People's Republic of MassachusettsSo once a month the venerable OED adds new words (and less publicly, sometimes prunes dormant ones). The June 2015 update is described like this:

Around 500 new words, phrases, and senses have entered the Oxford English Dictionary in this quarter’s update. Additions this June include twerk, FLOTUS, yarn-bombing, and crowdfund. You can read more about the new and revised words and meanings in this article by Katherine Connor Martin, Head of US Dictionaries.

via June 2015 update | Oxford English Dictionary.

As anyone who’s had to deal with Massachusetts statism or gun laws (sides of one coin, perhaps) knows, the residents of the state have long been known by a particular crude portmanteau: Massholes. Yes, Masshole, “a term of contempt for a native or inhabitant of Massachusetts,”  is now it’s own entry in the OED.


The OED traces the word to 1989, and notes that other 1980s words that have made it to the OED are gangsta, stank, and yuppie. Do we see a pattern emerging?

The gangsta wrinkled his nose. Usually it was too numbed by Bolivian marching powder to scent much, but this aroma was beyond ignoring. “What is that stank?” he thought. It could only be the worst of all worlds — a yuppie Masshole. He eyed his Glock cautiously. In all the excitement, he’d lost count. Did he fire 16 shots, or all 17?

We hope all you trust-fund kids dreaming of “common sense gun laws” like confiscation are happy, now that you’re famous. You Massholes.

This entry was posted in Don’t be THAT guy on by Hognose.

About Hognose

Former Special Forces 11B2S, later 18B, weapons man. (Also served in intelligence and operations jobs in SF).

12 thoughts on “Live Free, or Live In Massachusetts, No. 32.

Captain Mike

Wonderful to get the recognition we deserve.

Its not easy living in occupied territory.

I long for the day I hear on my favorite New Hampshire Radio Station:

“John has a long mustache”

and “The chair is against the wall”


I always used “Masshole” to describe the tiny little peephole into the chamber on autoloading pistols, allowing you to see brass if a round is chambered, added (I thought) as a requirement to satisfy the MA law requiring a loaded chamber indicator. It was always a source of amusement in my part of Free America, that an additional hole had to be added to the chamber (itself, a hole) to allow the chamber to be checked.

Am I wrong on the history, or what caused this type of visual inspection groove/hole it to be added to pistols?

Trone Abeetin

That would be Luther Scott Harshbarger that caused the “masshole” that you speak of.

Hognose Post author

Loaded chamber indicators far predate the chamber hole. The P.08 Luger has one (not sure when in Luger development it went in, would have to check references for that). The 1929 Walther PP and its descendants have one that is a springloaded pin that protrudes from the slide if there’s a round in the chamber, and sits flush if it’s clear. (You chould always check visually anyway; a pin with a broken nose can give a false safe indication with this type indicator. The Luger type cannot give a false safe, unless the whole extractor nose breaks off, in which case that is obvious).

The ATF used a loaded chamber indicator as a factor on its bizarre Nazi-derived Sporting Purposes worksheet for imported pistols ever since 1968.

These events all predate by decades Massachusetts’s gun law that gave the state AG (usually a perch for a photogenic and ambitious Democrat politician) the authority if not the expertise to opine on gun design. That law dates to 1998 and also produced such weirdness as two levels of pistol permit,one of which does not permit a Masshole to carry his pistol even though it says “license to carry firearms” right on it, and requiring a pistol permit to own certain rifles. Some alterations to the law have been made, but it’s still so bizarre it was the basis for a California law.

I do not know if the el cheapo loaded chamber indicators in some modern pistols was a response to this idjit Mass law and the even more retarded state regulations that implement it (bet you didn’t know that Glocks were just about all “unsafe” even though half the cops in the state carry them). I’d have to do some research. It’s definitely true that regulation shapes firearms in ways great and small.

It’s almost as if the whole country is shaking, and any loose object rolls into the gutters in the legislatures along the coasts.

Trone Abeetin

I sometimes see nitwits with “masshole” bumper stickers! Like its a point of pride or something. Same kind of nitwit that hangs the fake testaclees on the back of his pickup. Like straight out of Idiocracy.

Hognose Post author

“Brawndo! It’s got electrolytes!

Trone Abeetin

My daughter refuses to watch that movie anymore. She says it’s too depressing. She says she feels like it’s a snapshot of the future.


When I first read C.M. Kornbluth’s story ‘The Marching Morons’, I didn’t expect to be LIVING it…


Snapshot of the future? It’s a slightly-embellished snapshot of the present, that’s what’s so depressing.


I see the original website is still active if long dormant. I was born and raised there in the so-called “America’s Home Town” of Plymouth. To this day I’m not a big fan of Thanksgiving. Fled the place 35 years ago. Been back twice in all that times. Can’t say I miss it. Well, I miss the seafood.


To any freedom-loving people stuck in the Occupied Zone, head to Free America, now. While it still exists.

Double A. D.

On my trip back home through Mass from Bike Week at Laconia, I witnessed firsthand why the moniker came to being and has stuck for so long!