below i’ve included the entire text of the article, since the indianapolis star tends to drop their articles from reachability after a few weeks.
in any case, i found it interesting, being a native hoosier:
The word â€œHoosierâ€ isnâ€™t a derisive term, as some historians believe, contends a Hanover College professor who recently found new references to it.
English professor Jonathan Clark Smith reported two previously unnoticed references to â€œHoosierâ€ in newspapers during 1831, in this monthâ€™s issue of the Indiana Magazine of History.
Reviewing other sources, including the first-known use of the term in a February 1831 letter, Smith concludes Indianaâ€™s nickname originated not as a mocking term for the stateâ€™s southern migrants, but as an indication of local pride in people who worked to boost the stateâ€™s economy, says an Indiana University release.
Hoosiers were boatmen who made their livings on Indianaâ€™s canals and rivers and supported development of water transportation by the government, he says in the magazine published by the IU History Department, with the help of the Indiana Historical Society.