|Slang City Mail|
|March 25, 2004|
Slang of the
Week: bridge and tunnel crowd (noun phrase)
This expression brings to mind a classic 1976 New Yorker cover by Saul Steinberg. In the illustration “View of the World from 9th Avenue,” a few blocks of Manhattan take up the majority of the space. The rest of the United States is a small square beyond the vast Hudson River and Japan and China are only tiny blobs in the background.
If Bostonians believe that their city is the hub of the universe, New Yorkers believe that their city is the universe. In fact, New Yorkers, when elsewhere, often refer to New York as simply the city as though it were the only one. This linguistic phenomenon extends to one of the Big Apple’s better known citizens as well. Real estate tycoon Donald Trump is known as The Donald.
Although the phrase bridge and tunnel crowd (sometimes bridge and tunnel people or just bridge and tunnel) originated in New York, it has spread to other cities. The quote above is from San Francisco, where at least some of the natives seem to feel the same disdain for suburbanites who come into the city to go club-hopping.
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