Nom-Du-Luths

The other day, I heard somebody refer to Duluth in passing as “the back of beyond.” Nothing official, or even a phrase restricted to Duluth for that matter, but I really liked it. What are some other official and unofficial ways you use to describe the Duluth? Little turns of phrase, short descriptions, or casual nicknames are great. As far as I’m concerned, the more personal the better.

Also, the January in Duluth project is buzzing along, including a piece of mythological short fiction that links Prometheus and the unseasonably warm weather of the first couple January weeks.

53 Comments

Herzog

about 3 years ago

Norwegian Riviera. Pauper's Paradise. San Francisco of Minnesota. The Big Unsexy. Paris of the North. A chance for foreign sailors to kiss the ground, piss and shag. No Mans Land. A good place to have an old fashioned, love/hate relationship with your city. Does anyone know how close we are to engineering a Superior friendly Beluga Whale?

Claire

about 3 years ago

I sometimes describe Duluth as a city on the edge of the universe.

Adam Carr

about 3 years ago

Also, feel to make up a totally new one if you're so inclined.

TimK

about 3 years ago

Duluth is like heaven -- without all that messy, being dead shit.

Bayfieldwis

about 3 years ago

San Fran of the Northland! I agree! Zenith City....

Claire

about 3 years ago

Duluth is more like the Seattle of the Midwest to me than San Francisco, b/c Seattle has its gritty pockets, as well as the extreme wealth. I know SF does too, but it's different...

Jadiaz

about 3 years ago

The Liberal Slant

baci

about 3 years ago

San Fransisco is the Duluth of the West.

markryan

about 3 years ago

In the movie FAR NORTH, actor Charles Durning refers to Duluth as "...this Christless country". I've posted this here before but since you're new to Duluth this movie compilation may amuse you and give some insight into how the outside world sometimes views the Zenith City. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0VIgjSJFFc

Shane

about 3 years ago

The Air-conditioned City.

vicarious

about 3 years ago

Greater Ashland. Outer Proctor. The Two County Metro Area.

jaustin

about 3 years ago

I'm surprised Big E hasn't chimed in with "Ice Station Zebra" with which he frequently refers to Duluth.

consuelo

about 3 years ago

Nordic Hell. Land of Incompetent Pizza.

in.dog.neato

about 3 years ago

How about "home"?

Ted Heinonen

about 3 years ago

Aside from telling friends I live next to the unsalted sea Lake Superior I borrow from the popular TV show Northern Exposure and the character Maurice Minefield's description of that fictional city as the "Riviera of the North." It fits Duluth quite well.

bud

about 3 years ago

End of the road.

Claire

about 3 years ago

I call Ely the end of the road, not Duluth. I also sometimes say, "Duluuuuuuth" when people ask me where I live.

Paul Lundgren

about 3 years ago

PDD's Fairy Research Spy notes that the Duluth News Tribune held a contest in 1910 to nickname Duluth and Superior. The Two Chocolate Drops?

Paul Lundgren

about 3 years ago

Here's the continuation. How does "The Siamese of the Great Lakes" grab you? Lakes Twins? The Iron and Wheat Cities? The Mint Cities? For fans of the long in limbo Dusu website, two suggestions above are "Dusuport" and "Dusuwinnie."

HappyHippo

about 3 years ago

That is an interesting list at the end of the article. I've got to love Mrs. Merriam's suggestion of "Duluth and Superior."

TimK

about 3 years ago

I believe the culturally correct term would be "the conjoined twins of the Great Lakes."

CreditUnioner

about 3 years ago

A Beautiful City on the hill with an unfortunate view of Superior.

Barrett Chase

about 3 years ago

One that I kind of hate is "D-Town."

consuelo

about 3 years ago

D-Town... I hate 'Sup-town', or worse, 'soup town'. You never know how people picture it being spelled when they say it, though (assuming they're literate). Why is that everything good happened in 1910?

Barrett Chase

about 3 years ago

Gild spelled it Süptown.

