Westport’s Nickname for Summer Residents Has Curious Origins
Welcome to Westport, where a majority of the community is comprised of farmers, fishermen, teachers, contractors and other blue-collar types.
Route 6 up north is considered the "city" part of town. Meanwhile, anyone living south off of Horseneck Road or Narrow Avenue resides in the sticks.
Westport is a simple town with easygoing folk and a nickname for out-of-towners:
It's not necessarily considered the nicest descriptor and I think the blame comes from misinterpretation.
If you type "skuke" into Urban Dictionary, the word is defined by user "Angry Tom" this way:
"Someone from out of town who visits as a tourist and leaves garbage wherever they go. They also think the place they are at belongs to them so they can do whatever they want."
As for where the word comes from, you'll hear varying stories. A lot of folks seem to think a "skuke" is a bird that migrates to the Northeast in the summer, but there appears to be no bird officially documented under that name.
Growing up, I was taught this origin, which makes sense:
As the tourists return to Westport, normally around the summertime, it's common to spot them when the summer squash and cucumbers are ready to be harvested. Squash + cucumber = skuke. The tourists would buy up the local produce, have some type of soiree, and then flock back to their warmer states when the cold starts to settle in.
At least that's what I was told by my mother.
Working at Lees Supermarket, I often saw the place flooded with out-of-towners, but unlike as described in that Urban Dictionary definition, they weren't littering all over town.
Next time you want to impress someone, teach them how the word came about and earn yourself some local brownie points.
Oh, and watch out for anyone who wears socks with sandals. That's a fashion disaster if I've ever seen one.