You Know You’re from Cincinnati If…

downtown Cincinnati from the West Side

I recently stumbled onto a Facebook group called You Know You’re from Cincinnati If…. I didn’t join [it wouldn’t be right], but I’m copying the group’s fun quiz for all Cincinnati readers, both natives and transplants, along with my answers. I’ve answered the questions off the top of my head, so you can see what one person has learned in three years.

You know you’re from Cincinnati if…

1. Your idea of a three-way is chili over spaghetti topped with cheddar cheese.
Of course!

2. You know what goetta is – and you’ve eaten it.
Well, duh.

3. You hate Cleveland, but you don’t know why, and you’ve never been there.
I’ve only been through Cleveland, but I’d love to check it out. It sounds like a cool place; sorry.

4. You think Pete Rose and Marge Schott were railroaded.
Drawing a blank…

5. You say “Please?” instead of “Excuse me?”
I don’t personally say it, although I’ve created a print about this phenomenon. Speaking of which, earlier this summer, I was on the bus, ready to get off. I rang the bell, and the driver asked, “Is this the stop you want?” I said, “Please.” She repeated louder, “IS THIS THE STOP YOU WANT?”

6. You think Northern Kentucky is part of Ohio.
Come on, no.

7. You’ve been to California, Wyoming, Coney Island, and Over-the-Rhine in one day.
Also Delhi and Lebanon.

8. There are less than 100 murders a year, and you still think you’re in Detroit.

9. You think Dayton is a Third World country.
No, although it does seem like a bit of an armpit compared to Cincinnati.

10. What groundhog? It’s the St. Patrick’s Day parade leprechaun that forecasts how much longer winter will last.

11. Indiana is about 20 miles away, but it takes about four hours to get there.
Isn’t the border about 20 minutes away?

12. You felt personally betrayed and affronted when Skyline changed their jingle.
I don’t know nuthin’ about no jingles.

13. It’s too cold in the winter, and too hot and humid in the summer, to ever stay outside for very long.
That’s true. At least, it’s an ongoing challenge.

14. You drive to Dayton or Louisville to avoid the prices at the Cincinnati airport.
I’ve flown out of Cincinnati, Dayton and Indianapolis, but not Louisville.

15. City council members hold debates on whether or not they should debate in the first place.
That seems to be true.

16. Tourists still flock downtown to catch a glimpse of cast members from “WKRP,” even though the show hasn’t aired on network television since 1984, and the show was filmed in LA anyway.
I haven’t noticed.

17. You ask lifetime residents where the President Taft house is, but they don’t know either.
I know it’s in Mt. Auburn, but I haven’t been.

18. If you do something — anything — in public long enough, sooner or later it will be banned.
Hmm, really?

19. Your low-fat diet is never low enough to exclude Graeter’s ice cream.
What’s with all this Graeter’s love? It’s good and all, but it’s hardly the best ever. Of the local options, I prefer Aglamesis.

20. You get through winter listening to Marty and Joe’s broadcasts from the grapefruit leagues.
I can’t even guess what this is about.

21. Big Red Smokies are a ballpark treat, not cause to dial 9-1-1.
Are these hot dogs?

22. If necessary, the city could easily be sliced into two new cities: East and West, and it would take 20 years for anyone to notice something happened.

23. Chocolate and cinnamon, not peppers and beans, are in your chili.
I swing both ways.

24. You can drive 30 minutes in any direction to hear a different accent than your own.
Well, okay, except that everyone still speaks with the same Midwestern base accent, so it’s not really that different.

25. You can accurately judge people’s social status by which Kroger’s store they frequent.
Or, they can judge mine. Vine St. Kroger, baby!

26. You can go to any church festival in any neighborhood on any weekend and see at least five people you either work with, went to school with, or dated.
I haven’t yet had the pleasure of attending a church festival.

27. Even the slightest mention of former baseball commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti makes your blood boil and your ears steam.
Err… What?

28. If the temperature hits 45 degrees, and the sun comes out in any month between November and April, people walk around downtown wearing shades and no jackets.
Now that’s just silly.

