As long as I can remember, I knew the term Hoosier referred to a resident of Indiana. In grade school I was given one of the following reasons for the nick-name.
1. Coming from the word Hoosa, meaning American Indian maize or corn.
2. Indiana employees of a canal contractor named Hoosier, were called Hoosier’s Men
3. James Whitcomb Riley joked that it came from early Indian settlers following tavern fights,
wondering “Who’s ear” had been cut off and left on the floor.
4. Early Indian settlers were said to answer a knock on the door with “Who’s here?”
5. Another legend says that the nick-name is a shortened form of “Who’s your (relative)?”
If you have been referred to as a Hoosier, what explanation were you given?