I’m Not Moving to Frisco

I’m not moving to Frisco, to San Fran or to Es Ef. I’m moving to San Francisco.

One thing that has come up time and time again when we tell people about our big move south of the border is the words of wisdom…

“Don’t refer to San Francisco as Frisco, San Fran or any short forms for that matter.”

Apparently to the locals, home is referred to as San Francisco or the city. Anyone who calls it any different is frowned upon as a tourist and I’m looking to make this place home.

So why is  using Frisco so bad? There seems to be a few explanations. One is it’s the laziness that bothers locals about the shortened name – this also applies to calling it San Fran. Usually a city’s nickname embodies a characteristic of sort. Toronto has many nicknames – the Big Smoke (Rob Ford is reinforcing this one), Hollywood North, Hogtown (mmm bacon) – all of which historically speak to what the city was known for.  However, Frisco and even San Fran is just plain lazy. Imagine if people around the world called Toronto, ‘ronto? I would certainly raise an eyebrow to that one.

Another reason is there is a REAL Frisco and it’s in Texas, and well it couldn’t be much more different. With a population about an eight of the size and a complete lack of a major tech scene.

The last reason I could find relates back to history, as written by Herb Caen. Frisco was once a term commonly used by the lower brow of the population who lived and worked near the bay; it serves as a reminder of the city’s “brawling, boisterous days and the cribs and sailors who were shanghaied…”

When coming up with a name for this blog I kept this in the back of my mind,  but I couldn’t resist the rhyme. Being a marketing junkie, I couldn’t resist how ‘Can in San Fran’ just rolled of the tongue. It’s got the characteristics of a tagline that’s easy to remember and repeat – all the goodness needed for this beast.

Plus, I imagine my faithful readers will be comprised of the lovely people I’m about to leave behind in Canada. The folks who won’t judge me too hard on the local social incorrectness in the naming of my blog.

Even Herb Caen changed his mind a few times, and a 1993 quote is where I find his blessing for the name I have chosen: “Adolescence is believing that ‘Frisco’ is a racy nickname for a city; senility is automatically saying ‘don’t call it Frisco,’ maturity is figuring it doesn’t matter all that much… ”

For a round-up of  all of San Francisco’s nicknames. this article does a bang up job.

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