About six years ago, my husband and I flew into BTV on a commuter plane and, inexplicably, the plane was held on the tarmac for about 15 minutes. As sometimes occurs in these situations, many passengers started conversations with other passengers. The majority was in their 20s (though not traveling as a group). 

I listened as the topic turned to where they lived. To my surprise, those who lived in South Burlington referred to their city of residence as SoBu.  

It’s tough being a city that borders on Burlington and has a similar name. BTV has an international profile, especially now that a former mayor is a candidate for president. About 10 years ago, a national magazine named South Burlington as the best place in New England to raise a family. Sadly, this honor was diminished when the magazine’s largest photo of “South Burlington” was of the Church Street Marketplace.  

Thus, I was delighted to realize that these young SoBu residents’ attachment to our fine city had resulted in creation of an abbreviation/nickname, SoBu. They had given their (and my) city a separate and unique moniker.  

By the way, SoHo started out as an abbreviation for South of Houston Street. Only over time did it take on the meaning of a “hip” neighborhood in Manhattan.

To conclude, I like SoBu because it is home-grown and it, apparently, appeals to our young adult residents. Plus, we need an abbreviation and I am unaware of any suggestion that is preferable.

Sandy Dooley

South Burlington

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