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From flatland +‎ -er.


flatlander (plural flatlanders)

  1. (chiefly derogatory) A person who lives at low altitude (used by those living at higher altitudes)
    • 1967, Morten Lund, Bob Laurie, Skiers' Paradise: 100 Best Ski Runs in North America, New York : Putnam
      Texans ski, Virginians ski, New Englanders ski, flatlanders from the Midwest ski. We now have more than 3,000,000 skiers in North America and more than 600 organized ski areas (plus the many small areas with rope tows) to choose from ...
    1. (Western US, especially in the Rocky Mountains) Anyone from the East; anyone from from outside the Rockies.
      • 1983, C. W. Buchholtz, Rocky Mountain National Park: A History, University Press of Colorado
        [...as] Rocky Mountain News termed it. Although some potential visitors would wonder whether it was safe, especially "flatlanders" unaccustomed to mountain driving, Trail Ridge provided a perfect roadbed []
      • 2003, Gayle Tow, Beyond the Golden Gate: A Pioneer Woman's Journey from California's Gold Country to Oregon's Fertile Tillamook Valley (→ISBN):
        Ahead stretched the great Rocky Mountains. For this family of Iowa flatlanders, it was a spectacular sight.
      • 2014, Bill Burch, Return to Rocky Mountain Watershed: Its River - Its People, outskirtspress (→ISBN):
        At least I'm becoming acclimated to the high altitude. She wasn't gasping for breath like most Flatlanders after first arriving in the mountains.
    2. (Appalachia) Any outsider to Appalachia.
      • 1969, Steward Anthropological Society, Journal of the Steward Anthropological Society:
        Briefly put, the image of the "poor" in Appalachia imposed by the poverty workers on these people relies on a faulty model. [] In their own efforts to explain the wary attitudes of Appalachian people toward "flatlanders," the poverty workers  []
      • 1991, Conference on the Appalachian Frontier, Shenandoah Valley Historical Institute, American Frontier Culture Foundation, Appalachian Frontiers: Settlement, Society & Development in the Preindustrial Era:
        [] the mountain folk, as a group, much more frequently opposed the "flatlanders."
      • 1991, Southern Appalachia, 1885-1915: Oral Histories from Residents of the State Corner Area of North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia (McFarland & Company Incorporated Pub):
        The sources of food for a family in Appalachia were more varied than might be assumed by flatlanders. The family garden was the most important.
      • 2004, Appalachian Journal:
        [It's a] powerful story of mountain life, and quite likely it's the most appealing one to both natives and flatlanders alike .
      • 2006, Grace Toney Edwards, JoAnn Aust Asbury, Ricky L. Cox, A Handbook to Appalachia: An Introduction to the Region, Univ. of Tennessee Press (→ISBN), page 4:
        [] throughout the entire period prior to the Civil War, though the percentage was higher in some parts of Appalachia [] as tensions between mountain residents who grew corn on small farms and flatlanders who owned plantations escalated.
      • 2016, Steve Sherman, Julia Older, Appalachian Odyssey: Walking the Trail from Georgia to Maine, Open Road Media (→ISBN):
        “These flatlanders,” he said, “shouldn't be allowed to camp at the shelters. They throw junk all around and take up space. That's all they are, flatlanders.”
      1. (northern central Pennsylvania) Anyone from southern Pennsylvania (particularly around Philadelphia), New Jersey, or other low-lying areas outside the Alleghenies / Appalachians.
        • 2007, Vance Dunbar, Rattlers & Snappers: Reptiles, Amphibians, and Outlaws, AuthorHouse (→ISBN), page 61:
          In north central Pennsylvania there are two types of people— ridge runners and flatlanders. The mountain men of north central Pennsylvania are called ridge runners. I've met many, liked a few, and recorded the stories of two, []
        • (Can we date this quote?), Joseph L. Scarpaci, Kevin Joseph Patrick, Pittsburgh and the Appalachians: Cultural and Natural Resources in a Postindustrial Age, University of Pittsburgh Pre (→ISBN), page 203:
