Pretty much what the title says: one of my coworkers says that in some region of the U.S. what the little candy-beggars cry is “Halloweeners” instead of the “Trick or Treat” which is all I’ve ever heard of.
Unfortunately, she can’t pin it down to what area: when she was growing up her father worked for IBM and they pretty much lived in a new state every year, ping-ponging from Illinois to Mississippi to Maryland to California to Pensylavania, on and on. Based on her age, and how old she thinks she was at the time, this would have been around 1950-1955.
I’ve never heard kids say anythign but trick-or-treat and I’ve lived near Cleveland (OH), Boston, Chicago, and New Haven (CT).
I don’t know how much this will help but it is related.
My parents grew up near Cleveland and have lived there all their lives except for a three year period in the mid forties. I’m not pisitve which 3 years, but it included 1946 when my sister was born. They have said no one trick-or-treated in the CLeveland are before they left, but it seemed to be a widespread custom when they returned.
I live in the Cleveland area and have never heard “Halloweeners” …
EXCEPT…recently in the comic strip “Crankshaft” which is written by a fellow from the Cleveland area (Medina actually, I think) and is set in this area too. Crankshaft has been showing his yuppie neighbors how to properly treat “halloweeners.” He’s (Crankshaft) has been using that term all week.
Tom Batiuk (the creator of Crankshaft, as well as Funky Winkerbean, the strip from which Crankshaft was spun off) is from Lorain County. He occasionally served (and perhaps still serves) as a substitute teacher at Midview High School, alma mater of my nephew.
My dad’s mother, who lived in Cleveland all her life (1909-96), referred to trick-or-treaters as “Halloweeners”. She was the only person I ever really remember hearing use the phrase, however. When I was growing up ('60’s and '70’s), kids who went out begging for candy always said “Trick or Treat!”, occasionally adding “Smell my feet, give me something good to eat!”
I recall an old cartoon short, I think it was Casper (for obvious reasons) where about 3-5 kids are in costume and approach the local sheriff (It was implied that everyone knew everyone in a small town setting).
The childeren in question make gestures towards the police officer, and one even has a (Head??) on a stick that he or she moves up an down. As they are doing this, they all in unison say “Halloween, Halloween”.
the over all impression of the cartoon seems to imply that it was common to say this, with out any other adjectives.
I have a casper DVD, I will get back to you guys on it.
Distinction there, though: “Halloweeners” is the term for the kids themselves, but I don’t think there’s any indication that that’s what they say. I think I’ve seen kids in Batuik’s strips saying “trick or treat”, just like the rest of the country.
I grew up in New York, and never heard the word Halloweener. Nor, do I ever remember saying ‘trick or treat’ as I collected my candy, and every other confection that eventually rotted all my baby teeth. I distinctly remember shouting ‘ANYTHING FOR HALLOWEEN?’ I spoke to three of my childhood friends, and they agreed with me. I am 59. Do the math.