I was watching a British show about metal detecting and in one episode, one of the characters corrects a civilian by telling her that his machine was a metal detector but that he was a metal detectorist.
I had heard the term detectorist from British dirt fishers before but over and over my online spelling dictionary would flag the word as erroneously spelled and when I checked, the dictionary would not give me an alternative spelling.
Thinking this was odd, I have looked for the word in online and physical dictionaries and have failed to find it.
I rather like the term. The ending of the word: -ist, suggest a person who does something and in this case the activity is detection. I like the general sense of the word; whatever else we are, we are detectorists first. I may be looking for silver coins but I am detecting all kinds of other metals in the ground.
Why is this important you may ask? The answer my friend is solidarity. Dirt fisher and Hunter are fine and well but hardly universal. We need a name to bring us together. Heck, at our meeting with the state archaeologist we were asked what we called ourselves and we all threw a number of terms at him. I think we settled, rather uncomfortably, on the term Hunter.
I just now read a post by Detecting Diva where she pins this lack of standard name for us as a pet peeve and I for one agree with her.
So spread the word. We are Detectorists. Sure, Dirt Fisher is cool and so is Hunter but lets present a united front and call ourselves detectorists to the uninitiated out there. Coinshooter and Relic Hunter are good for the specialists among us but I humbly suggest saying something like “I am a Metal Detectorist of the Coinshooter species”. Ok, that may get you beat up on the playground. Most certainly we are not vandals, or looters though.
As for me, I am a Metal Detectorist, a Coinshooter, a Park Hunter, and a Pulltab Afficionado.
Thank you for stopping by.