A word for Troy, rhymes with toilet

monument square Troy

We wouldn't call you that, Troy.

As you know, we moderate comments here at AOA. And there are a few words -- mostly for people -- that will pretty much always get your comment bounced. We're not going to list them, but you probably don't have to think very hard about most of them.

Anyway, we got a comment recently that used the term "Troylet." Yep, not exactly pushing the frontiers of regional trash talking. But it made us think: how offensive is that? Is just inter-city ribbing -- or something more along the lines of a slur?

So we asked people on Twitter. Here's what we heard...

So, a range of opinions we interpret as "never use, don't allow" to "eh, no big deal."

We're leaning toward putting it on the "usually not allowed" list, in part because, you know, are you like six years old or something? And, really, people are smarter and wittier than that. Also: we love Troy.

But, of course, we'd like to hear your thoughts.


I'll admit I'm one who has carefully called the Rug City "Amstergosh" all my life so as not to offend. So yeah, "Troylet" is a cheap shot, offensive, says more about the commenter, etc.

A "Troylette," however, sounds utterly delightful. She could be a backup singer or a roller derby queen.

Troylet: An insult hurled across the river by people in Watervliet.

Rob wins! :D

But seriously, the place is not so very nice. It reminds me of a small version of Detroit. Did ya notice nobody wins trips to Troy or Detroit on game shows? There's a reason for that.

In Bennington, the use of "Troylet" was saved exclusively to describe Rt 7/Hoosick Street as it went down the hill and became a traffic nightmare, e.g. "We should leave right now so we don't get stuck in the Troylet during rush hour."

It's offensive and residents take offense. It's a word intentionally used to disparage and worse, it's classist.

If you're not going to allow someone to refer to a city's poor residents as "scumbags", which you shouldn't, then you shouldn't let a comment through that refers to them as "Troylets" either.

More importantly, though, it shouldn't go through because once it's invoked it becomes clear that the person using it has nothing constructive or interesting to say and/or add to the argument (reductio ad Troylet).

Wasn't Watervliet called West Troy at one point, so does that make it West Troylet!

It's a joke. A slur is a stern term of disparagement, and implies a level of truthfulness. Are people really dim enough to form a serious mental association between the City of Troy and a toilet?

Absolutely agree with Kevin. "Troylet" says nothing about the city, but everything about the person who uses it. I moved to Troy five years ago, and I wouldn't live anywhere else! If someone used the term around me, I confess I would be prone to think they were uncomfortable with the idea of living in an ethnically diverse neighborhood.

Having said that, Troy is easily the coolest of our three big towns. Sorry, Albany.

As a former Troy resident, my thoughts tend to fall in line with Bob... It's offensive, but it has a modicrum of truth to it. It's like the OWS people - when they looked like hippies nobody gave a rat's johnson. When they started wearing business/respectable attire, people started to care.

When you drive through a city, and the buildings are all boarded up, and the only thing the people are doing is sitting in those old aluminum folding lawn chairs with the nylon straps, wearing crappy clothes, smoking cheap cigarettes and drinking cheap beer watching the world go by - yeah. People will think the town is broken. When the only youth run around in wife beaters and hoodies, knocking stuff over, and harrassing people, yeah, people will think it's broken.

Troy, like everything else in upstate NY, has potential. But people need to see where the potential is, and go with it. Proctors could be really nice, but if people are going to go to it, they need to be able to drive in and park in a garage that is close. You need nice shops nearby to entice people to walk around the downtown area, but people are going to drive there. Cities need to figure out creative ways to compete with suburbia, and they usually fail miserably... A city like Troy, it often seems like they don't even bother to try. It exists because it exists.

So, yeah, offensive, but accurate.

You're seriously going to "usually not allow" people from using that term in the comments? I'm very surprised.

Are you also going to ban "tea bagger" as a reference to Tea Party peeps? What about whatever cleaver term people come up for the Occupy Albany people once they move into Lafayette Park?

Besides, how am I supposed to troll the people from Troy now? What if I put quotation marks around it like the commenters above? Will that make it all right?

"And, really, people are smarter and wittier than that."

I always feel that people who use derogatory words are telling you a lot about themselves. Usually that they're not-so-bright. Attempting to belittle others really just belittles the speaker of those words.

I just wanted to log in to say I heard about this AOA "debate" from the DJ on EQX a little while ago. Now THAT is getting the word out! GO AOA! Maybe that will drive some new people in here to comment on things that matter. Personally, I'm tired of reading the same people (don't some of you have your own blogs?) in the comments , so I stopped reading/writing them till now. No biggie. AOA writers keep the good work - I don't know how you can moderate all this crap all day! (This post included!)

If one must refer to a resident of Troy it should not be as "Troylet" but rather as a "Trojan" (and not the condoms..knuckleheads).

Ilium Fuit, Troja Est.

And even though I am not a "tea party" sympathizer, i do find "tea bagger" offensive..

Put me down for 'offensive'.

Like a few others, I feel it reflects poorly on the person who uses it. If that's someone's idea of clever and/or degrading, it's time to be elsewhere. Someplace nice. Like parts of Troy.

