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What Does the D.C. in Washington, D.C. Stand For?

What Does the D.C. in Washington, D.C. Stand For?

What Does the D.C. in Washington, D.C. Stand For?

Holiday celebrations are popular in our library. It brightens everyone’s day a little. We decorate the circulation desk for events like Halloween, National Library Week, and graduation. Decorating for Presidents’ Day is more difficult.

Nonetheless, with this blog post, it is surely simple to celebrate! Washington, D.C., is the name of our nation’s capital that we’re discussing today.

Congress enacted the Residence Act in July 1790, which also specified the general area of the new capital. Additionally, President Washington was given the power to choose three commissioners to direct the construction of the capital.

These commissioners named the nation’s capital, Washington, in 1791 to honor the president. (See for more details on this procedure!) That explains how Washington, D.C., changed from Washington to Washington, but it still needs to explain the D.C. part!

What Does the D.C. in Washington, D.C. Stand For?

The Columbia Territory is the designation the commissioners give to the new capital. People think the name Columbia is a tribute to Christopher Columbus and a patriotic nod to the early United States.

The name controversy remained unresolved, though, because “federal statutes fluctuated for decades between designating the area a “territory” and a “district,” with the latter being the official designation in 1871.”

What is Washington, DC? Washington, DC, isn’t a state; it’s a district. DC stands for the District of Columbia. Its creation comes directly from the US Constitution, which provides that the district, “not exceeding 10 miles square,” would “become the Seat of the Government of the United States.”

Why is it called DC Comics if the C already stands for comics?

The DC in their emblem was originally for Detective Comics, but the company’s name was National Publications/National Comics. Fans started referring to National Publications as DC Comics because of the emblem. In 1972, they officially became DC Comics.

DC is no longer about Detective Comics. It’s about the “DC” emblem, originally about Detective Comics. So at no point were they ‘Detective Comics Comics.’    

They were National Publications/National Comics and had emblems on their covers to remind people that they were the publishers of Detective Comics and Superman Comics. Then they became DC Comics, with the DC once removed from standing for anything. 

DC stands for the District of Columbia. It is the district in which Washington, the capital, is. Although they cover the same amount of land, Washington and DC are technically separate things.    

DC not being a state causes a big problem. DC residents have no congressional representation. It means that they can’t choose the federal laws that they must submit to, and they can’t choose their taxes. 

That’s why license plates in DC say “taxation without representation.” If DC becomes a state, the name will stay Washington, DC, but DC will stand for “Douglas Commonwealth.” 

The state of DC wouldn’t be the same territory today, and the Capitol and White House wouldn’t be a part of the state since the constitution forbids it. The Capitol and White House would be a part of a stateless district called “the Capital.” The rest of DC would be part of the state.

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What Does the D.C. in Washington, D.C. Stand For?

It goes back to the Masonic founding of America before its actual birth. Columbia is a Goddess; Goddess worship is prevalent among secret and esoteric societies, which is why the symbolism of Columbia is what it is.

Without writing an entire book, I would suggest you look to the men who decided to name it, such as who they were and why they were, and profile them to get the answer. History is never in context and rarely written objectively.

A popular name for places and institutions in the U.S. in the post-Revolutionary years, when former tributes to the king and crown were out of fashion: such as Columbia University (New York, U.S.), founded in 1754 as King’s College; and renamed in 1784.

Also, District of Columbia (1791, as Territory of Columbia); “Hail, Columbia,” Joseph Hopkinson’s patriotic song that served in the 19th century as an unofficial national anthem (1798); “Columbiad,” Joel Barlow’s attempt to write an epic for the United States (1807). Columbiad also was the name of a heavy, cast-iron, smooth-bore cannon introduced in the U.S. in 1811.

It may surprise you, but from pre-colonial times until WWI, the most popular personification of the American colonies/the United States was a woman—specifically, a goddess. Her name is Columbia, and she has a distinctly Roman look. It should not come as a surprise.

For centuries, Europeans had looked back to the Roman Republic/Empire as a symbol of glory, unity, order, and, believe it or not – peace. Rome epitomized warrior culture and was the enforcer of peace and unity.

Nations that could successfully integrate Roman symbols into their national identity lent themselves an air of stability, glory, and power.

What food is Washington, D.C., known for?

Originally Answered: What food is Washington, DC, known for?

