Relive the excitement of the Patriots’ path to their fourth Super Bowl Championship with “Pumped”, a special commemorative book from The Boston Globe. Order now.

editorial

SoBo: Southie with Botox?

Keep your nicknames and your vermin to yourself.

Keep your nicknames and your vermin to yourself.

SoBo? Really? When an article in The New York Times used the mysterious term to refer to South Boston, asserting that “gritty Southie . . . has morphed into SoBo,” Twitter lit up with mockery. SoBo is a term that nobody in the neighborhood — not even the newcomers living in what the Times called its “glassy condos” — has ever used unironically.

In truth, though, it’s not the first sighting of the word. Realtors have tried to rechristen Boston neighborhoods before. They also attempted to rename East Boston “EaBo,” and have actually been successful at convincing some residents to call the part of the South End south of Washington Street “SoWa.”

Continue reading below

Yet just like bedbugs, affected shorthand names for neighborhoods are far more likely to establish themselves in New York City — think Soho, Dumbo, Nolita. The implication that Boston is no different is probably why the Times article set off such a reaction.

The forces of change are indeed at work in South Boston, but reflexive trend-chasing isn’t one of them.

Loading comments...

Wake up with today's top stories.

Want each day's news headlines delivered fresh to your
inbox every morning? Just connect with us
in one of the following ways:
or
Please enter a valid email
BostonGlobe.com will never post anything without asking. Privacy Policy
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com