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  #1  
Old 02-03-2009, 12:28 AM
Koxinga Koxinga is offline
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Why is there no Western Seaboard? Or Gulf Seaboard?

You only hear about the Eastern Seaboard. What's special about the Atlantic coast of the United States that makes it a "seaboard?"

Are there any other "seaboards" in the world?
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  #2  
Old 02-03-2009, 04:53 AM
Bijou Drains Bijou Drains is offline
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Maybe the same reason there is no Atlantic Northeast?
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  #3  
Old 02-03-2009, 03:41 PM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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Probably for the same reason people say "there's no east side of Chicago." Of course there is, there's an east side to everything.

But people also say "I'm catching a plane for the coast." They mean the Pacific coast.

It's just a term that's become associated with the area.

Like when I say "the South," I wouldn't include any part of Florida from Orlando on south and I wouldn't include Jacksonville, but those are obviously part of "the South."

But they were settled en masse by Northerners.
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  #4  
Old 02-03-2009, 04:37 PM
panache45 panache45 is offline
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Just a WAG, but it may be because "seaboard" seems like a fairly old-fashioned term, and the Eastern coast was populated first, back when shipping was the primary means of transportation. Plus, at that time most immigrants came from Europe. So the Atlantic remained the "default" body of water bordering the U.S. . . . the "sea bo(a)rder," if you will.
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Old 02-03-2009, 05:05 PM
yabob yabob is offline
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Probably for the same reason people say "there's no east side of Chicago." Of course there is, there's an east side to everything.
I would say that when talking about "sides" of a city, you mean that direction from the downtown, or, possibly, a term commonly used to by the locals whether it makes directional sense or not. So Chicago doesn't have an "east side" - it isn't a commonly used local term, and east of the downtown is in Lake Michigan. Paper Lace was apparently singing about a war between gangster fish. Or a Chicago in the same alternate universe where Perry Como observed that "The bluest skies you've ever seen are in Seattle".
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  #6  
Old 02-03-2009, 05:37 PM
panache45 panache45 is offline
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Originally Posted by Markxxx View Post
. . . there's an east side to everything.
Except the poles.
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  #7  
Old 02-03-2009, 05:41 PM
hibernicus hibernicus is online now
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Ireland has a western seaboard. In fact, when I do a google search for "western seaboard" (admittedly on google.ie) the positive results refer almost exclusively to Ireland.
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Old 02-03-2009, 05:50 PM
Fish Fish is offline
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Except the poles.
Maybe... I can czech.
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Old 02-03-2009, 05:54 PM
Satchmo Satchmo is offline
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I was taught in Jr. High that it was because most of the Eastern Seaboard was settled by Northern Europeans, (maybe Dutch 'zeeboarden'), while the west coast was mostly settled by the Spanish, (hence 'costa'). I don't know Dutch or Spanish, so what I was taught could be so wrong.
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Old 02-03-2009, 05:55 PM
Tom Tildrum Tom Tildrum is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yabob View Post
I would say that when talking about "sides" of a city, you mean that direction from the downtown, or, possibly, a term commonly used to by the locals whether it makes directional sense or not. So Chicago doesn't have an "east side" - it isn't a commonly used local term, and east of the downtown is in Lake Michigan. Paper Lace was apparently singing about a war between gangster fish. Or a Chicago in the same alternate universe where Perry Como observed that "The bluest skies you've ever seen are in Seattle".
"...born and raised in South Detroit..."

-- Journey
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  #11  
Old 02-03-2009, 06:08 PM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
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Why is it a seaboard when it's on an ocean?
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Old 02-03-2009, 06:21 PM
Balthisar Balthisar is offline
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Originally Posted by Tom Tildrum View Post
"...born and raised in South Detroit..."

-- Journey
Beat me to it
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  #13  
Old 02-03-2009, 06:50 PM
levdrakon levdrakon is offline
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Originally Posted by Satchmo View Post
I was taught in Jr. High that it was because most of the Eastern Seaboard was settled by Northern Europeans, (maybe Dutch 'zeeboarden'), while the west coast was mostly settled by the Spanish, (hence 'costa'). I don't know Dutch or Spanish, so what I was taught could be so wrong.
I'd say you're on to something. Starboard means "the steering side" which for right handed people is the right side of a ship.

Seaboard would mean "the side the sea is on" but might not make it into west coast parlance.
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  #14  
Old 02-03-2009, 09:46 PM
DSYoungEsq DSYoungEsq is offline
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Look at the Eastern Seaboard. The look at the West Coast. There is a notable difference.

The Atlantic coast of the country is quite thoroughly populated, all the way from Florida on up. Especially, from Newport News up to Maine, there is considerable commercial activity all along the coast, either through shipping or through vacationing.

