Gilroyans? What should we call people who live in Gilroy?
Not a week goes by that someone doesn’t complain about our use of the word Gilroyans to describe the people who live in Gilroy.
Yeah, it’s not a word that most people would use in conversation, but newspaper writers need abbreviations to fit into headlines and simplify the language. We can’t say people who live in Gilroy or Gilroy residents every time we talk about people here. Thus, the shortening.
“It sounds like people from another planet,” wrote one critic.
“Can’t you find a better word?” asked another.
“That’s not a real word,” said a third.
New Yorkers, that sounds right. Californians, the same. But what do you do with people from Gilroy, Morgan Hill or Hollister?
We threw it out to readers on our Facebook page for suggestions and comments.
“It appears the people who are originally not from Gilroy are the ones who complain the most about everything in Gilroy. Stick with Gilroyans. If they don’t like it… too bad,” wrote Al Castro.
“I see nothing wrong with being called a Gilroyan, I’ve been one for 30+ years now and it’s never been an issue. What do the people who complain about the name suggest instead??” said Stacey Silkwood Aviles.
David Alameida had some much appreciated suggestions:
“ I’ve never heard any demonym other than Gilroyan. Sounds fine to me.
No idea what other nearby citizens call themselves but here’s what i come up with off the top of my head:
-Morgan Hillers
-San Martinians
What we really need is a good demonym to describe a resident of the SF Bay Area. Bay Arean sounds really awkward, especially if you’re white.”
Ow, but love the creativity.
We imagine we’d hear some real complaints if we followed Adam Hollman’s suggestions:
“Gilroidians, Hoe-villians, and Morgan Hill Billians.”
Richard Place has a by-the-book suggestion:
“Hollister resident, Gilroy resident and Morgan Hill resident. Scrap abbreviations and read up on manners.”
Paul Welka is thinking out of the box:
“Rename Gilroy to what it was originally: Pleasant Valley. Refer to someone who lives there as a resident of Pleasant Valley.”
“Garlic heads and mushroom heads,” suggests Miley Arellano.
“Gilroyans is perfect—Morganhillians works!” says Carmen Marcela Ramos.
Bada bing from Brent Jenkins: “I call people from Morgan Hill ‘Yuppies’.”
Morgan Hill took another sling and arrow from Diane Kannely Britt:
“Hollisterites and morgan hillbillies oh sorry Morgan Hillians.”
John Alan Kroeger shows some local pride: “As a 5th generation GILROYAN, I don’t see the problem….. it’s what I’ve heard my whole life.”
“I transplanted here 15 years ago and I am a proud Gilroyan!,” said Jan Bernstein Chargin, who seems like she’s lived here forever, with all of her local activities.
“Hey people who live in Santa Clara are Santa Clarans I have no problem with being a Gilroyan, have lived here most of my life,” wrote Mary Jacinta Silva.

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