The meaning and origin of Sconnie, a slang term for Wisconsin, isn't quite clear. But UW-Madison students Ben Fiechtner and Troy Vosseller define it as "anything of or relating to Wisconsin."
If that's too vague for you, their Web site, sconnie.com, offers some guidelines: "tailgating, bowling, drinking a Pabst, wearing Carhartt, having a John Deere mailbox, or eating a cream puff. If you like eating a brat and cheering for the Packers, you know what we're talking about."
The students didn't coin the term, but they were the first to turn it into a line of T-shirts, pub glasses and even ladies' underwear bearing the company name.
Their goal, eventually, is that Sconnie mirror another Wisconsin alias.
"We wanted to equate it to cheesehead," Fiechtner said.
Before they put the capital "S" in Sconnie, the idea was just a joke over breakfast in the dining hall.
"We kind of would always joke about it in the cafeteria," Fiechtner said. "Let's start a business just in case this whole academic thing doesn't work out. ... We heard the term 'sconnie' thrown around a lot on campus in various student (organizations) we were in. We were thinking a lot of people use this word 'sconnie,' but nobody's trademarked it or anything."
With that idea, and an initial $600 investment, the two trademarked Sconnie and sold about 100 T-shirts out of their backpacks in just a few days.