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In the US, why is the east coast called "the eastern seaboard"? It's not on a sea, but an ocean. And why isn't there a western seaboard instead of "west coast"?

Question #58497. Asked by dejavucub4.

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19 year member
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It's also called the east coast. The reason they don't put a similar term in the west is possibly because the sound of the phrase isn't as catchy. Or perhaps that while the west coast is on Pacific time, and none of the US is on Atlantic time (only a couple provinces of Canada are), which makes it hard for a lot of East-Americans to really relate to the Atlantic. All this is of course speculation.

Jul 25 2005, 7:43 AM
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18 year member
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Good question, dejavu. I tried to find the origin of the term "eastern seaboard" (or, as it's sometimes called, the "Atlantic seaboard")with no luck. My husband The Maven grew up on the east coast, and he suspects that the rather more rugged west coast simply doesn't lend itself to the term "seaboard."

As for relating to the Atlantic, Arpeggionist, I have to differ, because I've spent much of my life to date on the eastern seaboard. The proximity of the ocean is part and parcel of the lives of east coasters and always has been. If you grew up in New Jersey or the eastern portions of Pennsylvania around Philadelphia, you probably spent portions of your childhood summers "down the shore." Major east coast cities are on or very near the Atlantic and were founded in their locations partly for that reason. Think of what Atlantic cod did for the New England economy!

Jul 25 2005, 8:15 AM
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Perhaps, since the British colonized America we adopted their use of Eastern Seaboard, the UK's Western Seaboard is Wales.


Jul 25 2005, 8:45 AM
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