29. The top stories on the local 6 o’clock evening news look suspiciously like the articles you read in the newspaper that very morning — and even use the same quotes.
Unless they’re quoting the NYT, I haven’t noticed. Oh, wait, I don’t watch the local news.

30. Any carbonated beverage is a “pop.”
No, it’s not.

31. Your favorite convenient store sounds like a labor union.
Is this a reference to UDF? No, and it’s a “convenience store.”

32. You can’t hear the words “Mike Brown” without getting angry.

33. You honestly believe that Pete Rose should be in the Baseball Hall Fame.
Umm, in so far as I care?

34. You have more stadiums, coliseums, and arenas than you know what to do with.
For me personally, I guess so.

35. It doesn’t seem weird to you that everyone has an Uncle Al.
Is that the guy from the TV show that everyone watched as a kid?

36. Your favorite Coney Island isn’t in New York.
You probably already know that this isn’t true.

37. You like Nick Clooney better than George Clooney.
Who’s Nick Clooney? George’s brother?

38. You know how Jerry Springer got his start.
This I do know.

39. You know what a pony keg is.
I think so. It’s like a bodega, right? But also a miniature keg?

40. You have friends and neighbors with names like Machenheimer, Guckenberger, Schlottman, Schoenling, and Schweitering.
Not at all, and all these weird German names are really confusing to me, as I’m sure my last name might be to you.

41. You know that cars (like eggs) are cheaper in the country.

42. An all-boys or all-girls school doesn’t seem that odd to you.
No, it really does.

43. You think a mixed marriage is when an East Sider marries a West Sider.
I can’t even come up with a snarky remark for this one.

44. You know the difference between Hudy and “Who Dey.”
One is a beer. The other is… I don’t know… a Bengals’ related celebratory retort?

45. You know what cream ale is, and you think that cream soda should be bright red.
What? I think cream soda should be brownish.

46. You think Kentucky is only slightly more civilized than Afghanistan.
I think it gets a bad rap. Doesn’t Kentucky offer health insurance to artists?

47. You know in which state the Greater Cincinnati Airport is located.

48. You actually understand the word, “CRAVE” and White Castle burgers.
I thought I understand the word; what else does it mean?

49. You can almost name the seven “hills” minus one or two.
I think I can name seven — Mt. Adams, Mt. Auburn, Mt. Healthy, Prospect Hill, Price Hill, Walnut Hills [does that count as more than one?], College Hill. Are these the right seven?

50. You’ve seen and know the Bengals’ Johnsons and it’s not because you’re a ho.
Chad and…

51. You’ve done the chickendance downtown in a group of hundreds, and been proud.
Of course not.

52. When you’re feeling good ‘n’ hungry, you know what time it is.
Umm, does this have to do with Frisch’s or something?

53. You know LaRosa’s phone number by heart.
No; I haven’t even eaten there.

54. You love highschool football far more than college football.
I have no love for either.

55. People ask you what you school you went to and you tell them your highschool, not your college…and they know people in your graduating class.
Ahh, yes, the provincial calling card.

56. You live by the motto: “If it’s Brown, flush it down!”
Actually, I remember learning those rules of water-saving in 6th grade during a drought. Is that what this is about? Or are we talking about football again?

57. You know that playing cornhole doesn’t happen after you drop the soap in the shower.
I do know that. What I don’t understand is the above statement, or the t-shirt that proclaims “cornhole — not as gay as it sounds.” Someone please enlighten me.

58. You wouldn’t cheer for the Steelers if they were playing Iraq.
I understand that I’m not supposed to.

59. You pay more attention to the Crosstown shootout than March Madness.
Both are college basketball, right? What’s the difference?

60. You hear Miami and you automatically think of Oxford.
No, actually, this is one of the things that always confuses me. And also UK, when it’s short for the University of Kentucky.

61. You sit around on the weekend complaining that there’s nothing to do, knowing damn well there are two pro sports teams, US Bank Arena, tons of nightclubs, museums, and stage performances.

