Wednesday, December 10, 2003
- Wall Street -- the U.S. financial industry
- K Street -- Washington lobbyists
- Fleet Street -- London's tabloid newspapers
- Madison Avenue -- advertising
- Broadway -- theatre
- Rodeo Drive -- haute couture
- Hollywood -- the entertainment industry
- Nashville -- the country music industry
- Brussels -- European Union officialdom/Eurocrats
Also, one time I was stopped by a police office for a rolling stop at a stop sign (this was in my youth; for years I have maintained a strict full stop policy) and he accused me of making a "California stop," I presume extending the image of California as a laidback place to describe a lax attitude on my part to traffic laws.
The capital-city-as-shorthand-for-the-government usage seems to be the most common one, and the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary gives as a second definition under Washington: "fig. The US government or any of its departments;" and as a fourth definition under Brussels: "The Commission of the European Community, with headquarters in Brussels." Hollywood and Wall Street also rate Shorter OED entries, but not the others (with the exception of Fleet Street) may be too U.S. specific for that dictionary.
So, the things I'm wondering are: 1) Is there a specific term for a place name that represents a larger community/industry? and 2) What other such place-names-as-synonyms-for-communities/industries are there?
© 2003–2010 T. Carter Ross