Who says Frisco?

About four weeks ago, I was in "San Francisco" and one of the guys we were working with said "So how do you find Frisco?" I said "What the hell is Frisco?". As it turns out, it's San Francisco. Ok, fine. So I started speaking to a few other people, and turns out the whole city is divided into two groups. People who love to use the word Frisco, and those who can't stand it!

What's the big deal with calling San Francisco "Frisco"?
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lionosh Sep 22, 2008
AJ, no one in their normal right mind would ever use the word Frisco in fear of getting bashed. It's not very "cool" man, which is ridiculous.
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mileykelly Sep 23, 2008
i SOOOO agree AJ. I think it's a locals thing. I've been in SF just on 9 months now and I never used Frisco moreso over fear that people will hang me!!
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advisor2008 Sep 23, 2008
Hey AJ~ a little reserach on San Francisco. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=frisco lol... :)
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paulyg Oct 18, 2008
I said it to a girl from there once just to bother her and she laughed in my face.
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AdamS Oct 20, 2008
advisor - great link to urbandictionary! I've never seen that site before, very cool.

It's interesting how so many people find it is offensive. I guess if people starting abbreviating my hometown of Melbourne to be just Melb, I wouldn't like it either.

Thanks!
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advisor2008 Oct 21, 2008
You’re welcome it was my pleasure. By the way ~ what do you think of the word ‘Philly’ for Philadelphia? It seems that folks affectionately used word this for this major city.
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advisor2008 Nov 06, 2008
Could it be that some locals thinks that "Frisco" sounds like "Crisco"??? Conversely, I discovered a website that seems to suggest that this word is no long out of favor... http://www.sfgate.com/
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lanzedom Mar 11, 2009
only the out of towners call it frisco.... bay people call it "the city".....
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AdamS Mar 12, 2009
Thanks for the update lanzedom, when I'm back in SF next month I'll be sure to use the proper lingo!

AJ
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tanister Apr 17, 2009
I live in Sacramento, but visit SF frequently. When I'm there, I call it "the city". When I'm not there, I call it "San Francisco". But when I type online...it's so long to spell out (and I'm lazy, haha). So if I'm talking to people in the area online, I'll call it "SF", but if I'm typing to those not around here, I'll refer to is as "Frisco".

I don't see the problem with calling it Frisco AT ALL. I live in Sacramento and everyone calls our city Sac or Sacto. ZOMG, IT'S ABBREVIATED, LET'S EVERYONE FREAK OUT!!11!1!!! HOW DARE YOU CALL US SACTO!1!!! WHERE'D TEH RAMEN GO!! I LUV RAMEN, YUM!!!11!!1

Seriously, that's just dumb. So what if they abbreviate or come up with a nickname for your city. Big deal. Get over yourselves, SF. You just look like big douchebags that have nothing to do but complain about who calls your city what.
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advisor2008 Apr 17, 2009
AJ ~ started this... LOL! It's no big deal as ‘tanister’ so eloquently stated. Ya’ll have a GREAT weekend in "the city" of FRISCO… Life is too short to worry about something this trivial after all tomorrow is not promised to anyone!!!
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jbelkin Apr 20, 2009
People in the SF Bay Area might use it ironic or mockingly but yea, no one calls it 'Frisco. People aren't offended but you come off as some rube who's never been out of podunk. So, if you use frisco, people will probably just roll their eyes and treat you accordingly. Most people in the SF Bay Area usually just call the city, SanFran or even the full name ... people who live in SF tend to break the city down by neighborhoods.
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tanister Apr 21, 2009
To quote jbelkin, "People aren't offended but you come off as some rube who's never been out of podunk. So, if you use frisco, people will probably just roll their eyes and treat you accordingly."

Why? Like I said before, people shorten the names of cities all the time. Why is SF so special that it shouldn't be shortened? Because it should...it's a long name and one that many people have difficulty spelling. Obviously, "SF" is the shortest thing you could possibly refer to it as, but why consider "Frisco" rude, but not "SF"?

I mean, I kinda get that it's seen as an out-of-towner kinda thing. Sac has that too. If you hear people pronounce Sacramento with the T sound, they're most likely not from the area. Locals pronounce it as if the T were silent...Sacramenno. But we don't treat people accordingly. We don't make people feel like they can't say it like that or they're going to be hung. I mean, seriously. So freaking dramatic. I guess it's fitting for that city.