Barrett Chase

about 3 years ago

I suppose this is a good place to trot out this juvenile list from 2003: Duluth | Dull-youth Superior | Inferior Superior | Siberior NorShor Theatre | Norse Whore Theatre Center for Personal Fitness | Center for Personal Fatness Fond du Luth Casino | Fondle-youth Casino Electric Fetus | Electric Penis The Lamplighter | The Limplifter Anchor Bar | Wanker Bar Androy Hotel | Android Hotel The Capri | The Crapi The Capri | The Debris The Reef | The Queef The Palace | The Phallus

Dave P

about 3 years ago

I like John W. Butt's suggestion for Duluth and Superior from Paul's article: "The Quick and the Dead." "The Terminal Cities" is my second favorite. DVCB, your work is done.

Dave P

about 3 years ago

That should be DCVB (Duluth Convention and Visitors Bureau).

Swan

about 3 years ago

Call it anything but the "Northland."

Tony D.

about 3 years ago

Bewildered Superiorites in the 1860s wondered who would ever want to build a city on "that pile of rocks" and called Duluthians "cliff dwellers." Up until 1873, Duluth was known often as "Jay Cooke's Town" because most everything in Duluth was financed by the Philadelphia banker. That also prompted the nickname "Philadelphia of the West." (Duluth's St. Paul's Episcopal Church, named for Cooke's family church in Pennsylvania, was called "Jay Cooke's Church.") Later West Duluth was considered "New Pittsburgh" or "Pittsburgh of the West" because of its promise as a center for metal fabrication. And due to the fact that Duluth is roughly three miles wide and 27 miles long and curves along the St. Louis River, it once shared "Crescent City" with New Orleans. In the 1905 "Mataafa Storm," a bulk carrier named the Crescent City (letters on its stern read "Crescent City of Duluth.) She ran aground two miles east of Lester Park; the entire crew took a ladder to safety. Shane, glad you mentioned "Air Conditioned City." It has been in use since at least the 1930s: I have a linen postcard featuring the slogan. My favorite is still Dr. Thomas Foster's 1866 "Zenith City of the Unsalted Seas."

blind

about 3 years ago

Surprised this isn't mentioned here already, but, of course: The Twin Ports is one of the standards. Also, Mr. Milwaukee, you do realize you need to do a post on Christopher Bjerkness, don't you?

FranceneStarr

about 3 years ago

Outer Proctor!!!!! Proctor is funny on its own, but Outer Proctor is so perfect. No offense intended toward Proctor-ites.

Hayburn

about 3 years ago

An alternative to "Zenith City" occurred to me this morning. "The Sylvania Super-Set." Now available in handsome pine-like cabinetry and iron accents. The etymology fits surprisingly well. Sylvan: forest, woods. Super: superior. Set: association of persons. "We may not be the biggest, but a lot of people think we have the best picture." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2hha5eDQB4

in.dog.neato

about 3 years ago

+1 Hayburn...and that it takes three months to warm up.

rhetoricguy@gmail.com

about 3 years ago

"Just-like-Milwaukee, with 1/10th the population and things to do."

The Big E

about 3 years ago

But yeah, "Ice Station Zebra."

doubledutch

about 3 years ago

I wish I were still a hillsider so I could change that to cliff dweller. Does anyone else feel like this thread should be called Noms-du-Luth? There should be a deli called Noms-du-Luth.

bluenewt

about 3 years ago

So when did people start saying "Twin Ports"?

woodtick

about 3 years ago

24 years ago Paul Metsa called it 'Tilt-town'.

adam

about 3 years ago

You're allowed to give anyone who says "Northland" a titty twister.

Paul Lundgren

about 3 years ago

I suppose it's time to announce the winner of the 1910 contest. Bluenewt, here's your answer.

Paul Lundgren

about 3 years ago

And here's the first recognition of "Twin Ports" outside the Twin Ports:

emmadogs

about 3 years ago

I am from Omaha...lived there for 19 years. I now live in the Twin Ports--for the last 20 years. Surely there is a new and official Nom-Du-luth to honor someone such as myself. EMMADOGSVILLE Just sayin'.

Tony D.

about 3 years ago

Got another one for you, Adam: In his 1897 book, "Following the Equator," Mark Twain mocks Duluth as a maritime city because it is thousands of miles from sea (long before the St. Lawrence Seaway opened), he called Duluth "mistress of the commercial marine of the U.S.A" and "American queen of the alien seas!"

Lithis

about 3 years ago

“Paris of the North” always seems weird to me. Paris is farther north than Duluth.

mojowoikin13

about 3 years ago

The far-western port on the largest inland sea

tomahawk70

about 3 years ago

I used to call it "The San Francisco of the North."

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