Anti-benny message scrawled on a rock at Manasquan Inlet. Labor Day, 2007.

Benny is a pejorative term used by year-round residents of the Jersey Shore to describe stereotypically rude, flashy, loud tourists from North Jersey and New York.


The origin of the term is disputed.[1][2] One common theory says the term originates from an acronym that was stamped on the beachgoers' train tickets, representing the city in which they boarded the train to the Jersey Shore: Bayonne, Elizabeth, Newark, and [New York City|& anything close to the Driscoll bridge]. The term "Benny" may also originate from the early 20th century practice of wealthy New Yorkers taking trips to the Jersey Shore as treatment for myriad maladies such as anemia, hemophilia, and hysteria. These therapeutic trips were called "beneficials" by doctors and patients. Often, visitors would claim to be at the Jersey Shore on a "beneficial", hence the term Benny.[3][4] Another theory is that "Benny" was used to identify New Yorkers who came down the shore flashing wads of $100 bills. "Benny" refers to Ben Franklin, whose picture is on the $100 bill. Still another theory refers to off-shore boat racing during the 1970's sponsored by the restaurant chain "Benihana's".[5]

The term 'Shoobie' is used by residents of resort communities in the southern New Jersey Shore, from Long Beach Island to Cape May. The term shoobie was originally used to describe day-trippers who took the train to the shore. The train offered pre-packed lunches that came in shoe boxes;[6] hence the term "shoobie." However, over time the meaning has changed to include tourists who wear sneakers or shoes on the beach, as opposed to most locals who go barefoot on the sand.


  1. ^ "The origins of the "Benny"". Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  2. ^ "The origin of the term "bennies"". Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  3. ^ Zimmer, Ben (5 August 2010). "Beach-Blanket Lingo". The New York Times.
  4. ^ D'Ambrosio, Paul (15 July 2015). "What the stink? Why tourists are called 'bennys'". Asbury Park Press.
  5. ^ "The History of OPA Racing".
  6. ^ Zimmer, Ben (5 August 2010). "Beach-Blanket Lingo". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 23 February 2015.

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