Living in Nashville: Reddit Commenters Talk Natives and Nashville Transplants

Nashville, Tennessee’s population and economy have grown explosively, year after year over the last decade, earning Music City the distinction of being the fastest-growing city in the United States. Living in Nashville was always a cosmopolitan experience in the South.

With Vanderbilt University and its medical center, the HBCU district and Meharry medical center, an NFL football team, Belmont University bringing in country music fans from all over the world, and a burgeoning IT industry and high tech startup community, the city has been very diverse, with people representing all walks of life, from all over the world living in Nashville.

Living in Nashville: A Diverse, Cosmopolitan City in the South

Nashville is also the home city of the largest concentration of Kurdish people in one place anywhere in the world outside of Southern Turkey / Northern Iraq (and a city in Minnesota). And has been since the 1990s, with people from other countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, and South America living in Nashville for decades.

Rumor has it there’s even a couple Oceanians, people from Australia and New Zealand, living in Nashville too, and appreciating the city’s music.

But Nashville has become even more diverse as the city has grown so much in recent years. And now the Nashville natives, people who’ve been living in Nashville all their lives, are having fun joking together about how to tell the difference between Nashville natives and Nashville transplants who just started living in Nashville recently.

Living in Nashville: Reddit has a good thread about it

Reddit had a good thread a few years back, on the /r/Nashville subreddit, with a link to a list of simple ways to tell Nashville transplants from locals. The ensuing comment thread included some humorous suggestions like:
“Transplants: Have seen the city's ‘must-see’ establishments.

Locals: Have only seen them on school field trips.”

Another joked:
“Transplants: Drink along Demonbreun.

Locals: Drink at the beginning and end of the street. Can pronounce Demonbreun.”

Yet another drew the group’s attention to the fact that people from different regions drive differently, creating confusion and chaos on the roadways:
“We’re expected to take on a million new transplants over the next couple of decades -- and you just know that all of them are going to be terrible drivers.”

That prompted another to lament the driving aspect of living in Nashville:
“I have to agree. I grew up in CA and we have some terrible traffic + some terrible drivers... But the drivers from TN give me chills. The things I see people do, lawdy.”

Another way to tell apart who’s been living in Nashville their entire lives from the Nashville transplants is the Nashville natives eat hot chicken like it’s just another day for them, because it is. You’ll notice the Nashville transplants loudly eating their hot chicken and oohing and ahing at the intensity, irrationality, and pain of how hot it is. For native Nashvillians, that’s just a delicious way to eat chicken, and another Tuesday for them. Pass the toast and ranch.

Another way to tell the Nashviille natives from the newbies...

Another way to tell the Nashville natives apart from the ones who have only been living in Nashville for a minute: If you live in the downtown Nashville area, where the cranes have been building houses just as fast as they possibly can for years, all crowded in together downtown— you know, the area our fine, board certified Nashville Foot Doctor, Berkeley Nichols serves— you’re more likely to be a Nashville transplant. Nashville natives remember when that entire area was just rail cars and broken glass, and a few honky tonks here and there.

If you live out in West Nashville— where APMA certified Dr. Therese Tlapek is taking foot and ankle patients— then you’re more likely to have been living in Nashville all your life. If you live in Brentwood, where our doctor of podiatric medicine, Gary Cockrell is taking patients, it’s a tossup. You might be new, or you might be a native. If you live in Southeast Nashville, whether you’re new to Nashville, or have lived here all your life, if you need attention and treatment from a professional foot care physician, please contact Dr. Stephen Head.