Origin of the term "Upstate"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu May 19 15:04:55 UTC 2011

At 10:13 PM -0400 5/17/11, victor steinbok wrote:
>In Illinois, on the other hand, there is only "downstate". In fact, people I
>new in high school (Chicago) used to refer to UofI as "Downstate" and the
>reference appeared to be fairly common. E.g., "Did you decide which college
>you're going to next year?" "Downstate." The lower half of the state was
>also referred to as "downstate", but that seemed to be more a political
>division than a general one. Of course, my exposure was fairly limited, at
>that time, so I am only certain of the university reference.

In the same way, depending on the context, "Downstate" in NY can
refer to the SUNY Downstate Medical Center:
http://www.downstate.edu.  As is said on the web site, it is:

"Formally known as The State University of New York Health Science
Center at Brooklyn-but better known to our patients and Brooklyn
neighbors as SUNY Downstate Medical Center."


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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