Parlez-Vous D.C.? A Dictionary for District Parents

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D.C.’s unique vocabulary and insider references could fill up an entire dictionary. We figured it was time for an addendum just for you parents out there. Here’s a lesson in local lingo for Moms and Dads.

5629461661_3d46b3e318_zPhoto: Kevin Harber via flickr

The Nats
Everywhere else: Those pesky winged insects that threaten to spoil your beach vacation.
Washington, D.C.: Our beloved baseball team!  Next season, be sure to let your 4-12 year-olds take advantage of Kids Run the Bases.  Each child accompanied by an adult can have his or her moment of homer glory starting 20 minutes after the end of every game, weather
permitting.  For details, see:

The White House
Everywhere else: That modest craftsman down the street that always manages to show everybody up with its holiday lawn decorations.
Washington, D.C.: That rather ostentatious neo-classical mansion at 1600 Pennsylvania that always manages to show everybody up with its holiday lawn decorations.  Note: tickets for the National Christmas Tree lighting lottery are now closed, but you and your kids can still watch it on PBS!  For more information, see:

Old Town
Everywhere else: Home of the Citadel, where Games of Thrones‘ Samwell Tarly trains to become a Maester.  Good luck, Sam the Slayer.
Washington, D.C.: Alexandria, VA’s quaint historic district, complete with legit cobblestone streets.  Don’t miss the Compagna Center Scottish Walk Parade on December 5, where the kids can see traditional
bagpipes, drums, Scottie dogs, and–of course–Santa Claus.  For additional information:

national-mall-crdtPhoto: polytropos via flickr 

The Mall
Everywhere else: A local hub for teenage hormones.  Oh, and birthplace of the cheese-dipped soft pretzel.  Mmmmm.
Washington, D.C.: The National Mall boasts the country’s most famous monuments and memorials and plays hosts to protests, soccer games, and festivals.  The (free) museums alone will entertain your cherubs all winter long.

Chevy Chase
Everywhere else: One of the OG SNL cast members, navigationally-challenged Clark Griswold, and a handsome plaid-clad golfer.
Washington, D.C.: A Maryland suburb that’s also a frequent contender for the title of “Nation’s Most Affluent Town.”  The adjacent spray ground may be closed for the season, but Chevy Chase Playground is worth the drive!  See:

Everywhere else: The seldom-experienced parental indulgence also known as “chillin’,” “relaxin’,” “nappin’ while the kids watch Frozen for the 93rd time”.
Washington, D.C.: The idyllic NoVa suburb that’s home to SkateQuest—an indoor ice skating rink that hosts a Snow and Story Hour for preschool-aged kids.  Bring your children to romp about on the ice (no skates required!) and play in a pile of real snow, then warm up with hot cocoa and a cookie while they listen to a story!  For additional details, see:

5553445670_6714e619d4_zPhoto: Brunswick Crossing via flickr

Everywhere else: Your neighbor, known for his exceptionally tangy homemade pickles.
Washington, D.C.: The Maryland Area Regional Commuter, a high-speed rail system that operates in the Baltimore-Washington, DC metropolitan area.  Kids under the age of six ride free with any full fare paying passenger!

The Hill
Everywhere else: That topographical gem that brings squeals of delight to children on sleds.
Washington, D.C.: The United States Capitol Building, a metonym for the United States Congress, and a (technically forbidden) topographical gem that brings squeals of delight to children on sleds.

Everywhere else: That chemical company that makes your makeup, yogurt, Corian countertops, and high performance golf balls.
Washington, D.C.: A historic district in northwest Washington, DC known for the Phillips Collection, its park with permanent stone chessboards, and the annual High Heel Race. Bring your kids to Kramerbooks to pick up some politically progressive children’s books, and just try to leave without devouring their signature Café Hot Fudge Sundae.

What D.C.-centric words did we miss? Tell us in the comments section.

–Katie Brown

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