I have not actually seen MTV’s show The Jersey Shore, but being a sentient American in the year 2012, I am of course aware of it, and I was amused by Dialect Blog’s post about it, pointing out that “Three out of eight of the original cast members are in fact from Staten Island, a working-class borough of New York City. Hence, their accents are more traditional New York than contemporary Jersey, exemplified by JS cast member Vinny Guadagnino” (whose non-rhotic accent you can enjoy in a clip provided in the post). I got there via Dave Wilton’s Wordorigins.org post, where Dave says he “can attest that this post is dead-on. The locals could spot the bennies easily, based largely on accent,” and adds an excursus on the word benny:
Benny is a mildly derogatory, Monmouth and Ocean County, New Jersey term for a tourist from upstate or New York. It’s fading from use now, but you’ll hear it occasionally. It even made an appearance on The Jersey Shore. … The origin of benny is uncertain. It could by from a New York term meaning “Jew,” but if so, it has lost all anti-Semitic connotation in the move south. Other explanations I’ve heard, but have no evidence for and which I suspect are etymythologies, are that the word is from people who come to the shore for the “benny-ficial rays of the sun” and from the fact that way back when, many people came to the beach bearing lunches packed in a shoe boxes from a Benny’s shoe store, which was somewhere up north.
I was reminded of grockles.