What do you call people from Colorado Springs? This is what we found out

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Mike Procell/KRCC News
The branch of a tree frames the Colorado Springs city flag.

Residents of Denver are called Denverites. People from Pueblo, Puebloans. And informally, those from Manitou Springs might be called Manitoids.

It's called a demonym — a name that identifies a group of people as they relate to a particular place.

And while the city has dubbed itself "Olympic City U.S.A.," it's not quite the same. If you've ever wondered what the demonym is for residents of Colorado Springs, you're not alone.

"No, I've never heard of any," said resident Gabriel Zacharia Jones.

It’s a tough question for fellow resident Catherine Villane, who sees it as an embarrassment of riches. 

"Because there's so many (things the city is known for),” Villane said. “You have the peaks, you have the Garden of the Gods, you have all those things. What do you call us? I can't pinpoint it, except happy!"

courtesy Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum
Thomas Nast Cartoon, November 1887, drawn live on stage at the Colorado Springs Opera House 1887

"The story of Colorado Springs is about people coming here from other places," she said. "But because our identity and our greatest economic drivers have changed over time, and because we've always been a popular place to relocate, we don't have a nickname because we're a place where people always start over."

Local columnist, humorist and former city council member John Hazelhurst agreed. 

"Our nickname will always depend on what we're up to,” he said. “But of course, it's like all of these artificial nicknames don't work. 5, 10, 20 years, we may be known for something far different."

Hazelhurst called it "a very difficult problem that deserves no solution."

Witherow, the historian, has looked through historical sources like books, newspapers and memoirs and said she has never found a reference for anything other than "Colorado Springs resident."

“We've always just been the residents of Colorado Springs," Witherow said.

Hazelhurst doesn't think the city will ever have its own lasting demonym.  

"And if it did, in fact, happen, I would delight in opposing it."