TM: “Every summer, people from New York and Western New Jersey flood to the Jersey Shore. They invade the beaches, cause traffic, and are generally rude. We call them Bennys.”

PAR: “What does Benny mean?”

TM: “Benny an acronym. It stands for Bayonne, Elizabeth, Newark and New York.”


TM lives in New Jersey and has dealt with Bennys his entire life. He said that he first heard the term in middle school but it became much more popular when he was in high school as social media helped to popularize the term. TM claims that Benny is a secret word and these individuals do not know they are being made fun of. He also said that although it is a stereotype, it is a fairly accurate one as he has never met a Benny who did not match his expectation of them.

My Interpretation:

This is a very interesting use of slang. The word Benny is used to foster a divide between the native individuals who live at the Jersey Shore and those who are visiting. In this manner, the word Benny gives the individuals from the Shore power over the vacationers as they have authority over the slang. This is transformative speech.