People are naturally curious, especially when they meet someone from out of town. It’s no surprise that people from Louisville are asked a lot of (sometimes mildly offensive) questions when people find out where we’re from. Here are ten of the most common queries so you can try to think up a good answer for when you’re asked:
1. Is it pronounced "Loo-ee-ville" or "Louis-ville?"
Actually, most people pronounce it "Loo-uh-vul," but we’ll understand you either way.
2. You must be a University of Louisville sports fan, right?
This is one of the most divisive topics in all of Louisville history. Sure, a lot of Louisvillians support UofL, but loyalties are divided right down the middle of the population, with just as many people supporting the University of Kentucky.
3. Do you go to the Derby every year?
Louisville is probably best known as the "Derby City" and home of Churchill Downs, where the Kentucky Derby is run on the first Saturday in May each year. It’s understandable to ask this one!
4. When you go to the Derby, do you wear one of those big fancy hats?
This is something that is not always clear to outsiders. Basically, there are two types of people who go to the Derby: those that sit up in the high seats to watch the race, and those who watch from the infield. The people in the stands tend to wear the fancy hats. The people in the infield wear whatever they want, and turn the whole thing into a wild party.
5. What is the weather like in Louisville?
It may sound like a mundane question, but let's be honest: what is the weather NOT like in Louisville? One day it’s sixty degrees, the next it is snowing. Just please don't ask about how you should dress if you come to visit, because we simply don’t know what to tell you!
6. Do you all marry your cousins and walk around barefoot?
Ummm... what? This is a very pervasive Kentucky stereotype that is simply not true, especially in Louisville. While this idea is a negative caricature those who live more in the hills of Kentucky, Louisville is a big city with plenty of dating options (
beyond our cousins), and plenty of shoe stores. Don’t ask this one unless you really want to offend someone!
7. Do you know Jennifer Lawrence?
While it is true that Jennifer Lawrence, one of the most popular actresses at the moment, is from Louisville, she also left the city to pursue her movie career when she was around fourteen years old. So, unless you are speaking to one of her childhood friends or someone who happened to meet her on one of her return trips to the city, the answer to this question is probably "no."
8. What about Muhammad Ali? Did you ever meet him?
Muhammad Ali was the greatest, and every Louisvillian is proud to say that they were born in the same city as he was. Chances are a bit higher that someone has met Muhammad Ali, as he often came to events in Louisville and met fans.
9. Why do you call it "pop" and not "soda?"
In many cities, soft drinks are called "sodas," but you will never hear anyone in Louisville use that word (and if you use it in front of them, they will probably tease you about it). Louisvillians say "pop" or "coke" when referring to a soft drink. We don't know why, that’s just how it is.
10. Do you eat fried chicken all the time?
Again, fried chicken is more of a Kentucky-wide thing (think Colonel Sanders and KFC). While Louisvillians surely enjoy some of the best fried chicken restaurants in the world, that isn’t all we eat. Louisville has some fantastic food, it would be a shame to miss out on all of it by just sticking to one thing!
Have you ever been asked any of these questions? Are there any that should be added to the list? Share your thoughts in the comments below!