Interior SE Massachusetts Nicknames…
Inspiration for a writer comes from many places. In this case, it came from me reading a booklet while I waited for my General Tso’s chicken at Chen’s Kitchen in Sagamore Beach.
The booklet in question was the Greater Plymouth County In Your Pocket guide. It is one of those tourist books that you can read for free if you find one laying around in a stack at your local House Of Pizza. It is very similar to the Best Read Guide that you see all over Cape Cod, and may in fact be put out by the same people.
The Guide is useful to tourists because of it has a colorful user-friendly map inside. The Plymouth version has a similar map.
This map breaks Southeastern Massachusetts down into several sections, as seen below:
Plymouth, Cape Cod and the South Shore are common regional designations. Everybody knows what you mean when you say them.
Plymouth is a town. Cape Cod is a land mass. The South Shore, which sorta looks like an East Shore to me, makes sense once someone explains it to you.
You could slip North Shore, the Berkshires, Metro West, Boston/Greater Boston and the South Coast seamlessly into the mix, as well.
The other regions? Not so seamless…
“Cranberry County Canal Region” is so whack that it hurts. I say this before we start to discuss how badly they are biting our style. TV wrestlers call that “gimmick infringement,” and they will punch you for real if they see you doing it.
“Cranberry County Magazine” was named by a girl named Ana Banana. We didn’t use the name at the time, as we were writing for a paper which already had a name, but it was what I went with when naming this website. Ana never got to write for the site she named, as she was institutionalized.
CCM beat out “Chowderhead Thawtz,” “Nor’easter Blues,” “Tales From The Swamp Yankee” and several others.
Our office is essentially located on a triangle point where the South Coast, the South Shore and Cape Cod meet. We cover all three regions, and decided that it would be easier to just create a supercounty for Branding purposes.
My first instinct was not to launch a lawsuit, a state of mind which probably explains why I live in a 484 square foot house with one of the windows taped in. I was flattered. Our supercounty made enough sense that someone else ran with it.
However, they ran too far with it. Northwestern Lakeville is closer to Boston than it is to the Cape Cod Canal. Their regional designation removes Mattapoisett, Marion and Wareham from their more valid South Coast designation. It does perform the perhaps necessary action of removing the villages of Buzzards Bay, Bournedale and Sagamore Beach from Cape Cod.
Hanson, where Ocean Spray was founded, doesn’t make it into Cranberry Country. They instead end up in the South Shore, landlocked, 15 miles inland from any beach.
Buzzards Bay, Sagamore and Bournedale have enough cranberries to group them in with Carver and Middleboro and just drop the Canal Region part. Shoot, the Cranberry farmer picture at the top of the page was taken in Buzzards Bay.
You get a sense that the map guy was being hurried as the publication date neared, or that two people of equal influence disagreed on whether it should be Canal Country or Cranberry Country, and a compromise was reached.
Either way, whoever signed off on it should be taken out and maimed… or punched for real by Braun Strowman.
I don’the know who named the South Shore. The South Coast was named by Todd Gross, a TV weatherman, most likely to shave a few syllables off of “Greater New Bedford area” during his forecasts.
Metro West was named by the former Middlesex News paper, which now bears the MW. It was suggested by reporter Greg Supernovich, and I want it on the internet somewhere that “Supernovich” which would be a pretty cool name as well.
I have not seen Metro South used anywhere but on this map.
That doesn’t mean that it isn’t a cool name. I like it. It has rhythm, is catchy, plays off a successful precedent and takes less time to spit out than “the greater Brockton area.”
They have it as Brockton, the various Bridgewaters, Raynham, Whitman and Abington.
Metrowest was named to cover the metropolitan area between Boston and Worcester. This Metro South is everything between Holbrook and Middleboro.
The real Metro South would seem to be the Quincy/Braintree/Randolph area. Brockton would be a fine southern border, but Abington, Whitman and the Bridgewaters seem to be more Cranberry.
For all I know, there is a Greater Norfolk County booklet map with the Quincy-to-Brockton part labeled as Metro South. That is a problem I can leave to some Quincy-to-Brockton writer.
These areas do need a nickname. I get negative reader feedback if I lump Dighton or Freetown into a South Coast article. It is difficult to work Brockton into the South Shore with Duxbury, even if they were the same town once.
Regional pride demands better nicknames. Greater Taunton and Greater Brockton would suffice, with some sort of Cranberry designation covering everything inland from the Irish Riviera. The Cranberry part would be physically large, but sparsely populated.
Plymouth, while only one town, is very large physically and her stand-alone designation works on a map.
The division of Cape Cod into regions is a whole other article… an article which cannot begin until we define Cape Cod’s western border … which is also a whole other article.