While the official start to summer is in a few weeks, summer at the Jersey Shore started on Memorial Day weekend as hundreds of thousands of people flocked to pristine Jersey Shore beaches like Island Beach State Park in Seaside Heights or the Ocean Avenue beach in beautiful Ocean Grove. 

Whether it's Monmouth or Ocean County, or all the way down to Atlantic City, tourists coming to the Jersey Shore have a unique identifier that is unfortunately coupled by the phrase "go home"; when in reality the economic tourism to this part of the state is paramount to our survival. 

Although the origin of the term Benny remains unknown and disputed by linguistic scholars, the meaning and history of the slang term go back decades. 

Contrary to popular belief, Bennys mainly refers to people from Bayonne, Elizebeth, Newark, and New York City visiting the Jersey Shore in the summertime. It is not assigned to someone out of those areas - those people should be assigned the term Shoobie. 

Shoobie is a much older slang term that dates back to the 1960s when day-trippers used to come to Monmouth and Ocean Counties to hang out on the beaches. The name also became slightly derogatory to make fun of tourists that wear sandals with socks on the boardwalks and beaches (although I have seen residents do this too). 

Today, the term Shoobie is primarily used to describe tourists who go to southern New Jersey resort towns like Wildwoods or Cape May. 

As I eluded to earlier, whether you are referring to someone as a benny or shoobie they both have different meanings and none of which derived with a negative connotation (even though that's what they are largely used for that today).

Tourists should be welcomed with open arms this summer because of the hardships that local businesses have been dealing with from the outbreak of Coronavirus. The capacity limits in local stores on the boardwalks and resort towns are going to have a huge impact on sales and profit margins. Now more than ever, we need to treat shoobies and bennys with open arms.

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