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Posted at 1:05 PM ET, 06/ 2/2010

'Delmarva Shore' ahead?

By Dan Malouff

Beaches of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic
Beaches of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.

Every weekend from now until Labor Day, thousands of New Englanders will travel to Cape Cod, thousands of New Yorkers will go to the Hamptons or the Jersey Shore, and thousands of Washingtonians will go to ... what do you call that collection of beaches near Ocean City?

One of the marks of an important place is that it has a name, and indeed, naming things is a time-honored tradition in our civilization. From the Founding Fathers' decision to name their federal city after George Washington, to WMATA's neighborhood-defining station names such as Gallery Place and Virginia Square, to developer schemes like Penn Quarter, Washingtonians have never been shy about inventing names for places they deem important.

It is time that we named our summer playground.

Some might propose "the Eastern Shore," but every Maryland fourth-grader knows that moniker was invented to describe the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay, not the Atlantic Ocean. It simply won't do. "Fenwick Island" would cover Ocean City and Bethany, but leave out Rehoboth and Assateague.

The most sensible name would be "Delmarva Shore." The expanse of beaches hits all three states, the name is geographically accurate, and it is distinct from Eastern Shore.

What do you think? Should we start calling greater Ocean City/Bethany/Rehoboth "Delmarva Shore"?

Dan Malouff is an Arlington County transportation planner who blogs independently at The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

By Dan Malouff  | June 2, 2010; 1:05 PM ET
Categories:  HotTopic, Local blog network  
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You can't be from around here. No DC area native would pick any name that included the word "shore". That's strictly a Jersey thing.

Posted by: krickey7 | June 2, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

The consensus in comments at BeyondDC seems to be that Eastern Shore works well enough and is well-enough used already.

And krickey: "Shore" is kind of a Jersey thing, but no more than "beach" is a southern thing.

Posted by: Dan Malouff | June 3, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Not to be picky, but every one of those states actually is in the South.
When we say we're going to the beach, everyone knows we mean the beaches in Delaware or Maryland. Using the name the "Eastern Shore" that already refers to a completely separate, preexisting geographic unit would be unnecessary and confusing.
I wouldn't pin too much import on the consensus of BeyondDC; sample size looked pretty small, and these sorts of things tend to atttract comments by those wanting change, whereas those content with the status quo feel no need to comment.

Posted by: krickey7 | June 3, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

growing up in Mo.Co. we always called it "The Beach"

having moved to the MD Eastern Shore thirty years ago...I am all for some initiative out of our Capitol that finds Pennsylvania a Beach of their own

Posted by: terpsez11 | June 3, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Malouff, I believe we have a new consensus. It's simply "the beach". It's short and has a generally accepted, unique meaning in this area, at least.
Might I suggest you turn your fixation on renaming things to the new trend by radio DJ's of labeling the Washington metropolitan area the "DMV". That name brings back hideous memories of standing in line for hours to get my DC driver's license renewed.

Posted by: krickey7 | June 4, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I spent the summer in Ocean City, MD 24 years ago. The term Delmarva was already common back then. Hardly a new name. And growing up in Maryland, we considered the Eastern Shore to be the area on the other side of the bay, not the bay shore itself.

Posted by: ArlingtonGay | June 5, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

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