I realized earlier today that, even when the definition of a word is the same in nearly every dictionary in the world, some people still feel that it can be interpreted in different ways.

If someone asked you what a 'Mainer' was, what would your answer be?

Most likely, you would quickly respond that a Mainer is a person who lives in Maine or was originally from Maine.  Most people and dictionaries would agree that is a correct definition for the word.

According to Dictionary.com, a Mainer is:

a native or inhabitant of the US state of Maine

Most people would agree that is a correct definition.  Most people, but not everyone.

I have lived in the state of Maine for a large portion of my life, but I had never heard this theory until today.  Even though it makes sense that we would not consider every newcomer to the state of Maine a Mainer, some people believe it takes decades to be considered a Mainer.  In fact, they believe that, unless your grandparents lived in the state of Maine, you cannot be considered a Mainer.

Yes, some people believe that your family has to have lived in Maine for at least three generations for you to be a true Mainer.  And yes, that means that even though you would be considered a Mainer, your parents and grandparents would not be considered true Mainers.

Wild, eh?

A few years ago, WMTW investigated the idea.  They found that opinions differed slightly, but that most agreed you needed to be born here to be a Mainer.  Watch their video on the WMTW website.

What do you think?  How long do you think you need to have lived in Maine to be a Mainer?

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