16 Things Everyone From Ohio Has to Explain to Out-of-Towners

Ohio Student Work
by Joe Baur Apr 10, 2015

1. Akron is not Cleveland.

I just made the entire city of Akron applaud with this headline alone. Because of LeBron James coming from Akron and playing for Cleveland, everyone thinks Akron is basically a borough of Cleveland. To the contrary, it is indeed its own city.

2. O-H! is a greeting.

It’s very common for Ohioans, no matter where in the world they are, to greet each other using “O-H!” and responding “I-O!” Bonus points for spelling it out with your arms, like the YMCA dance.

3. The Wright Brothers are ours, ALL ours.

The Wright Brothers are a product of the Dayton area. Yes, their first flight was in North Carolina. But they only selected NC for its weather conditions on the specific day they wanted to try to fly. For anyone else to claim the Wright Brothers as their own would be like Utah trying to claim Michael Jordan because he had one of his best games there in 1998. Plus the preeminent museum for all things aviation is in Dayton. Lay off, North Carolina. The Wright Brothers are wright where they belong. (Nailed it.)

4. Basic geography.

Cincinnati is the city in the south on the Ohio River. Cleveland is the one on Lake Erie. Columbus is in the middle. It really isn’t that hard, folks.

5. Appalachian Ohio.

Southeast Ohio in many ways resembles traditional images of West Virginia with its beautiful rolling hills and southern twang. It is, however, still very much Ohio.

6. Our love affair with ice cream.

Ohio is a state of ice creams. More local joints are popping up in each of the three big Cs, but in general we love our Jeni’s and Graeter’s.

7. Superman flew here first.

Superman is a creation of two Clevelanders. He’s our baby and nobody can take that away from us.

8. Cincitucky

Politically-left Cleveland — you might remember us for handing President Obama his second win in 2012 — wants nothing to do with what’s playfully-termed Cincitucky, a slice of southwest Ohio that politically belongs with Kentucky. Maybe even 1950s Kentucky. To be fair, it’s more the area around the city of Cincinnati than the city itself.

9. We don’t give a damn for the whole state of Michigan.

Those are actual lyrics to an actual fight song. Suffice it to say, Ohio State football is a religion here.

10. Get your Budweiser outta here.

Craft breweries have been popping up across the state for the past decade with Cleveland’s Great Lakes Brewing tossing their hat in the ring before it was even cool. Now you can find a good beer from Cleveland to Cincinnati and from Dayton to Zanesville. In other words, we have no need for your water beer.

11. We. Are. Everywhere.

Ohio expands far beyond the manmade political boundaries. Like Kevin Bacon, you’re probably only seven degrees away from an Ohioan at all times.

12. We are a state divided.

On one hand, we are one of the most urban states in the country with incredible history and architecture. On the other hand, we’re a giant suburb where no highway is too expensive to get around the city.

13. Blast Off!

Neil Armstrong and John Glenn ring a bell? Ohio leads the nation in number of astronauts. Houston? All clear.

14. Columbus is a suburb.

Now that cities are becoming cool again, a bit of a urban rivalry has sprouted between the three Cs. Historically, Columbus has absorbed many of the suburbs around it, so be weary if someone from Cbus tells you they live in the city. If they have to drive everywhere and jump on the highway to get to work, then you wouldn’t be blamed for doubting their city-living claims.

15. We are Amish Country.

Bet you didn’t know Ohio leads the nation in Amish, eh? At least it makes for an interesting class field trip when you’re six.

16. Hail to the Chief.

Ohio has also given the United States a handful of presidents — though this has turned into more of a curse than a blessing with the entire country descending onto Ohio once every four years, filling our airwaves with political ads. We hate it. Go away.

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