62. You think Touchdown Jesus is up I-75, not at Notre Dame.
Is there another Touchdown Jesus at Notre Dame?

63. You think the Eiffel Tower is sea-foam green and in an amusement park

64. You call Kroger “Kroger’s” and just found out you were wrong
No, I don’t arbitrarily use the possessive form.

65. You have been offended by the term Cincitucky.
I thought it was Cintucky.

66. You know that Nasti Nati is not an insult to your city.
I guess, but what does it refer to?

67. You only purchase Procter & Gamble products.
Not at all.

68. You think the day of the WEBN fireworks should be a national holiday
What? Isn’t it?

69. You know the Reds were the first professional baseball team.
Yes, although it seems to me that the second professional baseball team would really be the key one, as its existence finally enabled a professional game to be played. Am I right?

Feel free to correct my errors and add your answers in the comments!


26 thoughts on “You Know You’re from Cincinnati If…

  1. Of all your snarky comments though, that last one was the A++. Perhaps I’ll try my hand at this later. Though, as another transplant, I’m sure many of my “huh?” answers would fall in many of the same places.

  2. This is kinda dated. Some of this stuff is about 40 years old. They seem to have done away with the Kwik brothers question, tho.
    Dayton might look like an armpit in places but the people up there are normal, at least. Everybody in Dayton had an Uncle Orrie. And ate decent potato chips.
    You are right, Aglamesis is better for ice cream. Heck, I can tell that & I don’t even like ice cream. Graeter’s baked goods are crap.
    The good ā€˜nā€™ hungry thing is bugging me because it sounds familiar. Like I said, some of this stuff is old. A 25 year old native wouldn’t get some of it.
    I have no idea why a town in Florida is named after an indian tribe from the Ohio river valley.

  3. Oh, okay. So, it’s just not my outsider’s ignorance. Feel free to explain “uncle Orrie” to me.

    When I was in high school, I found it funny that a school in Ohio is named after a town in Florida. I guess I thought it was deceptive advertising! Of course, I went to school in Ithaca, so…

  4. Girl, get it together. OPRAH has chosen Graeter’s for the O-List, and it always makes it into any top ten national list of the best ice creams and is often number one. They sell it in NYC for some ridiculous amount per pint. Come on!

    I think when they say the President Taft House they are possibly referring to The Taft Museum, where we had endlessly long boring field trips every year in elementary school.

    Church Festivals are really boring. Maybe I am the only one who felt this way because I’m not Catholic and that’s where they usually go down.

    Nick Clooney is George’s father, used to be on local TV when I was a kid (back in the Uncle Al era – oh, I can’t tell you where President Taft’s Mt. Auburn house is, but I can tell you where Uncle Al’s is!).

    LaRosa’s sauce is really good, and they cut the pizza in squares.

    Pete Rose holds the records for the most hits. I tend to see him every time I’m in Vegas, no joke. here’s a picture of Pete and Me at Caesar’s Palace. Sadly, NO ONE wanted his autograph…
    I meet pete rose in vegas

    He does sign them “The Hit King” Yikes.

    Alright, sorry, your quiz got me traveling down memory lane!

  5. Oh, snap, I didn’t mean to start an ice cream war! As long as I’m being contrarian, I’ll point out that, hands down, the best frozen dairy dessert in town is Madisono’s Gelato. Take that, Graeter’s fans!

    I was thinking of this Taft house — “From the time of his birth in 1857 until he embarked on a political career that would win him the two highest offices in the nation, William Howard Taft lived here, surrounded by family and what his mother called ‘inspiration to everything that was good.'”

    The Taft Museum may seem a bit staid at times, but I just checked out the current Chemistry of Color exhibit there, and it’s unfuckingbelievable. It’s so, so good.

    As for LaRosa’s pizza, do you mean that it’s all Sicilian? I’ve developed serious trust issues about pizza since moving to Cincinnati. In fact, I’ve pretty much given up on it entirely, other than the occasional homemade pizza.

    The Pete Rose business is [maybe] sort of like Daryl Strawberry in NYC. I can’t care about it, but I’m impressed that you met him!

  6. LaRosa’s is pretty midwestern. I really don’t get the “this is pizza and this is not, this is chili and this is not” mindset.
    Uncle Orrie was just a Dayton kid show host who retired in 1969 ! I thought he went well into the late 70s. They carted in boy/girl scout troops to sit on bleachers and cheer as Orrie entertained & showed cartoons & junk. I am sure he had a sidekick I can’t remember. Captain Kangaroo & Sesame Street killed all the local stuff.
    As far as Cloonies go, be sure to check out Rosemary, Nick’s sister ?