By comparison, the West Coast only has pockets of humanity on it. San Diego, then the LA area, then a big skip to Santa Barbara, which isn't that big a pocket. Then a LONG jump to San Luis Obispo, then another VERY long jump to the Monterey Bay. Another longish jump to the San Francisco Bay. Etc., all the way up the coast.

So the West Coast is not an inhabited area, not commercially important, etc.
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  #15  
Old 02-03-2009, 09:58 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious Discord View Post
Why is it a seaboard when it's on an ocean?
If you think that's bad, our Eastern Seaboard is on a gulf, the Gulf of Thailand.
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  #16  
Old 02-03-2009, 10:18 PM
Koxinga Koxinga is offline
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Originally Posted by DSYoungEsq View Post
Look at the Eastern Seaboard. The look at the West Coast. There is a notable difference.

The Atlantic coast of the country is quite thoroughly populated, all the way from Florida on up. Especially, from Newport News up to Maine, there is considerable commercial activity all along the coast, either through shipping or through vacationing.

By comparison, the West Coast only has pockets of humanity on it. San Diego, then the LA area, then a big skip to Santa Barbara, which isn't that big a pocket. Then a LONG jump to San Luis Obispo, then another VERY long jump to the Monterey Bay. Another longish jump to the San Francisco Bay. Etc., all the way up the coast.

So the West Coast is not an inhabited area, not commercially important, etc.
How does that impact the terminology used in referring to the two regions? Does the word "seaboard" carry some related connotation?

ETA: OTOH, Satchmo appears to make a good point -- if indeed it isn't a sort of cultural retcon. (Not an accusation, just an observation that spurious popular expanations often arise that way and make their way even to the schools.)

Last edited by Koxinga; 02-03-2009 at 10:21 PM..
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  #17  
Old 02-03-2009, 10:27 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
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Originally Posted by Markxxx View Post
Probably for the same reason people say "there's no east side of Chicago."
My daddy was a cop. On the East Side of Chicago. Back in the USA. Back in the bad old days.
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  #18  
Old 02-04-2009, 10:20 AM
Bijou Drains Bijou Drains is offline
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LA and Long Beach are very busy ports, probably a lot of Chinese stuff passes through there. Seattle has a pretty big port too.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...ontainer_ports
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  #19  
Old 02-04-2009, 12:18 PM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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Well there IS an East Side (Wikipedia) of Chicago

What I think DSYoungEsq is referring to is the fact on the West Coast you only have San Diego, LA, and San Francisco. Portland is inland and Seattle and Vancouver are not directly on the ocean. And eve in SF, Oakland is the main port area which not directly on the bay. Stockton inland is a big port and that's inland too.

But on the east coast from Boston to Miami, it's pretty much populated and the barrier Islands are small (excepting Long Island) where on the West coast Seattle and Vancouver are inland by huge barrier islands.

On the East Coast only North Carolina lacks a main city on the coast. (Wilmington NC has a hundred thousand but isn't big compared to the other NC cities).

I'm speaking roughly here
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  #20  
Old 02-04-2009, 01:53 PM
GorillaMan GorillaMan is offline
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Originally Posted by hibernicus View Post
Ireland has a western seaboard. In fact, when I do a google search for "western seaboard" (admittedly on google.ie) the positive results refer almost exclusively to Ireland.
"'Western seaboard' scotland" pretty much matches "'western seaboard' ireland" - to have a tradition of such naming, I guess there's got to be (a) more than one coast, (b) a maritime history, and (c) English as a local language. There's quite a few results originating from India in similar searches on that country, for example. (Edit: and I suppose there's not the same maritime history on the west of America as on the east, even though modern shipping is important.)

Last edited by GorillaMan; 02-04-2009 at 01:56 PM..
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  #21  
Old 02-04-2009, 02:00 PM
yabob yabob is offline
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Originally Posted by Markxxx View Post
Well there IS an East Side (Wikipedia) of Chicago

...
Well, OK, but that article even notes that it's pretty obscure:
Quote:
The bubble-gum pop song The Night Chicago Died refers to the East Side of Chicago, confusing even native Chicagoans who have never heard of the East Side. It is likely the band (Paper Lace), being from Nottingham, England, had no knowledge of Chicago geography and simply used "East Side" out of ignorance.
Bolding mine. And given its location, it's actually the east side of the south side.
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  #22  
Old 02-04-2009, 06:57 PM
jnglmassiv jnglmassiv is offline
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Originally Posted by Markxxx View Post
Probably for the same reason people say "there's no east side of Chicago." Of course there is, there's an east side to everything.
Milwaukee's East Side is a neighborhood right up against the lake and I lived there for 5 years while a student. As an otherwise lifelong Chicagoan, it always seemed strange to say/hear East Side.
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