Dive (was Re: Sad hour)

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Wed Jan 8 20:22:54 UTC 2014

Of "dive," Wiktionary (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/dive) says: "(slang) A seedy bar, nightclub, etc."

Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dive_bar), however, says:

A dive bar is an informal bar or pub. Such bars are sometimes referred to as neighborhood bars, where local residents gather to drink and socialize.

Individual bars may be considered to be disreputable, sinister, or even a detriment to the community. This was especially true in earlier times:

I think the second sentence also means "neighborhood bars are generally referred to as dives." That is how I understand the word "dive," essentially the equivalent of a "tavern," a word I don't hear people using much anymore. (In Washington State, a "tavern" is defined as a drinking establishment that sells only beer and wine (http://dor.wa.gov/Content/DoingBusiness/BusinessTypes/Industry/Tavern/default.aspx), but I am referring to the atmosphere regardless of whether spirits are sold.)

I would not generally consider a brew pub to be a dive, though there probably are places that could convince me of their diviness.

I'm not sure what VS is talking about exactly, but I suspect this is along the lines of a divy brew pub that is, exuding an atmosphere below the casual level.

Nobody else has commented on John Doe's (WG's) interesting observation of dive vs. dive bar; this divy development along with dive restaurants may be an indication that the word has shifted permanently.

This leaves the problem of what to call a disreputable bar. Even "a shit/shitty hole in the wall" is likely a dysphemism for a divy neighborhood tavern/restaurant.

Benjamin Barrett

On Jan 7, 2014, at 6:27 PM, Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at gmail.com> wrote:

> I've noticed conflicting usage in the last decade or so. One is indeed
> along GT's outline. But there's a particular "underground" sense where a
> dive bar would be fashionable among a particular kind of clientele. It's
> hard to describe, but it cannot be truly upscale, must be fairly well
> priced, serve particular kinds of drinks, including retro cocktails and
> exude a certain kind of "dive" atmosphere. Merely calling it
> "fashionable" is not enough. But it does appear to reflect a common GenY
> reversal.
>     VS-)
> On 1/7/2014 4:07 AM, Benjamin Barrett wrote:
>> Good question. It might be a retronym to distinguish it from dive restaurants. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/dive says "A seedy bar, nightclub, etc."
>> On Jan 7, 2014, at 12:49 AM, John Doe <hwgray at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
>>> On Tue, Jan 7, 2014 at 1:54 AM, Benjamin Barrett <gogaku at ix.netcom.com>wrote:
>>>> dive bar
>>> In what way does a "dive *bar*" distinguish itself from an ordinary "dive"?

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