The DC area (and I say area because you shouldn’t ignore the suburbs) has great restaurants, ranging from Mom and Pop places to upscale restaurants. I think the best of D.C. mostly falls into the following categories:

  • Ethnic restaurants. We have wonderful immigrant communities in and around the city. These include but aren’t limited to:
    • Ethiopian restaurants, in particular, are great. There are several “Little Ethiopia” areas, including downtown Silver Spring and along Georgia Avenue.
    • There are also several great clusters of Vietnamese restaurants in places like Eden Center in Falls Church.
    • You’ll also find really good Chinese food, particularly dim sum. Look out of Chinatown for it, for the most part. The good places there are Chinatown Express and China Boy. Most of the rest are either non-Chinese or touristy. Wheaton has a great dim sum place called Gourmet Expressions.
    • Any ethnic restaurant by Jose Andres, although my favorite is China Chilcano which features Lima, Peru, style cuisine.
    • Salvadorean food. Lots of great Mom and Pop places, particularly in northern Prince George’s and southeastern Montgomery. Try Taqueria La Placita in Riverdale. Great food.
    • Filipino food. You probably have had lumpia, now try some other things. The best is Manila Mart on Rt 1 in Beltsville.
  • Seafood, particularly from the Chesapeake. Crab cakes, good lord, the crab cakes. Steamed crabs. Rockfish. There are some good places in town, but pay attention to the suburbs in this category.
  • Soul food. Greens, I do love greens. Chicken. Fried fish. Mac and cheese. Awesome. For a first intro, go to Mason Dixie Biscuit Company, although they’re temporarily sharing a storefront with an ice cream place down by Nat’s stadium. Their new place should be open in a few months. Once you’ve broken the ice, walk into any Mom and Pop place. Start with something like fried fish. You’ll love it. Your meal with both is affordable and good.

Is Washington, DC, a city?

Washington is the city, and it was incorporated as a city in the early 19th century. The District of Columbia is a district created by Congress and is neither a city nor a state. It is a district, and the US has only one district.

What Does the D.C. in Washington, D.C. Stand For?
What Does the D.C. in Washington, D.C. Stand For?

The city of Washington’s physical city limits are the same as the district’s physical limits. It was only sometimes so. In the 19th century, Washington was smaller than the district, and Georgetown was a different city. You would send mail to Georgetown, DC.

Today, it is all incorporated into one city.

Hey programmers! It drives me up the wall when a popup list for states comes up, and they don’t know this. For postal service purposes, Washington is the city, and DC is the state, much as we use the abbreviation IL for Illinois or VA for Virginia. Most popup lists get this all wrong.

What are the best spots to take pictures in Washington, D.C., U.S.?

Here are a few from our 24 years in the area:

  1. National Arboretum
  2. Lincoln Memorial view towards the Capital
  3. Jefferson Memorial and Tidal Basin during cherry blossoms
  4. Great Falls National Park (both V.A. and M.D. sides have different features)
  5. Georgetown University Healy Lawn (I’m partial to this one from being a student there)
  6. View of Kennedy Center from one of the Old Town Alexandria river cruises at sunset
  7. Main atrium/ceiling of Union Station and the inside the U.S. Capital
  8. Looking up at the eerie faces of the Korean War Memorial, faces lit up at night
  9. The traditional head-on view of the White House.
  10. Top of the Washington Monument though disappointing for photos, too high up, but you have to do it anyway.

What is it like living in Washington, DC?

It’s wonderful—and it’s gotten better with age. I have lived in this area since high school. In some respects, DC is a city like any other—it has its highs and lows on issues like crime, corruption of city officials, and some scandals here and there, but that usually takes a back seat to politics on the national stage.

The cost of living is high, but that can be affected by where you work. Many people commute to work from some far-off suburbs. It used to be torture when we didn’t have far-ranging Metro and commuter trains like MARC and VRE (God bless them). That has changed for the better.

The local population is hugely diverse— many ethnic groups, religions, and neighborhoods. In my opinion, that has been the major population shift in the last 20 years— DC has evolved from a 70s-style city polarized by white/black relations to a city with many different people at the table. I think we’re all the better for that.