Absolutely offensive and lets notstep around it, the term is meant to be derogatory.

As a teenager at Emma Willard in the 90's, it was often used by the privileged white girls around me. Though not from Troy, I was one of the much lower-income "day students" who didn't live there in the dorms. I was constantly aware of the fact that they were rich and I was not so I knew that they were just demonstrating their classism (with a good amount of racism in there most of the time). I'm sure these views came from their well-off parents and hopefully they've wised up as they grew up.

Though I still know one woman from my class that refers to Troy as "the ghetto."

After moving to the Capital District from Cincinnati 4 years ago, my wife and I heard people refer to the Troilette from displaced Capital Regioner's in Ohio, we Laughed it off.
Upon Moving to Troy with my 3 young children, I was astonished at how precisely the nickname fit the City, it has potential but overall is just not attended to in any sense. The worst part was though, that people in the city (business owners especially) are so defensive when they hear any criticism of the city that they entrench and make the situation worst because they'd rather say a problem doesn't exist than to deal with it.
We got out of there after 2 years, worked in Troy and lived in Albany for another year before my company finally followed suit and Moved to a Latham Office this past summer.

@Trev: I agree! This place is beautiful, and the good people are the best. However, just yesterday my friend, driving a nice car, was hassled by some young scholars at 2 in the afternoon. The young men sprinted at him as he entered the vehicle, shouting all the while.

It's the hood.

Indicative of ignorance, provincialism, and unoriginality.

I used to live in the West Village, and chose to live in Troy when I moved to the area because its the closest thing left to a real city in the area. Real cities are smoetimes dirty, noisy, and have poor people.

My idea of hell is endles stripmalls and cul-de-sacs of Clifton Park and Latham. It's cute when people who have never lived amidst anything else disparage those who choose differently.

It's like a child who's never eaten anything but mac'n'cheese and PBJ being grossed out by sushi, because EWWW, RAW FISH.

Here's what I think. Anything can be offensive if you read into it enough and project your own spin. Frankly, I always thought it was a reference to the rundown infrastructure, not a classest slur against the poor or contributing to an attitude of oppression. For gods sake everyone, calm down.

Maybe this isn't contributing anything useful but I never even knew it was a derogatory term. I never used it but I'm not prone to using cutesy phrases/nicknames for things anyway. Now I'm glad I never did.

So basically it's comparing Troy to a toilet?

I went to church in Troy growing up and the gross tap water (possibly due to the old building, possibly due to the city's water) was referred to in 'Troylet water'. It wasn't an insult to the city and it's residents but one specific aspect of the city. So to me, it doesn't seem so offensive. Same level as Smalbany.

You can spot a Troylet from 200 yards away.

Smalbany is used by people in two different contexts. One, by people who dislike the city and feel it lacks culture, entertainment and opportunities. The other are people who appreciate the small city atmosphere that makes business, social relationships and entertainment easy and convenient. Same word, 2 different meanings. How can you ban a word based on that.

You can make any word become derogatory with the right speech inflection.

I'd say it's about the same level as what jeering 2nd graders used to say about kids being picked up by the Kinder Care van..."Kinder Care, underwear!" It's about as creative, requires about the same level of maturity (probably less), and same number of firing synapses. In other words, it says far more about the one using it than it does Troy or its citizens.

@Tim, You're right on about context of Smalbany. It's all in the use. I'm a total Smalbanian. Perhaps that's why I don't think Troylet is that offensive. I think it's simply to funny not to say. If people in Troy want to take the power away from the word, then perhaps they should use it more? Trojan sounds great, but then... well... there's a double meaning there. The capital region also has Delmartian, and that's fun, too.

Speaking of Trojan, why name a condom after a people that snuck in to a place, hidden inside of a present, and the #$%@'ed the place up from the inside?! It's that the WORST, most bassackwards branding ever?

I propose that we simply change the name of Troy to "Orange." That way the delicate sensitivities of these commenters will be protected due to the difficulty in coming up with a quality rhyme, alliteration or pun.

I'm oblivious, I always pictured "Troylet" spelled as Troylette, and (as CJ pointed out) being used as an affectionate name for women in Troy. I guess I should read the Urban Dictionary more often, 7 definitions!

I've lived in various areas of Troy my entire life. I still can't understand someone taking pride in or getting offended by the way their geographic location is characterized by others. Troy has good and bad areas and good and bad people. Just like pretty much every other city in every county and state in the country. Troylet is about as offensive to me as a cloudy day.

You're from Troy/Albany/Schenectady/Delmar/Colonie/Latham/Clifton Park/Watervliet. Big deal. If that's what you hang your hat on or have a chip on your shoulder about then you might want to re-evaluate your life.

This blog and the people that post here are better than that. Cheap shots add nothing and waste everyone's time.

As a Troylette, I've never taken offense to that. I tend to use the term to refer to people and not the actual place. Calling Troy the Troylet does sound offensive, since people usually take great pride in where they're from and don't like others to trample on their hometown ideals.

