Forbes used ‘a Southie’ to describe the main character of ‘SMILF’

It marks the second time this week the term has been used in a publication outside Boston.

Frankie Shaw SMILF
Frankie Shaw as Bridgette in 'SMILF.' –Mark Schafer/Showtime

‘A Southie’ has struck again.

The misused colloquialism that makes Bostonians cringe was used in more than just one publication this week.

Just a day after a California newspaper proclaimed the opening of the first Wahlburgers in the state would let residents of Palo Alto ‘eat like a Southie,’ a Forbes contributor used the term Bostonians love to hate in an article about of SMILF, the Showtime series set and filmed in South Boston about a single mom.

Reporting on the news that the show written and produced by Brookline native Frankie Shaw has been renewed for a second season, Susannah Breslin wrote a description of the main character portrayed by Shaw:

The show’s title is a bold homage to the status of its main character–single, smart, a southie … and you know the rest. She return the viewer’s gaze–her child in her arms–unrepentant and unashamed.


“Southie” may be the well-known nickname for the Boston neighborhood, but natives of the city near and far made it clear — “a Southie” should not be applied to a person, as several users made note on Twitter.

“Calling one ‘A Southie’ is akin to calling one ‘A Palo Alto,’” Donnie Wahlberg wrote after the publication of San Jose’s Mercury News piece about the California opening Wahlburgers:

Similar indignation popped up earlier this year after The New York Times used the term in a profile about chef Barbara Lynch. The Times, like The Mercury News this week, amended the article.


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