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What Do You Consider to be “The City”?

Songquan Deng – ThinkStock

Having grown up mostly in Middlesex County, I’ve visited “The City” plenty of times. It’s only recently though that I realized that when you say “do you want to go to The City?”, it may not mean the same thing to everyone.

As with other regionalisms, the “city” that you’re referring to when you say that you’re going to “The City” says a lot about where you’re from.

For much of New Jersey, I’d say Ocean County north, and East of Mercer County, “The City” is naturally referring to New York City.

But, for some areas, Camden County, the western parts of Burlington County, people go to Philadelphia when they want to go to “The City”.

I even heard someone refer to Atlantic City the same way, but that may be a bit of a stretch.

I also have friends online who have referred to Chicago, San Francisco, and Boston as “The City”.

I guess I always just assumed that everyone called New York City “The City” since it’s the biggest in the country and, obviously, it has “City” in the name. But I suppose, for much of the suburban areas of the country, “The City” is whatever the closest large metropolitan area is.

So what do you think of when people talk about “The City”? Tell us in the comments!

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