And this is why I shall never live anywhere near the bay (and I don't consider 2 hours away as near, really). I couldn't handle that kind of attitdue 24/7. I'd rather live in Sac and visit SF yearly like I do now.
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AdamS Apr 23, 2009
tanister, great conversation!!

I have to point out that I laughed at the shortening of Sacramento to just Sac (needs no explanation)...sorry bout that. Back onto Frisco, I think it's just the way it sounds? A bit wanky?

I guess this raises a bigger issue on what the people in SF, San Francisco, Frisco or "The City" are actually like? I know there is a minor stereotype that SF people think they are a bit above everyone else? (NOT MY OPINION!!) Anyone else agree with this?

AJ
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4sho Apr 24, 2009
I have actually found that people who move from other places to San Franscisco, are the ones that think they are above everyone else just cuz now they live in "San Fran" or "DA SCO" a couple more for ya.

I get the occasional roll of the eyes when I tell people where I am from. They presume I come with SF SMUG( there was hilarious Southpark epsisode where the smugness of George Cloney was going to collide with the Smugness of SF and cause a disaster)


Folks who grew up here or have been here for years don't really care what you call it. Its the newbs and hipsters that get annoyed. This city seems to welcome ya regardless.

What ever you call it, glad you came and come back soon......
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AdamS Jun 11, 2009
Hi 4sho,

I watched that episode of South Park on TV last night, it was hilarious...although quite the insult to people in SF implying they love the smell of their own farts!

I love San Francisco as many MANY people do, can't wait to be back over there soon (although I'll be skipping the Tenderloin area, it gives me the creeps)

AJ
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advisor2008 Jun 12, 2009
Regarding San Francisco...

FYI ~ http://www.sfgate.com/neighborhoods/sf/tenderloin/ [note:} the name of the paper...

Enjoy the weekend!!!
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rascleattop Jun 17, 2009
how about San Fran??
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AdamS Jun 18, 2009
yes rascleattop, the most obvious has escaped us all! I always call it San Fran. That normally doesn't offed anyone when I am in town.

AJ
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ucbears Aug 17, 2009
I live in SF. Locals do not use "frisco" or "san fran." I've been here 10 years and don't know the history, but I do know "frisco" is more despised than "san fran." We call it, simply, "The City" or refer to a particular neighborhood to be more specific, like "the Castro" or "Potrero" or "the Mission." If you use "frisco" or "san fran," it's no big deal, it just indicates that you are from out of town. If you had to shorten it and didn't want to use "the City" for some reason, I guess "SF" would probably be a more acceptable back-up.
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AndyBell Aug 25, 2009
People of bay celled it is Fransisco.
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mauro Sep 15, 2009
Whatever the case might be, it will be a still 'the city'
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SFMan123123 Sep 22, 2009
Why not simply use "CISCO" and get some sponsorship money for doing that?...
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AdamS Sep 22, 2009
Nice one SFMan123123, but who would get the money ;)
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AndyBell Oct 04, 2009
I don't think there is any big deal in that. People just use words that make them comfortable and I think it is all up to personal choice at the end of the day.
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Jack Santo Jan 13, 2010
Totally agree with AndyBell, it doesn't mater what you call it. I've never had anyone look weird at me for calling it SF, SanFran or FRISCO.
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DocFrankenstein Jun 20, 2010
I hear that the SF Angels call themselves the "Frisco Hell's Angels." Probably as yet another attempt to annoy the general populace.
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StephSF Jul 08, 2010
I was vehemently told to stop calling it "San Fran" when I moved here, although it sounds like visitors take great pleasure in assigning this particular abbreviation. I have since stopped any and all friends from using this language, and generally refer to it as "the city" when I am here. If I am out of town, I refer to it as San Francisco, and in writing I'll just type "SF" (although I would never verbally refer to it as the latter).

