fuse with that silly toll business. Now the trades people call it Route 52 which I find very impersonal. All the best families live here in homes built by our grandparents. We don't go out much anymore, but on occasion we will stop in at Buckley's in Centerville. If I may I will share a short story. Mother told us that Grandmother had the driver stop once and she went inside unescorted and had a Bloody Mary after a fall during a point to point at Winterthur. we still laugh about that one.
    Good evening.

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  24. As someone who graduated from what I like to call a "fairly prestigious" institution of higher learning in New England, I will happily acknowledge the complete superiority of New Englanders while I sit on a beach in South Florida enjoying the balmy 70 degree weather and a breakfast Bloody Mary.

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