It’s a local's right of passage.

With the end of Summer 2021 right around the corner, officially ending on September 21st, here is my special ode and goodbye to our “Shoobies” until next year.

First, what is a Shoobie?

The origin of this endearing (not endearing at all) term goes back to the late 1800s and it has been used in New Jersey, Delaware, and Southern California. In our case, it is a direct result of day-trippers taking the train to a New Jersey beach, with their lunch packed in a shoebox.

Hence, Shoobie.

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The word is not meant to be kind. It’s a playful mockery of sorts because of the perception of people who bring a picnic lunch to the beach resorts denying local businesses of the revenue that otherwise would have been spent on food and beverages.

Most consider Shoobies to be a mixed blessing for local communities. To be sure, they do generate revenue during the summer months, however, along with the positives, they add obstacles and annoyances to locals.

I actually think that Shoobies get a bad rap. They’re really not unlike any other tourist who visits a resort area.

Before we go, here’s another slang term that many in Atlantic, Cape May, and Cumberland Counties may have never heard of before now. It’s called “BENNY” which is mostly used in the Monmouth County and Northern Ocean County towns. It’s a pejorative slang term, referring to rude, flashy, loud tourists from North Jersey and New York.

Some believe that a BENNY is interchangeable with a Shoobie. I believe that there is a distinction with a difference. Now you know, a BENNY may be a Shoobie, but not all Shoobies are not BENNYs.

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