Sacramento is another story...in my opinion, "Sac" is a completely and utterly appropriate reference to the city.
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FlowerGirl Jul 08, 2010
@StephSF: I've noticed that "Sac" is almost a term of affection among my friends who went to Davis. It implies that they really know their way around the capitol. It's the exact reverse of "San Fran" or especially "Frisco," which for whatever reason sounds to Bay Area natives like nails on a blackboard. Thank you for spreading the word.
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aircoopdog Oct 12, 2010
Otis Redding called it Frisco; I'm calling it Frisco.....No one has to like it but, they have to deal with it.....peace!
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FlowerGirl Oct 13, 2010
Bad Dog!
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Lisaloha Apr 15, 2011
My mom is from there, but we have lived in Hawaii for over 40 years. She still bristles when she hears "Frisco", I think the problem is not so much that it's an abbreviation, so much as the parts of the word aren't even together in the proper name. (San) Fr(anc)isco = Frisco. Whereas, "Philly" is at least reminiscent of "Phill(adelphia)" and "Sac" is from "Sac(ramento). As for people not saying the T in the latter, it is probably a local thing, but I always pronounce it, mostly because I also speak Spanish and the T is pronounced in the root language (even when I say it without proper Spanish pronunciation).

If my town (Kane`ohe) were to be abbreviated like SF is, it would be "Keohe" or "Nehe" or something completely different than the two words which make up the word (bamboo man), and that would just be wrong. Some of us refer to it as "K-town", but only on our bumper stickers! We don't say it or write it, per se, mostly because so many of our towns begin with "K" that it would only lead to confusion.

I can see why San Franciscans are opposed to Frisco.
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userzero55 Jun 27, 2011
No native San Franciscan says "Frisco." Its just what out-of-towners think you say when you're on the inside. It's the same as "Cali" for California- you can tell they are foreign as soon as they open their mouths.

-cj
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SFSinner May 08, 2012
Frisco is Slang for the city, aka 415, sfc, the sco, and sucks free
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SFSinner May 08, 2012
My fault. Sucka Free City.
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nomonkeybro Oct 01, 2012
Live in SF. I think it's weird that people call it "Frisco," and it only bothers me because there are actual towns named that, and I'm not in it.
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johnnystaccata Oct 21, 2012
The term Frisco originated in Frisco, on the docs, the Hells Angels, and such. To say that only out-of-town yokels call it Frisco, is simply not true. It seems like the people that have the most problem with the name Frisco is the people that moved in from out of town. The same people that are ruining the city. Swallow your pride and accept Frisco, or you may end up with "San Fran".
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userzero55 Oct 22, 2012
The above is incorrect and it is the out-of-towners who say "Frisco." Its not about "swallowing pride" just about correct etymology. BTW- we already have people saying "San Fran." Again, no biggie, just not local.
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savagekity Jan 28, 2013
I grew up in "The City" and am a 4th generation San Franciscan or maybe more, still doing the family tree research, and not having much luck since all my family's records burned in the 1906 fire. I just cringe when I hear people refer to The City as Frisco. Everyone I grew up with and everyone I know from San Francisco feel the same. It is only outsiders and transplants that refer to The City as Frisco and it is considered to be disrespectful, lazy, and ignorant, NOT cool. It may seem petty, but as long as I have lived it has been that way and I am 61 years old now.
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OzKat Apr 28, 2013
Most locals don't like it when people say Frisco. I told my friend that my uncle from New Jersey called San Francisco Frisco and she said she'd want to punch him in the face if he did that in front of her. I told her he was 6'5 so she amended it to kicking him in the shins and then running away.

