Smugtown is a cutting nickname for Rochester derived from [WWW]Smugtown, USA, a book written by G. Curtis Gerling in 1957. It was published by Plaza Publishers in Webster, NY (and was reprinted with new front matter in 1993). The book provides a casual history of business and social life in Rochester through the 1930's - 1950's. Gerling coined the term "Smugtown" for Rochester as a scathing indictment of the amount of rump-kissing he observed at the time. He is especially thorough when discussing the history of Rochester's millionaires, newspapers, and advertising.

Rochesterians have been aware of this nickname for some time, although few seem to know of its origins. The term has been used by locals for a variety of purposes: