phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

Re: Inside the Beltway

Posted by ESC on March 17, 2001

In Reply to: Inside The Beltway posted by BillyB on March 17, 2001

: I heard this phrase and have absolutely no clue what it means. Can anyone clue me in? I was also curious where or how it originated.

INSIDE THE BELTWAY - "Geographically, within the Capital Beltway surrounding Washington, D.C.; metaphorically, minutiae of government gossip of interest only to pundits and lobbyists, but a yawner to the Real World Out There. The details of insiderdom cherished by insiders are derided as 'inside-the-Beltway stuff' by those professing to be in touch with the more important feelings of The Great Unwashed. The phrase first appeared as a hyphenated modifier in a 1977 Washington Post headline on a fishing story: 'Inside-the-Beltway Trout Fishing Nears.' It was based on the 1951 coinage 'beltway' for the surrounding road the British call a 'ring road' or 'orbital road'." "This circumferential highway.cuts through Maryland and Virginia Suburbs." From "Safire's New Political Dictionary" by William Safire (Random House, New York, 1993).