phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at


Posted by R. Berg on January 31, 2001

In Reply to: Midwest posted by Don on January 30, 2001

: Where and how did the phrase orginate. I live in Seattle, but grew up in the Chicago/Michgan area. It has always been referred to as the midwest. People here look at me as I'm crazy when I say that.

: It's east of the Mississippi so why is it called the midwest??

Chalk it up to eastern chauvinism. The middle of our slice of the continent lay west of the part first settled by Europeans, and so that was "the west." (The left side of the continent was nothing but a blur from the eastern point of view.) As parts farther west were explored and annexed, the central area became "the middle west." In other words, the term "midwest" is a holdover from earlier times, much like the Electoral College.