This blog focuses mainly (no pun intended) on New Hampshire, not Maine. However, both states have one thing in common–Massachusetts.
Yes, it’s true… both were once part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. New Hampshire achieved statehood in 1741, while Maine was a laggard, finally becoming a state in 1820.
The citizens of New Hampshire and Maine also share common ancestors. In the mid-1700s the early New England settlers left Massachusetts in droves to settle in New Hampshire and Maine. The reverse occurred in the mid-1800s with people leaving the small towns of Maine and New Hampshire for parts west.
Well, if Maine is not New Hampshire… how are they different?
First of all, if you are a Lord of the Rings fan, don’t get upset by this…. Each year Maine makes war with the elves… ummm elvers. And they don’t exactly wage war, as the elvers don’t fight back.
As far as how we “tawk,” if you listen carefully, we sound somewhat alike. The folks from Maine draw out the ahhhhhh sound in cahhhh (car), but the New Hampshire accent is hauntingly similiar. I read an article once that said the New Hampshire accent is simply how the English settlers sounded when they first arrived here. When I lived (briefly) in Colorado, several people asked me if I was from England… I tartly replied, “I’m from NEW England–the England that doesn’t bow and scrape to the Queen.” There must be something to it.
Maine has Stephen King, New Hampshire has Dan Brown. Secretly I’d like to see a book pitting killer dogs against albino monks, where stuffed creatures in a Maine museum of natural history come alive and scare the heck out of visiting alien tourists while searching for hidden clues in the fallen rock face of the Old Man of the Mountain.
Maine has more toothpicks than New Hampshire. Actually, Maine is the number one exporter of toothpicks in the United States, reportedly producing 90% of the country’s toothpick supply.” On the down east side, the toothpick is claimed to be the object Americans most often choke on.
The residents of Maine definitely enjoy a longer coast line–all 3,500 miles of it (not counting the islands). New Hampshire has a measly 21 km (13 miles). Folks from Maine also have more “Moxie,” even if it is bottled in Londonderry, New Hampshire.
Oh… by the way… a citizen of Maine is known as a “Mainer,” though the term “Down Easter” may be applied to residents of the northeast coast of the state. However, if you are a native of New Hampshire, you are permitted to affectionately refer to the residents of Maine as “Mainiacs.”