Pronunciation confusion: Pronounce it with only three syllables, so orn-jing-ton rather than the orangutan-like four syllable or-anj-ing-ton.
By now most readers have probably already seen Arlington: The Rap, the hilarious spoof that lovingly pokes fun at Washington’s even-more yuppie-filled western extension. The rap isn’t really about Arlington, though; it’s about that specific portion of Arlington lying along Metro’s Orange line that over the past generation has morphed from sleepy suburb to central city destination. The rap got me thinking: That part of Arlington needs a unique name. People talk about it all the time. Why not give it a single identifier?
“Arlington”, after all, refers to the whole 26 square mile county, from Chain Bridge on the north to Four Mile Run on the south, and west almost to Leesburg Pike. “North Arlington” also won’t do, since it refers as much to the rolling suburbs north of Route 29 as it does to the Orange Line Corridor. “Orange Line Corridor” itself is too much of a mouthful, as are the other frequent substitutes, “Wilson Boulevard Corridor” and “Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor”. Even shortening to “R-B” or “R-B Corridor” leaves much to be desired.
But how about “Orangington”? It spells a little awkward, but it sounds verbally clean, fits the blankington scheme used by Washington, Arlington and Shirlington, and the connection between the neighborhoods in question and Metro’s Orange Line is so strong that it’s immediately obvious what the name refers to. Normally I’d be hesitant to try and force a contrived name on unwanting locals (Penn Quarter and NoMa, anyone?), but in this case there does seem to be a need and the name does seem to be pretty organic. Indeed, I’ve been dropping it in casual conversation lately and although I get some “I’ve never heard that” comments, everyone I’ve spoken to has understood the reference immediately. It seems a natural moniker for an area that increasingly needs one.
So how about it, folks? Orangington from now on?
View Orangington in a larger map
Approximate boundaries of Orangington (in orange).
Cross-posted to Greater Greater Washington.