In fact, the word has been for about 10 years, along with “Honfest”and “Hon Bar.” We talked to restaurant owner Denise Whiting on the phone, who says she's just trying to protect the brand she created 20 years ago.I get that she has popularized the brand. And yes, she said she would be unlikely to actually prosecute someone for using it. And yes, I know countless people have said today that people have been saying this word for generations in this city, and that it is ludicrous to copyright a word in common parlance.
That said, it is ludicrous to copyright a word in common parlance. Copyright "HonFest" if you want, but "hon"? Seriously, hons. But I got dibs on the collective noun my friend Eric came up with a few HonFests ago:
spray (noun, collective) - a gathering of two or more "hons", typically seen during the HonFest event in Baltimore, Maryland.