There's a long history of locals not liking people calling The City Frisco. In 1872 Emperor Norton decreed: "Whoever after due and proper warning shall be heard to utter the abominable word 'Frisco,' which has no linguistic or other warrant, shall be deemed guilty of a High Misdemeanor, and shall pay into the Imperial Treasury as penalty the sum of twenty-five dollars."
Question: Does that mean we can demand $25 from people who say Frisco? Are we allowed to factor in inflation? Because my uncle is coming to town and I could use a free $470.
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khom Apr 28, 2013
Never ever ever say Frisco! You can say SF, San Francisco, or The City. Frisco is located in Texas. People will automatically know you are a transplant if you say Frisco.
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Shroudwoman May 23, 2013
People who don't live here use that unfortunate disrespectful term. Natives and REAL Locals call it "town" or by it's proper name .
"Frisco" is vulger & disrespectful . This town was named after Saint Francis of Assisi- one of the most loving kind Holy Men ever!
Built with Gold rush money by Goldminers, Sailors, Bootleggers , Sinners, Gamblers, Chinese railroad workers, Ex-slaves, Whorehouse Madams, Jewish fine craftsmen (Lacemakers,Tailors and glass & mirror bevelers- like the Gumps and the Magnins) and people seeking religious and sexual freedom from the East. Living all together - "the city of Fruits and Nuts".
This city is not stable. It is ALWAYS transcient. It is Earthquake prone and after big ones ALOT of people leave. People come here to transform themselves , become something they could not be anywhere else or to get rich. Golddiggers , Beatniks,Hippies, Eastern Religious groups ,homosexuals, all manner of deviants ,immigrants from Mexico (who think California still belongs to Mexico) and immigrants from all of America's many many many wars, Dot-Com-ers and now Techies or whatever this new group is ( but PLEASE don't call them "Hipsters"! Anything but that! The very last thing this new group is is "hip". More like Young Techno-Corporate Capitalists .)
People who live here have always respected the tolerant and non-judgemental " Live and Let Live" attitude of San Francisco so they would NEVER use such vulgar slang to address this town they LOVE that gave them FREEDOM and allowed them to just be themselves.
The new young people who have now moved here do not show much respect nor show much love nor understanding of where they actually are, it's history or who was here before they came.
In the Mission the true locals (or anyone not 20something working in IT ) are perceived like movie extras, like a painted set in their "download " of SF to feel "hip" against .Meanwhile they have taken over like locusts , jacking up the rents so that real locals can no longer afford to even live here.
Soon it will be just them and their iPhones and all the failed restaurants, and all that was truly "cool" and artistic about this town will be gone and then the BIG ONE will hit and they will all get very scared and run back home to Pittsburgh or wherever the hell they come from - like they always do. You just have to be patient and wait it out.......
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johnnystaccata Jun 12, 2013
I think you people need to calm down. They have been calling San Francisco "Frisco" since the gold rush of 1849. It is part of your heritage. It is a term that originated in San Francisco and it will stay there. Even the Hell's Angels, workers on the docks, and the rest of the working class (that has been driven out of town) call it that. I will continue to cal it "Frisco", not due to ignorance, but because many people from there have such a knee jerk reaction against that moniker. I think it is time you embraced your heritage, and the abbreviated name for "The City"... FRISCO!!
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TacyRodriguez Jan 12, 2014
The St. Louis–San Francisco Railway known as the “Frisco” began
operating in 1876, but the nickname is as old as the American West.
Herb Caen, the Pulitzer-winning San Francisco Chronicle columnist,
was adamant that no one call his fair city by such a sliced up moniker.
Instead, "Caress each Spanish syllable, salute our Italian saint.
Don't say Frisco and don't say San-Fran-Cis-Co," he advised.
"That's the way Easterners, like Larry King pronounce it. It's more
like SanfrnSISco." Yet, cultural forces from Otis Redding ("headed
for the Frisco bay") to Pink Floyd (the unofficial Darkness Over Frisco
live album) to Google (search "Frisco" and see what comes to the
top of the page) keep the name associated with San Francisco.
Here's the thing with "Frisco": Nicknames are supposed to embody
some overall characteristic, not just act as a lazy surgery of the
city’s name. There's a reason we don't call New York "Nork" when
we're feeling saucy. It’s the "The City That Never Sleeps" for poetic
reasons. Just because "Frisco" sounds like a place (and it is,
in Texas and Colorado), doesn't make it a good nickname. No one
would get on the I-5 and head south for "Agles."
(Pro tip: If an out-of-town friend calls it Frisco, avoid the soapbox.
San Franciscans have a rep for being uptight jerks about the nickname.
Don't play into the stereotype. They'll eventually notice you never
call it that anyway.)
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userzero Jan 13, 2014
Very, very well done!
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MortimerPost Jan 24, 2014
F the pretentious windbags of Frisco!
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jbelkin Jan 26, 2014
Exactly so we can tell the idiots. Ultimately, we don't really care as clearly youre too stupid to live in SF. You actually have to have a brain to make enough money to live here so ultimately we don't care if you want to announce loudly you are idiot. You are free to do as you please.
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Lisaloha Jan 26, 2014
I love when someone calls other people idiots while committing grammatical and spelling errors in doing so. Just saying.
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Aaron Bellings PRO Feb 08, 2014
I'm a native San Franciscan and having lived, worked, and grown up here all of my life it is safe to say that I have never, under any circumstances, called this city "Frisco." It is a word used mostly by tourists and out-of-towners, and rightfully so since it has a nice ring to it for those not in the know. I don't hate on people who use the word, but it's the easiest way to identify a local with a visitor.
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