demise of the last five syllable word in California

dsrs   Fri May 28, 2010 2:30 pm GMT
I can find no evidence for the provenance of the term 'Cali', nor any evidence for its geographical borders. I am reasonably sure that no [educated] native English speaker on the east coast of the USA would say 'Cali' for 'California'.
Personally, this usage is confusing to me because I often think that the speaker is referring to the notorious Columbian drug city. However, this confusion is unlikely to visit Californians, very few of them likely able to name a single city in South America.
I also wonder if 'Cali' is a conscious formation from 'Bali'.
At any rate, this usage appears part of a trend in the state to abolish all words of more than three syllables. I would be very interested in a poll to see whether 'California' is the only five syllable word still in use in that state.
SoCal native   Fri May 28, 2010 4:43 pm GMT
No Californian ever uses "Cali" to refer to their state. If you do, that instantly pegs you as an outsider. We do, however, use such terms as "NorCal" and "SoCal"... but never ever "Cali".

And it's rather presumptuous of you to assert that very few Californians would be able to name a single city in South America. Our state is one of the most ethnically diverse states in the Union, with many residents who hail from South America. I would like to think that most of us are at least aware of such big SA cities as Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, S„o Paulo, Lima, Caracas, etc., but then I could be wrong.
Another Guest   Fri May 28, 2010 7:40 pm GMT
Most Californians don't pronounce "California" as a five-syllable word. It's "ca-li-for-yah".
Quintus   Fri May 28, 2010 9:30 pm GMT
>>I also wonder if 'Cali' is a conscious formation from 'Bali'>>


The name of California comes from an old legendary account of a land of gold inhabited by a race of Amazons (warrior women). So it is, in fact, a name which the Conquistadores borrowed from an old Spanish romance [Las sergas de EsplandiŠn, 1510] to denote the territory they were claiming in North America.

California meaning essentially "Calafia's golden fairyland" - Calafia being the Queen or female Caliph, the ruler of this mythical land.

That's how the name started out, believe it or not.
Matematik   Fri May 28, 2010 9:44 pm GMT
<<Our state is one of the most ethnically diverse states in the Union, with many residents who hail from South America.>>

You sound like a spineless lefty. Just thought I'd let you know.
Uriel   Sat May 29, 2010 1:41 am GMT
Obviously not an LL Cool J fan, dsrs.
Dude Who Knows   Sun May 30, 2010 5:17 am GMT
<<I can find no evidence for the provenance of the term 'Cali', nor any evidence for its geographical borders. I am reasonably sure that no [educated] native English speaker on the east coast of the USA would say 'Cali' for 'California'>>

Actually, it is primarily people from the east coast of the United States who use the term "Cali", although I can't speak to the average user's education. You will almost never hear a native Californian (which I myself am) use it.
Born Blond   Sun May 30, 2010 5:38 pm GMT
I am a native Californian (Socal), but I have lived in Norcal too. I can name La Paz, Rio de Janeiro and other cities in South America. I'm not sure my cousins can, but some of them are blonder than I am.
mati:   Mon May 31, 2010 2:44 am GMT
>>No Californian ever uses "Cali" to refer to their state. If you do, that instantly pegs you as an outsider. We do, however, use such terms as "NorCal" and "SoCal"... but never ever "Cali". <<

indeed, same goes for people who pronounce it with 5 syllables, usually the final "nia" that gets split in two. its not native to us to do that. its 4 syllables.
Coperni   Mon May 31, 2010 8:35 am GMT
But Arnold is a Californian and he pronounces is Ca-li-fo-nee-a.

Who are you to argue with this guy?: http://img441.imageshack.us/img441/5554/arnoldgovernator.jpg
<sigh>   Mon May 31, 2010 4:37 pm GMT
Arnold is an Austrian who moved to California. That's why he pronounces it as he does.
non-cali   Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:12 am GMT
I don't know about people on the east coast, but here in Oregon, a lot of people say "Cali" to refer to California ("I'm going down to Cali for the weekend"). I don't know why you think that nobody would say that...? How else would you shorten it to? Cal? Sounds like a college there. Although some people here call the northernmost (most Oregon-like) part of California OrCal. I've never been down southwest, so I don't know what they call it in California.
dre   Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:20 am GMT
Kathy   Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:32 pm GMT
I never say "Cali". Well perhaps it has slipped out before since I now live in Arizona and California is the weekend getaway here since it is right next door. People in Arizona always call it Cali and it sort of bugs me since it sounds really stupid. I am originally from San Diego and we don't refer to the state as Cali and like another poster said, it is only four syllables not 'Ca-li-for-nee-ah'. I have however heard plenty of Spanish speaking Californians call it 'Califas' but I find that annoying as well.
Dude Who Knows   Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:48 pm GMT
<<How else would you shorten it to? Cal? Sounds like a college there.>>

We don't usually shorten it. It's just "California", which is why this thread's so ironic.