Copyright (c) 1999 Maney
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Throughout American history, violence has been more common in southern and western states than in northern states and violence continues to be viewed more positively and constructively in these regions. Two studies are presented which test the hypothesis that regional differences in violent behaviors and attitudes are reflected in geographic names. The first shows that place names in the South and West are more likely than place names in the North to begin with “violent” words such as gun and war. The second study extends the investigation beyond place name “fossils” to contemporary name choices and shows that business names in the South and West are more likely than those in the North to begin with violent words. Implications of these naming patterns for the maintenance of regional differences in violence are discussed.
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