In 1963, When John F. Kennedy visited West Berlin and announced from the steps of the city hall: “ Ich bin ein Berliner” (I am a Berliner), he won the hearts of many of the city’s residents. But some of the more literal locals snickered at hearing the remark. Knowing that in fact, JFK, was an American, and not a Berliner, perhaps the president was saying that he was a
“berliner,” the name of a popular local pastry. Was the American president referring to himself as something like a jelly donut?
Had Kennedy been in Frankfurt or Hamburg, he probably would have avoided this type of reference altogether, knowing how likening himself to a hot dog or a Big Mac would have delighted Republicans.
Such are the perils of expressing spiritual kinship with foreigners and their cities. But what city or town we hail from is part of our identity. To say one is a New Yorker, Parisian, or Roman, can carry with it more meaning or supposition than mere geographic identification. Usually, reference to our “urban identity” involved simply adding an-er, -ian, or -an to the name of our city. But there are a good number of exceptions, too. Try your hand at matching the names by which the residents of the following cities are called:
©2004, ©2015, James A. Clapp (UrbisMedia Ltd. Pub. 1.1.2004)