The problem I have with people who are so perpetually down on the city isn't out of civic pride so much as frustration over a complete lack of perspective. For instance, anyone that would compare Troy to Detroit (wayyyy above), even jokingly, clearly has not been to the latter. The worst parts of Troy are nowhere near as bad as they were two decades ago and a far, far cry from what you see in other downtrodden poor areas (eg. the aforementioned Detroit and certain parts of Baltimore to name a few).

Economically, Troy has roughly the same median income as other nearby cities (around $29,000) and a slightly lower percentage of people living below the poverty line. It certainly has a bit more of a vibrant downtown than, say, Cohoes. In terms of infrastructure, it is in no worse shape than any other comparable area in the region and has shown vast improvement over the course of the last decade.

So what gives? Why are people convinced that Troy is a destitute city on the brink of third world status? The answer is a combination of a propensity for overdramatization and, sadly and as mentioned before, a lack of perspective.

This is not to say there are not problems, and frankly I find the above insinuation that business owners are in denial of problems to be an absurd strawman (the same commenter also also says Proctor's would be a great place to go if only there were parking, even though it hasn't operated in decades and never will again in that capacity, clearly confusing Troy with the one in Schenectady). But to paint it as being worse than it is does a disservice to the city and its residents.

Also, I'm floored when people say a term not directed towards them or their residents isn't offensive because THEY don't find it offensive. I am loathe to make the comparison because the term "Troylet" is nowhere near as damaging, but it smacks of older white people I hear who say the n-word isn't offensive because they aren't offended by it and black people shouldn't be. As mentioned before, it's intended to be derogatory, regardless of the innocent ignorance of some and contrarian nature of others.

When I lived near Detroit, there were people there who raved above the city. Talked about how wonderful it was - years ago. Its not that way now. I've spent enough time in the city and surrounding communities (e.g. Highland Park) to know just how bad it is.

Driving through Troy, as I said, is like a small part of Detroit. I don't think you could convince me that Hoosick St from the river to Lake Ave is anything but depressing. People can rail on the cul-de-sacs in Clifton Park all they like, but housing values speak for themselves.

Ask yourself where you would feel most comfortable letting your 16 year old daughter walk alone at 11 pm? I'm thinking Clifton Park over Troy, any day.

Yes, the term Troylet is derogatory. Its meant to me. People say it to show that they feel Troy is not a nice place, hence the reference to a toilet which is associated with human waste.

If you're only impression of Troy is Hoosick St., you lack perspective, for sure. It's like judging Colonie by the uninspiring lump that is Central Ave.

Stuff white people like, #101: being offended!

Maybe I'm part robot but I'm not really offended by anything. I don't allow someone else to emotionally manipulate me through a word and don't really care if someone looks down on where I live. It's not like other cities around here are West Palm Beach or midtown Manhattan.

You can only be offended by the things you let offend you. You'd be amazed at the reactions people have when you laugh at their insults and condescendingly pat them on the head for trying. For me, troylet doesn't even register as an insult. I've lived here for 3 decades. I went to elementary, high school, and college here and don't think I've ever heard the word seriously used as some kind of derogatory mean spirited insult. This just sounds like another case of people looking to be offended over a non-issue.

People are free to be judgmental morons. If someone thinks I'm some kind of degenerate just because I'm from Troy then they probably don't have the mental capacity to engage in conversation long enough for me to convince them otherwise. I'm ok with that.

First comment on this great blog (thanks, by the way!), just so I can say how much I love Troy. I moved here a few years ago and live in Guilderland...and every visit to Troy leaves me happy. The architecture is beautiful, it's unique, has some great restaurants (especially those breakfasts at Spill n' the Beans), the farmers market, and EMPAC is one of the coolest buildings I've ever seen.

I get annoyed when I hear people say "Troylet", because I think people too often fail to see the good in places, and simply go with the common opinion. "Oh, it's cool to hate on Troy, so I hate it, too." Try actually enjoying the great things Troy has to offer! I can find something unappealing in any city in the country...but why look for it?

@Kevin - So the t-word is the n-word to you?

I've worked in troy for the past 10 years and spend a lot of time there. I regularly travel from Albany to Troy for TNO. I included "Troy" in the name of my business. I've never been offended by the use of troylet.

I have found that Troy are for some reason are a lot more sensitive about there city. A few TNOs ago, Broadway smelt like raw sewage. I told a coworker, "Phew, it really smells like Troy tonight." A few passers-by got really offended. A few weeks ago we had a sewer line break in Center Square. I made the same comment (using Albany). All I got were laughs. I guess the Troy comment hit to close to home.

Is Troylet another name for a Trojan, or is Troylet another name for Troy itself? Using the word to refer to someone from Troy, yeah, is probably offensive. But using the word to refer to the city is just dumb. Troy is shorter than Troylet. When your nickname is longer than the name you're riffing on, you're doing it wrong.

"@Kevin - So the t-word is the n-word to you? "

No, and if re-read the comment you'll find I make it pretty clear that I'm not putting forth that they're equitable at all.

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