Downtown and uptown

Jim   Tuesday, June 17, 2003, 07:47 GMT
Is that true or are you just making it up? I know castles have always been popular in the US.
Simon   Tuesday, June 17, 2003, 08:05 GMT
The English language is European in origin and in many cases American English uses expressions or words that we were once in use in Europe.

Actually, thinking about it, I talk about going down the road. This must be similar. I think people have only used compass directions since the invention of the compass. In the past, people didn't use maps; They had a list of the places you had to go through.

I say going "into" town and being "in" town but that's not more logical either.
I found this too   Tuesday, June 17, 2003, 08:23 GMT
- I'm curious about the origin of the word downtown. I've looked it up in several dictionaries but none had a historical explanation. Could you please help me with that? Thanks a lot.

- I've run into the same problem you're having: none of my sources gives any information on this word. However, I expect we can assume that the term springs from the fact that towns are often located in valleys, near water. Towns were centers of trade and commerce, so the facilities for such trade were often located in the oldest part of a town. As the town grew, the commerce center would remain in the valley, while the rest of the town grew outward from there, often uphill. Therefore, when one wanted to go to the commerce center, one would go `down,' hence downtown.
Corey Graham   Thursday, June 19, 2003, 21:35 GMT
Most Canadians use either Downtown or City Centre ( we understand both ), but uptown? I have no idea.
Reply   Friday, June 20, 2003, 15:13 GMT
Hasn't anyone ever heard the song 'Uptown Girl' before? It's by Billy Joel.
Guofei Ma   Friday, June 20, 2003, 22:11 GMT
The Encarta World English Dictionary defines uptown as "the upper or northern part of a city". I don't believe that's the common definition of the word.
hp20   Saturday, June 21, 2003, 02:08 GMT
i also think "downtown" can generally refer to the crappier parts of a city, as well, just as "uptown" refers to the better section. i know there are some sayings or songs that equate downtown with shabby living but nothing comes to mind at the moment...
Jim   Monday, June 23, 2003, 03:15 GMT

Who are you, Reply? Are you hp20 or are you just asking the same question as she did on last page? Anyway, here's my reply: "Yes, I've heard it, prehaps we've all heard it, it's a pretty well-known song form a pretty well known artist." In this song "downtown" is equated with shabby living and "uptown" is ... hey, wait a minute ... hp20, why do you write "nothing comes to mind at the moment..." when it was you who first mentioned this example?
hp20   Monday, June 23, 2003, 05:14 GMT
"reply" is not me. must be someone who doesn't read carefully enough.

no need to be rude, jim, i gave the song on the first page as an example of how "uptown" is used. you don't have to be snide.

sorry, i don't keep a mental catalog of every reference to "downtown" and "uptown" that i've heard. i was going to think of an example and also used that response as a sort of introduction if anyone else had any. if my lack of immediate elaboration throws you off so, then i won't do it again. sorry.
Simon   Monday, June 23, 2003, 08:59 GMT
Uptight girl
She's been living in her uptight world
Now she's looking for a doormat gu-uy
And she'll see if she can make him cry

And now she's stalking
I'm cal-ling
The poli-i-ice
scottish   Tuesday, June 24, 2003, 14:19 GMT
down town=the center of the city,,,,shopping mall........

up town=snob