Welcome to What County Is, a series that will decode the secret history of America’s sport cities by exploring the origins of their nicknames and the figures who helped shape them.
Each week, we will take a different American city and break down the characteristics that make it unique. Through exploring its culture, architecture, and athletics, we will answer the question: What is the secret history of this American city?
Daytona Beach, Florida
Daytona Beach is a beach city located in Florida on the Atlantic Ocean. Popularized in part because of its long racing season—the Daytona Beach Bike Week Festival occurs every March and the Daytona International Speedway is one of the country’s most popular motorsports venues—the city’s sports teams and residents pride themselves on their athleticism. The nickname Spartan was bestowed upon the city in 1922, and it was originally applied to its eponymous college football team. Following World War II, the city expanded its reach through annexation, and now covers over 50 square miles, making it the largest city in the state. It is also one of the most important city breaks for British tourists, due in part to its mild climate and the opportunity to socialize with English speakers.
How Do You Say “Hello” In Daytona Beach, Florida?
Although “Daytona Beach” may be used as a standalone greeting, the city is more usually referred to by its inhabitants as “DB.” When someone from Daytona Beach wants to say “hello” to someone in another state, they will often start their sentence with “DB” in order to get the greeting they want. For example, if they are calling a hotel and want to ensure the person answering the phone understands what part of Florida they are calling from, they will start their sentence with “DB…this is Daytona Beach.” Although this may not be the case for tourists or newbies to the city, locals will often use “DB” as a greeting if they are meeting someone new. It is also common, particularly among older generations, to refer to the city as “Dunlap” or “Dixie.”
What Is The First Word That Comes To Your Mind When You Think Of “Daytona Beach”?
Before we begin exploring the origins of the city’s name and nicknames, let’s take a moment to discuss the first word that comes to your mind when you think of “Daytona Beach.” If you said “sports” or “sports arena” or “american,” you would be correct. The city’s most prominent buildings are adorned with flags displaying the American flag and images of famous motorsport champions. The area’s most famous resident is Tony Jacks, the inventor of the soft drink Dr Pepper, who lived in Daytona Beach from 1896 to 1899. As a child, Jacks observed the area’s natural beauty and witnessed the Native Americans’ use of guaranas (giant fruit) to treat illness. In 1896, he brought his discovery of the food’s healing properties back to his home and began manufacturing and selling it as “Dr. Pepper.” The story goes that the drink became so popular in Africa that it earned the nickname “Dr. Pepper” (short for “Dr. J. W. Pepper”). You will often see people drinking Dr. Pepper on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and other late-night talk shows.
When Was The Term “Biker” Originally Used To Describe The Residents Of Daytona Beach?
The first documented use of the word “biker” in relation to a group of people was in the early 1900s, when motorcycle clubs emerged in London as part of popular culture. This was later adopted by the United States during the 1920s, and the first organized group of motorcyclists was formed in St. Louis in 1922. The members were called “bikers” because they would often ride their bikes to work—the origin of the term, which is still in use today, is unsure but may come from an amalgamation of “bicycle” and “motorcycle.” There are a number of theories over the years as to why the U.S. chose to use the moniker “biker” for its motorcycle clubs, the most prominent being that the name harkens back to the flamboyant men of the 20s and 30s who biked the country in search of adventure.
What Is The Native American Heritage Of Daytona Beach, Florida?
The name “Daytona” originates from a small tribe of Native Americans who inhabited the area that is now the city. The name itself means “shining dawn” in the Miami language. The tribe was made up of an odd assortment of individuals whose livelihoods depended on trading with the Spanish, whose colonies were the source of wealth at the time. Spanish explorers first recorded the tribe’s existence in 1512, though their numbers had dwindled significantly by the time the British arrived after defeating the Spanish in the American Revolution. In the early 1800s, the Florida Native Americans were forced to move to reservations after repeated conflicts with European settlers, and many of the tribe’s members settled in what is now Daytona Beach. They were later joined by a group of Frenchmen who had traveled to America to seek their fortune in the rapidly developing country. Many of these newcomers worked as farmers or fisherman until the 1880s, when tourism emerged as an important industry in the city. They would use their skills to construct sightseeing vessels, which they would take out on excursions along the coast, allowing tourists to enjoy the beauty of the area’s landscape. Sadly, the French community never fully recovered from the ravages of the Spanish Flu, which swept through America in 1918 and took the lives of over 50,000 Frenchmen.
Where Does The Word “Race” Come From?
The word “race” has many different meanings in modern-day English, and it is a term that is used in a variety of contexts. When used in relation to sports, the word typically connotes competition or a struggle. If we trace the word’s history back to its earliest uses, however, we will find that it has a much longer and more unique story. The first verifiable use of the word “race” in this way dates back to the 1600s, when people began using it to refer to the early voyages conducted by the British to colonize parts of North America. It was originally used in reference to various competitions that the British would enter, with the participants and the public voting for the best chicken, plum pudding, or roast beef between the 15th and 18th centuries. For example, the first documented “running of the bulls” took place in 1585 in Pamplona, Spain. This annual festival, which features a group of townspeople dressed in traditional costumes and armed with red paintbrushes, encourages the town’s residents to hunt down and paint the nearby bulls in an effort to prove their prowess as livestock herder.
When Did The Term “Warpath” Come Into Use?
The word “warpath,” as in “biker war,” has also been used in reference to various armed conflicts. The first documented use of the term was in 1899, in a book about the Boer War in South Africa. The author, Henry Morton Stanley, used the word to describe the clashes that he witnessed between British and Afrikaaner forces, with each side believing the other to be an aggressor. Two years later, the term was incorporated into the Scottish Gaelic dictionary as a portmanteau of “war” and “path.”