Poll: Westie vs. West Roxbury - What Do You Call It?

Is referring to our beloved neighborhood as Westie or West Roxbury a matter of class, age, or old vs. new schools?


Westie or West Roxbury? What do you call our beloved Boston neighborhood? Our hamlet with a Bellevue Hill view of the metropolis skyscrapers?

I've heard it called both, Westie and West Roxbury, and I wasn't sure what really is appropriate. Afterall, I didn't grow up in the area, so I asked some local voices, some West Roxbury lifers, an elected official or two, and some expert outsiders.

Is it 'Westie, kid!' I'm looking at you, Catholic Memorial Knights! What do you say, students headed to BLS, BLA and any other school? Is calling it Westie a youth thing, and us old folks don't understand the Westie kids today?

I started with West Roxbury native Michelle Hughes Benfer, who happens to be Senior Regional Publisher of New England for Patch Media - An AOL Company. She also is very pregnant and was a pitching all-star at BLS. Go Wolfpack!

Said Michelle, "Westie is said by those who love West Roxbury."

And that's where we start. How about some elected officials who grew up in the neighborhood?

"We never referred to West Roxbury as Westie when we were younger," said , D-West Roxbury. "I think the first time that I heard it mentioned was from kids from other neighborhoods calling West Roxbury that. It was probably when I went to Boston Latin Academy for 7th and 8th grade and met kids from all over the city."

, a West Roxbury resident, who grew up here, said, "When I was growing up in the 70s and 80s, no one said Westie, but it seems like younger people now say it." 

What do you say young people? Is it Westie? Or is it a matter of class?

West Roxbury Patch columnist Ed Symkus of , said, "I've lived here since 1988, and I've always called it West Roxbury. When I hear someone say Westie, I immediately think of one of those cute little white dogs from the Dewar's Scotch ads."

Fair enough. Sounds like Ed doesn't like Scotch or little white dogs.

Some people are on the other side of Westie being unclassy, like longtime West Roxbury resident Noelle Hallahan, "Using the term Westie is just plain hoodsie. Class is free. Just use West Roxbury. Thank you."

When asked what's the different between calling it Westie and West Roxbury, lifelong West Roxbury resident Kelly Tynan retorted, "One (Westie) was a nickname for a school: West Roxbury High School now ."

Mary Mulvey Jacobson, the wonder of West Roxbury email, and runner-up in the opined, "In my lifetime, I just never heard people calling West Roxbury 'Westie'. Somehow, it just doesn't seem right to me. JP (Jamaica Plain) and Rosie (Roslindale) were common but not Westie."

Expert outsider UniversalHub a.k.a. Adam Gaffin, said, "I don't know, Westie's always struck me as more of an adjective for somebody or something from West Roxbury, not really an alternative name for the neighborhood itself, although the first time I ever saw it used was 'WestiePride' spray-painted on a wall at ."

He added, "But I'm from Rozzie, what do I know?"

Another Boston expert, Gintautas Dumcius, news editor at the Dorchester Reporter, who openly says he's a "Quincy kid" who calls it, "West Roxbury in speech; if I'm texting or emailing, for speed's sake, I call it West Rox."

He added, "I don't recall anybody calling it Westie. Always West Roxbury." He did say that Dorchester residents do refer to that neighborhood as The Dot, when asked if that nickname drew upon class and age, too.

Of course, the , was asked, and he offered, "West Roxbury. It's more formal. Westie is slang. Younger kids call it Westie. Keep it West Roxbury. Call it anything they like - it's still G-d's country."

So what do you call it - Westie or West Roxbury, or both? Please leave your comments below the article.

Dolores Burton March 15, 2012 at 11:02 AM
People from Mattapan call it The Pan and those from Roxbury call it The Berry but we are West Roxbury as far as I'm concerned
Jack Litwinsky March 15, 2012 at 11:15 AM
I have one of those little white dogs so thanks to her I will call this town I moved into three years ago from the republic of Cambridge both !! Depending whom I am talking to!!
Jenn March 15, 2012 at 02:52 PM
West Roxbury!
Stephen Smith March 15, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Growing up It was always West Roxbury, Westie was usually used as an abbreviation of West Roxbury High by its students
Matt March 15, 2012 at 04:16 PM
Shirley Walsh March 15, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Growing up here in the 60's and , it was always West Roxbury. That being said, the 20 somethings that grew up here, my kids included, have renamed it Westie, as in, "where are you from ? - Westie." So - as with anything, time changes our colloquial speech. Both are correct!
Kathy Dragani March 16, 2012 at 12:02 PM
West Roxbury Whenever I heard the term 'Westie' it felt as though poor grammar was being used. Call me a snob if you want...but I grew up in West Roxbury. We have 'Southie' Are we going to call East Boston 'Eastie', and the North End 'Northie'?Leave the name alone!
Matt March 16, 2012 at 02:15 PM
Hey FYI they have been calling East Boston "Eastie" for years. Maybe you should try and get out more. Maybe we should all stop calling: Roche Brothers "Rochies" Dunkin Donuts "Dunkies" Saint Theresa "Saint T's" Catholic Memorial "CM" The West Roxbury Community Center "The Roach Center" The White Hen Pantry "White Hen" RIP West Roxbury & the VFW Parkway “The Parkway” Centre St “Centre” West Roxbury YMCA “The Y” West Roxbury Crushed Stone “The Quarries” Roxbury Latin (and the surrounding woods) “RL” OR MAYBE WE SHOULD JUST CALL YOU AN OUTSIDER
David Ertischek (Editor) March 16, 2012 at 03:11 PM
John- This is not a serious discussion. Just havin' fun with Westie vs. West Roxbury. Yes, Eastie, Southie, Rochies, etc. We've all got names for places. Yes, RIP to White Hen Pantry, too. And I am an outsider because I came here when I was 18, but West Roxbury residents, both lifers and implants, have really welcomed me into the community. I've been reporting on it for 8+ years. At what time would say I'm no longer an outsider? Should I pass a test? Should I create a test to define whether you're from West Roxbury, Westie or just an outsider? If so, I think your list of names would be a great addition. Thank you. David
David Ertischek (Editor) March 16, 2012 at 03:12 PM
That Shirley Walsh sure is a smaht (did I write that one correctly for pronunciation?) one! P.S. Kalembar Dune rocks!
Chris Connolly March 16, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Heaven, 02132
Shirley Walsh March 16, 2012 at 08:04 PM
David - I would say that being a WR townie is more of an attitude than years spent in the zip code. In that vein I would say you are very near your acceptance date! Thanks for facilitating such a fun discussion. /s/
Highland kid October 23, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Ha! Love it!!!! ^
Highland kid October 23, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Agreed!!! ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Highland kid October 23, 2012 at 06:28 PM


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