"NIMBY” (Not In My Back Yard) has been cited in print since at least 1980. A “NIMBYist” believes that something shouldn’t be placed near his or her home because it would degrade the quality of life.
“YIMBY" (Yes In My Back Yard)—the opposite of NIMBY—has been cited in rint since at least 1988.
NIMBY or Nimby is an acronym for Not In My Back Yard. The term is used pejoratively to describe a new development’s opposition by residents in its vicinity. The new project being opposed is generally considered a benefit for many but has negative side-effects on its close surroundings. As a result, residents nearby the immediate location would consider it undesirable and would generally prefer the building to be “elsewhere”. The term was coined in the 1980s by British politician Nicholas Ridley, who was Conservative Secretary of State for the Environment.
Projects likely to be opposed include incinerators, power plants and prisons, but far more commonly the concept is associated with obstruction and objections to transportation improvements and mobile telephone network masts.
NIMBY and its derivative terms NIMBYism, NIMBYs, and NIMBYists, refer implicitly to debates of development generally or to a specific case. As such, their use is inherently contentious. The Oxford English Dictionary identifies the acronym’s earliest use as being in 1980 in the Christian Science Monitor. The term is usually applied to opponents of a development, implying that they have narrow, selfish, or myopic views. Its use is often pejorative.
The term has been applied in debates over developments in various situations, including:
. when parties advocate infrastructure development such as new roads, light rail and metro lines, airports, power plants, electrical transmission lines, wastewater treatment plants, landfills, sewage outfalls or prison
. when parties build, operate, or advocate culturally unfamiliar functions, such as subsidized housing, halfway house, or homeless shelters
. when a government or private party advocates development of residential or commercial property.
(NIM.bee) acronym. A person who hopes or seeks to keep some dangerous or unpleasant feature out of his or her neighborhood.
—NIMBYism (NIM.bee.iz.um) n. The attitude of such a person.
People are now thoroughly alert to the dangers of hazardous chemical wastes.The very thought of having even a secure landfill anywhere near them is anathema to most Americans today. It’s an attitude referred to in the trade as NIMBY — “not in my backyard.”
—Emilie Travel Livezey, “Hazardous waste,” The Christian Science Monitor, November 6, 1980
Main Entry: NIMBY
Etymology: not in my backyard
: opposition to the locating of something considered undesirable (as a prison or incinerator) in one’s neighborhood
— NIMBY·ism \-ˌi-zəm\ noun
(Oxford English Dictionary)
orig. U.S. Freq. depreciative.
Plural Nimbies, Nimbys. Forms: 19- NIMBY, 19- Nimby, 19- nimby. [Acronym < the initial letters of not in my back yard.]
1. An attitude ascribed to persons who object to the siting of something they regard as detrimental or hazardous in their own neighbourhood, while by implication raising no such objections to similar developments elsewhere. Freq. attrib.
1980 Christian Sci. Monitor 6 Nov. B5/3 A secure landfill anywhere near them is anathema to most Americans today. It’s an attitude referred to in the trade as NIMBY‘—not in my backyard’.
1986 Times 30 Apr. 12/6 Wakeham has become a convert to the Nimby..principle. A chief whip who thinks that nuclear waste is too dangerous for his own constituency will find it hard to persuade other Tory MPs that it is safe for theirs.
2. A person holding such an attitude; an objector to local (esp. building) development.
1980 Forbes 22 Dec. 8 Home builders and city planners have a new name for an old enemy—the ‘Nimbys’..those who want no construction that might disturb the character and real estate value of their neighborhoods.
1984 N.Y. Times 5 Aug. (Long Island Weekly section) 10/4 [His] vow to block construction at that site has led to accusations..that the Assemblyman ‘is a “nimby”’.
New York City • Government/Law/Politics/Military • Sunday, June 28, 2009 • Permalink