How Did the Words “Uptown” and “Downtown” Originate and What Do the Terms Mean?

When New York City was only a town, its growth was restricted by the shape of Manhattan Island.

The word uptown first appeared in about 1830 and was used to describe the residential area growing up the Island away from the southern business centre.

Within a few years, downtown appeared to describe the opposite of uptown, or the main commercial district.

how did the words uptown and downtown originate and what do the terms mean

Today, the suburbs are uptown, while downtown remains the heart of the business district.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist for Born in New York, she loves interesting random facts from all over the world.