Big Apple, The Windy City…DMV?

by Mark Wellborn


Apparently, a move is afoot to give the DC area a moniker that is synonymous with headaches and frustration.

The Washington Post has an article in today’s Metro section that reports that “DMV,” a nickname for the DC, Maryland and Virginia area is growing in popularity, despite the fact that most people in the area still associate the initials with the Department of Motor Vehicles.

While the move is being met with a level of support that is reminiscent of when the Bullets became the Wizards, the nickname’s credibilty suffers mightily due to the fact that its genesis is a mystery. While Chicago’s nickname has been attributed to the howling winds coming off of Lake Michigan and the Big Apple seems to have been coined by a sportswriter in the 1920s (and fittingly stuck), DMV’s origins are attributed to…Craigslist. From The Post:

We would congratulate the originator of “the DMV,” but it’s not clear who should get the props. [Sandy Bellamy, executive director of the Historical Society of Washington] isn’t sure where the name came from. She suggests this clever coinage may have originated as location shorthand on Craigslist.

Naturally, the comments to the idea/article were less than favorable of the idea:

DMV is a really bad idea. Although the DMV in DC has become very user friendly, it brings up bad connotations for people from every state. Please don’t do this!”

DC or the District, that’s it. There is no need for any other “nickname”. And yes, if you live within the District of Columbia, you are a DC resident. If you live in Arlington, you live in Virginia, or you might say “Northern Virginia” because you are somehow afraid people will think you live in Appalachia. If you live in Silver Spring, you live in Maryland.

Now time for your thoughts. Will you be calling the DC area DMV anytime soon? Let us know in the comments.

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/big_apple_the_windy_city...dmv/2326


  1. No said at 4:37 pm on Friday July 30, 2010:

    No, no, no, no…

  1. me said at 4:45 pm on Friday July 30, 2010:

    We in the District have a name for the morons who coined DMV: Bamas.

  1. Saul said at 6:45 pm on Friday July 30, 2010:

    yes, lets nickname it after an inept city dept.

  1. Russ said at 8:27 pm on Friday July 30, 2010:

    I think ‘greater DC’ is still better than DMV, DVM, or any other variations.

  1. DC Native said at 11:15 am on Sunday August 1, 2010:

    DC should be referenced as the Capital, the District, or DC.

    DMV caters to suburbanites in MD and VA.

  1. BD said at 9:41 am on Monday August 2, 2010:

    Who has all of the sudden decided to push this moniker?  I’ve been hearing it all over the news and the blogosphere recently (although a few have been using this for awhile now).  This is NOT an endearing term.  “The District” is far easier and more marketable than being associated with a place EVERYONE hates to go.

  1. Geori said at 11:04 am on Monday August 2, 2010:

    AWFUL NAME!  Kill it now!

  1. jj said at 11:08 am on Monday August 2, 2010:

    i agree, DMV pulls in way too many people who have worked hard to create their own identities and are proud of their towns, cities and states. Let’s leave it the District, Maryland and Virginia, please?

  1. MM said at 11:21 am on Monday August 2, 2010:

    Hate it!! DC is the best!!

  1. Dissenter said at 12:58 pm on Monday August 2, 2010:

    I actually love the name. It describes the cultural boundary of this region better than any other term and it is only three letters long…you can’t get more efficient than that!  Centerville and Bowie residents DO NOT live in “DC”, but can contribute to our madness so the term fits.

  1. LaszloB said at 1:31 pm on Monday August 2, 2010:

    I just wonder how many focus groups, marketing studies and meetings were paid for by someone to come up with this mess.  not sure whether to laugh or cry.

  1. nissanke weerasinghe said at 6:53 am on Tuesday August 3, 2010:

    how awful is that..kill it.

    Surely DC was never known for lack of creativity…

    How about ...simply DCmetro, greaterDC,  or…

    We need some capital ideas pls…

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