Apr 17, 2024 - News

You know the "Seattle Freeze" — now tell us about the "Smug"

Illustration of a side eye emoji as foam on a latte.

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

You've heard about the Seattle Freeze. But what about the Seattle Smug?

  • Do you ever feel judged for separating your recyclables "the wrong way"?
  • Do you ever feel like you're in trouble every time you order a latte without an alternative milk?
  • Do people sneer when you tell them where you grew up?

Zoom out: If these experiences sound familiar, you might've been a victim of the Seattle Smug!

Megan's thought bubble: As a teenager growing up in Seattle, I could not have told you the difference between Lynnwood and Bellevue, because I saw the suburbs as an amorphous blob of nothing.

  • I've since grown out of my bias, I have genuine affection for (some places in) the 'burbs, and I have to wonder: Where did that anti-suburbs prejudice come from? Why are we so smug just because we live in Seattle?

Clarridge's thought bubble: I was once smoking a cig near Denny when a passing trio began to cough elaborately, waving their arms in front of their faces.

  • My friend jokingly fibbed, "It's OK. It's mostly weed," prompting a quick pivot to smiles and waves.

The big picture: We've got a theory about this. We think Seattle has its own brand of smug, and we want to know if you've seen it too.


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