          This paper will examine the tradition of these urbanites from cities like Pittsburgh, New Castle, Sharon, and Erie, Pennsylvania; and Cleveland, Akron, and Youngstown, Ohio; who have been termed "flatlanders," ...
        • 2009, Cathie Linz, Smart Girls Think Twice, Penguin (→ISBN), page 109:
          "Ridgerunners are born and bred in the hills of northern and central Pennsylvania. Basically everyone else is a flatlander." "And flatlanders aren't really to be trusted." "That's not unique to this area," Emma said. "The distrust of outsiders [] "
    3. (northern New England) Any non-native, but particularly one from southern New England (including Massachusetts), downstate New York, or New Jersey.
      • 1992, Michael Sherman, Jennie G. Versteeg, We Vermonters: Perspectives on the Past:
        [] Abenaki resistance in the eighteenth century than with the westward migration of New Englanders in the nineteenth century, but the Abenakis initiated that now time-honored Vermont tradition of discouraging flatlanders from settling here.
      • 2001, Dave Preble, The Fishes of the Sea: Commercial and Sport Fishing in New England, Sheridan House, Inc. (→ISBN), page 30:
        [] southern New Englanders still generally consider their northern brethren to be quaint country bumpkins, and northern New Englanders are still regularly heard referring to their southern brethren, with unmistakable derision, as "flatlanders."
      • 2012, Insight Guides, Insight Guides: New England, Apa Publications (UK) Limited (→ISBN):
        “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without” is a phrase often used to sum up the philosophy of New Englanders to material goods. Small towns are often accused of being cool to outsiders, particularly “flatlanders” moving in from anywhere— particularly anywhere outside New England.
      • 2020, Helena C. Farrell, No Trick or Treats: A Novel, AuthorHouse (→ISBN)
        [] the “Flatlanders,” coined by native New Englanders who were threatened by unknowns or unwanted invaders from the East. These New Englanders, with a long lineage of family in the area, were not pleased with these strangers, who boldly ...
    4. (Upper Peninsula of Michigan) Anyone from Wisconsin.
    5. (Northern Michigan) Anyone from lower Michigan (those below Mt. Pleasant).
    6. (lower Michigan) Anyone from Indiana or Ohio.
    7. (Wisconsin) Anyone from Illinois.
    8. (Georgia) Anyone from Florida.
      • 1991, Stephen King, Needful Things:
        He was drinking a cup of good Jamaican coffee. Gaunt, who seemed like one hell of a nice fellow for a flatlander, had insisted that he have one.
  2. (physics) An inhabitant of or observer in a universe with two spatial dimensions.
    • 1978, Henry Wesley Grayson, The Theory of Relativity Revisited:
      To the flatlander the third dimension necessarily appears to be a process, something he travels through as he moves or is shifted across an area. He cannot occupy more than one position in the third dimension simultaneously.
    • 1979, "A Form of Pantomime", Link, volume 21, part 3, page 86:
      The perceptual acts of the two-dimensional flatlander are seen by the projective Euclidean eyes as funny, [...]
    • 1991, Floyd Merrell, Unthinking Thinking: Jorge Luis Borges, mathematics, and the new physics, page 232:
      For our omniscient Mathematician, on the other hand, the time dimension from the beginning to the end of the game would be copresent, as would be our gaze of a flatlander's world.
    • 2009, Frank Close, Nothing: a very short introduction, page 140:
      Earlier we gave the example of a plane taking off in the third dimension apparently disappearing from the view of a two-dimensional flatlander; analogously, particles appearing from the fifth dimension, or disappearing into it, could be a signal at the LHC that space-time is indeed, like Emmenthal cheese, permeated with little bubbles which are at the edge of our present abilities to measure.
  3. (cycling) A flatland BMX rider.


Related terms[edit]