Nation's Capitol Now Known as 'the DMV'

Washington nickname slowly catches on
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 30, 2010 10:07 AM CDT
Nation's Capitol Now Known as 'the DMV'
The view from the Lincoln Memorial in the DMV.   (?sjsharktank)

After more than 200 years, the Washington, DC, area finally has a nickname a bit catchier than 'the nation's capitol." The DMV is no longer just the Department of Motor Vehicles, but also an increasingly known and used acronym for District / Maryland / Virginia. The nickname's origin is a subject of much debate—some say it grew out of the local hip-hop scene, others that it originated on Craigslist (Hot DMV Apartment for Sublet!), the Washington Post reports.

The DMV moniker comes as metropolitan-area nicknames proliferate: Alongside old stalwarts like the Big Apple and the Windy City, there's now H-town for Houston, the 612 for Minneapolis, and the 'Nati for Cincinnati. And the DMV is proving so popular that rappers who live as far away as Baltimore and Richmond claim to come from it, says Dre All Day in the Paint, a hip-hop promoter who says he first popularized the name back in 1995. (More Washington, DC stories.)

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