ASK TOM WHY: Where are the "boonies" and the "super boonies"?

Dear Tom,

When I was a kid I lived in Countryside and the weathermen would talk about the “boonies,” which was appropriate for Countryside, but I don’t hear that term anymore. Where are the “boonies” and the “super boonies” now, considering that the city area has expanded so much?

— Frank Dudek, Huntley, Ill.

 
Dear Frank,

“Boonies” is a colloquial shortening of the slang “boondocks,” which refers to remote, undeveloped and rural areas well away from urban centers.

John Coleman, a popular TV weathercaster on Chicago stations WBBM-Ch. 2 and WLS-Ch. 7 in the 1970s and early ’80s often used “the boonies” (with considerable exaggeration) to refer to Chicago’s suburbs. Ultimately, “super boonies” came to describe the area’s most outlying but unspecified locations.

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