Certainly (and as mentioned), the cuisine has also evolved—I’ve never had so many choices. Not just ethnic, but fusion style, done by people who love to take chances and risk them. The food truck culture is epic— I went to the Smithsonian recently with my son (did I mention most of our museums are free? Oh, I didn’t?), and piled up out front were food trucks; it was like a rolling food mall with dozens of cultures.

Now, I’ll say this— being from NYC originally and still loyal to my birthplace— I think NYC has a more active and spectacular arts scene, with more performance spaces and outlets for such, but I think DC is no slouch, either! So there is plenty of stuff going on here as well. If you’re bored, you only have yourself to blame.

Yeah, I like my adopted hometown, it has matured well, and it’s a great place to live, warts and all.


Fairly cold in the winter, with some years having surprisingly heavy snows. Consistently hot and uncomfortably humid in the summer.
It’s quite crowded, and the housing market could be better. You have to pay through the nose to get a decent living place. And some areas have serious issues with crime.


You’re surrounded by history and have access to many amazing national events. Free museums! The diversity of the greater DC area, including Maryland and northern Virginia, means an amazing array of ethnic cuisines. And there are also a lot of high-end restaurants run by famous chefs.
I wouldn’t say I liked the crowds, the housing market, and the weather. So, I didn’t enjoy living there. But it’s nice to visit! I recommend an early spring or fall visit. Avoid the summers if you can.

How is life in Washington, DC?

Originally Answered: How is life in Washington, DC?

It’s a great place for young professionals, with lots of activities, an active nightlife, and plenty of things to get involved in, from clubs and groups to volunteering to athletics. It has four major sports teams, great and interesting neighborhoods, and plenty of (free) things to keep you occupied, given the museums and such.

Still, there needs to be more talk about politics, and people move around a lot because the government is always changing. Furthermore, the prices are high, the traffic is terrible, and the school system is abysmal (for people with families).

Being there was wonderful when I was younger and much less so as I aged and had a family.

Remember as well; there are very different and interesting personalities to the suburban areas — DC has taxation with no representation, Maryland government and policies influence the Maryland Side, and Northern Virginia is an animal unto itself in a strangely purple state.

What are the downsides of living in Washington, DC?

I’ve lived in DC for just shy of three decades, and I can say there are a few things about DC that stink:

High douchebag factor: lots of people are impressed with themselves. First, I ask you, “oh, and what do you do?” They aren’t sincerely interested; they are just sizing you up. I don’t care if they make coffee for some senator or are interning at a fancy law firm. And I don’t care about your fancy new car. Shut up and grow up! And then there are the self-righteous douchebags. These people will lecture you on saving the environment yet will drive daily to work because they’re too important to walk 8 minutes to the metro station.

People who bitch that this isn’t NYC: No, it isn’t. DC has its vibe and dynamic. It isn’t as artsy as NYC, nor is it as diverse. But shut your piehole, and you might enjoy world-class culture and nightlife. I swear, the only reason New Yorkers ever leave is to bitch about how someplace isn’t NY.

What Does the D.C. in Washington, D.C. Stand For?

Traffic: The infrastructure in DC was made for a metro area of a million people. That served us well until the early 2000s when DC surfaced on everyone’s radar. The metro area eventually exploded to over 6 million. Put that many people on the metro (subway), highways, and streets, and you will see the infrastructure well over capacity.

Parking: This is mostly nonexistent. You have automotive squatters who never move their street-parked car for fear of never finding another parking spot. Lop, on top of that, an uber-zealous meter maid squad who dishes out tickets like candy at Halloween. Going for paid monthly parking will run you $250 to $300 a month. Having a car is an expensive proposition. Only buy a place in DC with parking if you have a car.

Cost of living: Of course, that brings us to what you have to fork out to live in the District. It was a hidden, affordable diamond when I first moved to DC. Fast forward 25 years and demand to live in DC far outpaces the housing supply. Strict sizing regulations limit housing, and the federal government owns much of the desirable land. You must sell a kidney and hold the Lindbergh baby for ransom to afford a dumpster in DC. Typical 1BR/1BA run $2500 a month or sell for $400,000. Get used to shelling out a large portion of your paycheck for housing!

Weather: Summer weather sucks. It’s hot and oppressively humid. You can taste the humidity (mixed in with car exhaust). Winter can get cold and occasionally snow (if you’re from the north, the snowfall is largely laughable). Never rent/buy a place without central a/c.

What Does the D.C. in Washington, D.C. Stand For?