A Jackson Glossary | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

A Jackson Glossary

Over the years, our readers have contributed to a growing body of Jackson slang, nicknames and inside jokes, proving once again that the JFP readership is the smartest, savviest, funniest group in town. Here are some of the best and most interesting:

Melonheads—Conservative talk-show host Kim Wade (of WJNT-FM) came up with this nickname for ardent supporters of former Mayor Frank Melton.

The Rez—Many people call the Ross Barnett Reservoir simply "The Rez," perhaps because it is so painful to constantly call the name of a white supremacist. JFP Publisher Todd Stauffer is leading a one-man campaign to change the reservoir's name to the Eudora Welty.

"Democrat"—This word is often used as a substitute for "black person" in Mississippi, as in: "A Democrat moved in down the street." When used in such a way, it is meant in a disparaging way. Always respond with "How do you know he or she is a Democrat?" Pause and wait for uncertain stuttering in response to your question.

Jacktown, Jackteezy, Jafrica—Jackson's urban street names. They have the added benefit of sounding a bit less like the city's named for a leader of brutal assaults on Native Americans.

Chimneyville—The longtime nickname of Jackson. Yes, Grant burned us three times during the War Between the States (the preferred name for the Civil War south of the Mason-Dixon). True rebels prefer the "War of 
Northern Aggression."

Sludgehammer—The tool of choice for homes deemed crackhouses by former Jackson Mayor Frank Melton, pronounced just as it's spelled.

N-Jam Club—The nickname JFP editor Donna Ladd gave to conservative Jackson men who belittle anything and everything progressive. It is short for "The North Jackson Angry Men's Club." Members, however, aren't always from north Jackson. It's more a state of mind.

Fondrazon—N-JAMMERS' nickname for the JFP editor. Presumably, it's a fusion between Fondren and Amazon, and is meant to be an insult.

"Virden Dishin"—How locals say Virden Addition.

"Ridgeway"—This was just a street name until July 2005, when Mayor Frank Melton led an entourage to destroy a duplex in the Virden Addition. "Remember Ridgeway" will inevitably become as important a historical phrase as "Remember the Alamo."

Capitol Street Gang—The nickname for the old white power bloc that used to run the city of Jackson.

Brown Society—A disparaging "society" created by now-deceased Jackson Advocate owner/editor Charles Tisdale for African Americans whom he believed worked too closely with white people. Charter members have included the city's first black mayor, Harvey Johnson Jr.

Tote-Sum store—Another name for a convenience store. When you buy things, you get to Tote-Sum stuff away. The originals were white rectangular buildings with green vertical signs reading Tote-Sum that lit up in neon. As new, different stores came in, they were referred to as Tote-sum's as well, no matter what their name, and Tote-Sum took on a generic meaning.

Nabs—Prepackaged snacks such as peanut butter crackers and those little hexagonal cheese crisps.

Jitney 14—What some locals still call the Belhaven McDade's, which was once Miss Welty's favorite Jitney Jungle.

NoFo and SoFo—The inevitable SoHo copycat nicknames for local 

See also:

A Piece of History: The Mississippi River Basin Model

Hidden Spots for Kids

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