[Ads-l] beltway

Stanton McCandlish smccandlish at GMAIL.COM
Mon Nov 13 17:18:39 EST 2017

In the DC sense, it's become a proper name (i.e., it's not just a beltway,
but the Beltway, both in the literal sense of the highway ring around the
capital, and the figurative sense ("inside the Beltway", "a Beltway-bandit
firm") referring to the insider culture of Washington DC lobbyists and
government contractors.  That usage was already very firmly entrenched when
I was working there in 1993.

Reminds me of "Bridge and Tunnel", a usually pejorative descriptor of
monied people who come into Manhattan for shopping and nightlife. It has
since (no later than the mid-1990s) been adopted in San Francisco to refer
to people from the North Bay area, in the same sense, due to there also
coincidentally being a bridge and tunnel between the city and the "wine
country" where these people live.   Similar to that, in turn, is "the
Tenderloin" as a descriptor of a rough urban neighborhood with a strong
illicit economy, ripe for police graft and extortion; that also originated
as NYC slang, and it became used the same way in SF, but is now actually
the official name of a neighborhood there.

Stanton McCandlish
McCandlish Consulting
4001 San Leandro St
Suite 28
Oakland  CA 94601-4055

+1 415 234 3992


On Sat, Nov 11, 2017 at 7:39 PM, Bill Mullins <amcombill at hotmail.com> wrote:

> The new releases for the OED in September included "beltway", as in the
> highway loop that surrounds Washington DC.
> OED has 6 Aug 1951 for the term.
> This can be antedated by one day (at least).
> Washington DC _Evening Star_ 5 Aug 1951 p A2 col 1
> "The proposed beltway would connect Route 1 on the Southwest with Route
> 40 on the West, Route 140 on the Northwest, Route 111 on the North and
> Route 1 and Route 40 on the Northeast."
> "inside the beltway" OED has 1982
> Washington DC _Evening Star_ 30 Nov 1980 p C2 col 3
> "Inside the beltway, cutting out the perks wasn't popular, but in the
> rest of the country, it played very well.  It was part of the Carter
> image we wanted to portray."
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