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.

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