  7. maybe these are two jingles every Cincinnati kids knows by heart.

    “feeling good and hungry, it’s skyline time….”

    “347-1111. tastes so good…you want it baaaad! Larosa’s!”

  8. honestly…you must be a transplant….because honestly…i’ve lived in NKY all my life and it IS a part of cincinnati…you didn’t even know where to go when you’re feelin’ good and hungry…come on…

  9. Please? šŸ˜‰

    I’m absolutely a transplant and proud of it. I had been living in Cincinnati for 3 years when, for the amusement of you locals, I answered all these questions without doing any research. As you can see, there are a lot of little things that I didn’t know about Cincinnati.

  10. I have always loved this list. I moved to Cinci in1980 from South Carolina. We lived in Mt. Adams our first four years and my Dad thought we were traitors.
    Living on the wrong side of the river. Then we had the two “Yankee” grand children. We told him they were mid-westerners but he never go the concept. How could that be the mid-west when we could see Kentucky from our house. We later moved to Loveland and we met people who had not been downtown Cincinnati in 20 years. I drove there everyday to work. Then I adjuncted at the College of Mt. Saint Joe and met young people who had never seen the east side of the county and were afraid to go there (how scary is Indian Hills and Loveland?) I now live in Maryland on the DC belt loop in an area that has the highest % of car thefts. My neighbors and students are a smorgosborg of the world. I like it here and I am near my daughter but I do miss the life and people of the Nati!

  11. Gail, thanks so much for sharing! We moved here just over 5 years ago and really found Cincinnati’s quirks fascinating. On our first day here, we walked down to the river, and I remember thinking, “Are we looking at the South?” That seems so ignorant now that I’ve been here for a while and have [sort of] accepted Northern Kentucky as part of the metro area.

  12. And Aglamesis Brothers Ice Cream beats Greaters to us. But Dr. Daddy had to bring home a UDF shake to a sick girl are she would never get well (you can not beat the locations and hours when you have a sick kid and you are in a rush home from work)!!!!!!!

  13. 31 is actually a correct statement because “Convenient” stores were one of the most popular convenience stores in the Cincinnati area before they all became Ameristops. So the older locals still call most stores “Convenient”

  14. “Good ‘n hungry”? IT’S SKYLINE TIME
    Graeter’s is the best. Period.
    Yes. Not soda. Pop.
    Nick Clooney is George’s dad. My grandparents are friends with the Clooneys.
    Barq’s cream soda is bright red, and it is angel juice amazingness.
    CRAVE= White Castle crave case
    I didn’t know the Eiffel Tower wasn’t green until 2nd grade
    I will never say Kroger. It is always Krogers to me.
    P&G FTW

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  16. Your pissy little comments really jerked my chain the wrong way. Why make fun of things near and dear to people who actually love the city of Cincinnati when it’s clear you are not one of them? You would know what these things are if you took part in local events and gave your business to local vendors. Shame on you. You’re a snob and quite frankly I hope you get the hell out of my city and never come back.

  17. Anna, I’m really sorry you feel this way. This post is 4 years old, but I’ve lived in Cincinnati for 7 years now and, in that time, I’ve done my best to maintain an ongoing curiosity about this place. Certain things just don’t resonate with me, like sports references, or commercial jingles, or the high school pedigree thing. So what?

    I explore Cincinnati from my own vantage point, getting to know many cultural attractions, interesting neighborhoods and unique businesses along the way. My outsider’s perspective betrays my ignorance but also frees me from some of the “native” baggage. It’s not a better point of view; it’s just the one that happens to be mine and, if you have some spare time, I encourage you to peruse the many other Cincinnati-centric posts on this blog, like this one.

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  20. Sorry but Kroger’s is correct. I am going to Kroger’s. You don’t go to Tom house, you go to Tom’s house. It’s said that way because because people were saying lets go to Mr. Kroger’s store to get food. If his name was Smith, you would not say let’s go to Mr. Smith store.

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