"Uptown" v. "downtown" w/meaning: "main shopping district"

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OHIO.EDU
Fri Jun 25 15:01:36 UTC 2004

At 10:29 PM 6/24/2004 -0400, you wrote:
> >In Marshall, Texas, my birthplace, the county courthouse stands on the
> >highest point in town, facing the main shopping district, which is
> >referred to as "uptown" by the locals. Everyplace else that I've ever
> >lived - various places in Missouri, California, Illinois, &
> >Massachusetts, the main shopping district is referred to as "downtown."
> >So, wrt Marshall, it's obvious that downtown is referred to as "uptown"
> >because it quite literally is _up_town, as any fool can plainly see.
> >However, an article in the NYT Travel section noted that, in
> >Charleston, SC, too, downtown is referred to locally as "uptown," but
> >provided no further information. Does anyone know how the Charleston
> >usage came to be?
> >
> >-Wilson Gray
>There was some discussion of these expressions on this list several years
>ago.  You might consult the archives.  I do remember that "uptown" was
>found in quite a few places, and that it didn't necessarily relate to
>A. Murie

Right.  In Athens, Ohio, a fairly flat town surrounded by hills, the
one-street shopping area-cum-courthouse is called "Uptown."  There ain't no
Downtown here, just two ugly malls.

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