Downtown (NYC origin?)
Bapopik at AOL.COM
Bapopik at AOL.COM
Sun Oct 23 16:31:45 UTC 2005
I'm about to add "downtown" to my "Big Apple" web site. Is this a NYC term,
and can anyone beat OED with Early American Newspapers or another source? Try
"down town" (two words) as well.
(OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY)
downtown, down-town, _adv., a., and n._
orig. U.S. and chiefly N. Amer.
A. adv. Into the town (from a more elevated suburb); down in the town. Cf.
1835 _GRAY_ (http://dictionary.oed.com/help/bib/oed2-g2.html#gray) Lett.
(1893) 55 To-day when I go down town I shall subscribe for the ‘New York
Observer’ for you. 1883 Century Mag. XXVI. 917/1 She was down-town alone. c1909
_D. H. LAWRENCE_ (http://dictionary.oed.com/help/bib/oed2-l.html#d-h-lawrence)
Collier's Friday Night (1934) iii. 60 Well, my duck, I looked for you
downtown. 1952 S. KAUFFMANN Philanderer (1957) vi. 91 The man who had seemed a
dignified young wonder on 135th Street..looked like a pompous and overweening
young ass downtown. 1968 Globe & Mail (Toronto) 17 Feb. 24 (Advt.), Tickets
available downtown at box office prices exclusively at Moody's in the Colonnade.
B. adj. Of, pertaining to, or situated in the lower, or more central, part
of a town or city. Cf. _UP-TOWN_
1836 P. HONE Diary (1889) I. 200 The value of down-town property. 1852
Harper's Mag. V. 413/2 The down-town men..slip uneasily through the brick and
mortar labyrinths of Maiden-lane. 1870 _J. K. MEDBERY_
(http://dictionary.oed.com/help/bib/oed2-m3.html#j-k-medbery) Men & Myst. Wall Street 67 On these
securities therefore the down-town banks make call loans. 1883 _H. H. KANE_
(http://dictionary.oed.com/help/bib/oed2-k.html#h-h-kane) in Harper's Mag.
Nov. 944/2 In the lobby of a down-town hotel. 1891 Congress. Rec. 28 Jan.
1906/1 The second ward of the city of New York..is what is called a down-town
ward, a business ward. 1902 Westm. Gaz. 12 May 2/1 Men do not doff their hats
in the down-town elevators which brought her up to the big office..near the
top of one of the high down-town buildings. 1911 Daily Colonist (Victoria,
B.C.) 13 Apr. 7/5 Pedestrians in the down-town district on Friday were interested
in the sight of a veritable procession of lorries loaded with high grade
Pianos. 1939 C. MORLEY Kitty Foyle 175 His necktie was sort of downtown and
Bourse-looking. 1952 _B. ULANOV_
(http://dictionary.oed.com/help/bib/oed2-u.html#b-ulanov) Hist. Jazz (1958) iv. 33 Squalid little clubs in downtown New
York. 1958 Times Lit. Suppl. 10 Jan. 21/2 The account of the wild sermon in
down-town Kingston, vividly conjuring up the crucifixion. 1966 New Scientist
14 July 103/2 Mr. Crosland writes about downtown schools, meaning schools in
the centres of cities. Pure American, of course, and a very useful term too.
1968 Globe & Mail (Toronto) 17 Feb. 1/8 A downtown Ottawa office building.
1969 Australian 24 May 24/2 (Advt.), Your home in downtown Sydney.
C. n. The lower or business part of a town or city.
1851 _H. MELVILLE_
(http://dictionary.oed.com/help/bib/oed2-m3.html#h-melville) Moby Dick i, Its extreme down-town is the Battery. 1905 N.Y. Even. Post
4 Mar. 5 One of the diversions of downtown yesterday was watching the sure
movements of a steeplejack. 1955 _R. BLESH_
(http://dictionary.oed.com/help/bib/oed2-b3.html#r-blesh) Shining Trumpets (ed. 3) vii. 160 New Orleans'
downtown is the old quarter north of Canal Street. 1968 Globe & Mail (Toronto) 13
Jan. 45/1 (Advt.), At the subway stop..19 minutes from downtown.
Hence down-towner, one who lives in or frequents the down-town part of a
1830 _J. F. WATSON_
(http://dictionary.oed.com/help/bib/oed2-w.html#j-f-watson) Ann. Philadelphia 244 They were the Achilles and the Patrocles of the ‘
downtowners’. 1887 Courier-Journal (Louisville, Ky.) 8 May 12/5 Jay Gould has
set down-towners to eating snails.
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