Credit: Townsquare Media, Diana Tyler
Credit: Townsquare Media, Diana Tyler

“Benny “or “Shoobie” is the term often used in a not-so-nice way by those who live year-round at the Jersey Shore to describe visitors/tourists who flock to our beaches from northern Monmouth County to Cape May.  There are several takes on the origin of the terms and generally speaking they are not negative but they are used mostly in that fashion, for example “benny go home” which is a popular one.

Tourism bashing is a constant in Monmouth and Ocean County but there are two unavoidable facts:

  1. Tourism dollars fuel many local economies and provide jobs.
  2. Many who now live here year-round were themselves tourists and in some cases not long ago.

To elaborate on the second point how long do you have to live here before you yourself can brand someone a tourist in a negative fashion?  Say you moved your family to Point Pleasant Beach from somewhere in Bergen County within the last couple of years.  Isn’t it hypocritical to bash bennies when you were one for many years until you made the move on a year-round basis?

Look I have lived here for well over 50 years so I think that qualifies me to be somewhat of a Jersey Shore snob even though I am not.  Well in full disclosure I actually am at times when I see things on the beach that upset me but there is no guarantee that the violator is a visitor and not someone who lives here year-round.

Bottom line is this.  What attracted many to live and raise their family here is very often the same things that brings tourists in the summer months.  So before you knock them take a deep breath and remember you or your family might have been a “benny” in the past.

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