The 12 Snobs You’ll Meet in DC


While there’s no perfect scientific measurement for snobbiest city in America, DC seems to rank pretty high up there on lists that seek to identify by self-importance.

We’re not just standard East Coast snobs. Please... we’re so much more than that. We’re a unique breed of snob, driven by influence, power, and social status.

There are several shades of DC snobs that you’re likely to encounter -- from the recently minted “hip” (looking at you Shaw Snob) to the old-moneyed elite (that’s you Georgetown). There are at least 12 different types of snobs currently walking the streets of DC.

The Georgetown Snob

Ah, the Georgetown Snob. This is the DC original. Money, class, status -- Georgetown has it all. Maybe you’ve been to dinner parties hosted at their 19th century Georgian-style mansion. Or, maybe you crossed paths on the way to Brooks Brothers. Or maybe you’ve run into their budding snob offspring behaving terribly after a hoops win. Either way, the Georgetown Snob has walked these streets for a while. After all, as they’ll gladly remind you, their great great grandfather built this city.

The Incredibly Lazy Snob

Entitled, well-heeled, and absolutely incapable of doing a menial task on their own, the Incredibly Lazy Snob won’t lift a finger. Unless it's to push an app that will deliver a private driver, freshly folded laundry, or groceries to their door. Is there an app for belittling delivery people for poor service?

The Fast-Casual Snob

You probably work with the Fast-Casual Snob. They would never bring a bagged lunch to work. Like, they actually find the practice inconceivable, staring at their poor, fiscally responsible coworkers while happily tearing into a $12 sushi burrito or a $15 kale salad. Or maybe both.

The “This Place Just Opened” Snob

Don’t ever ask this person if they’ve been to that new hot restaurant. They were there, opening night, Instagramming and hashtagging the shit out of everything. Better get yourself there soon before they officially declare it “over” a month from now.

The Shaw Snob

One of DC’s newer snob subspecies, the Shaw Snob is on a constant quest for “authenticity” (see: hipster). They’re new to the neighborhood (see: gentrification). And, they shop at curated stores split by an ampersand (see: Frank & Oak, Room & Board, A&D, Hugh & Crye, Meats & Foods, Salt & Sundry). Do not point any of these things out, as it will just leave you in a longwinded conversation of which you want no part.

Courtesy of Callie Richmond

The Coffee Snob

Um, pour-over coffee. Please... child’s play. It’s all about the siphon! Or the Chemex! Or some other method they’ll belittle you for not knowing. But -- can’t you taste the nuttiness? Of course you can’t. Go back to your pumpkin spices, you rube.

The Ward 3 Snob

Ward 3 could compete with Georgetown in a walk-off challenge (Zoolander style) for snobbiest DC resident. For those unfamiliar, Ward 3, or upper northwest is a group of neighborhoods north of Georgetown and west of Rock Creek Park. This part of town is defined by crazy neighborhood listservs, NIMBYism, ridiculously expensive homes, and a suspicion that you’re definitely not from around there.

The Private School Snob

Locals are defined by where they went to high school. On a related note, the most elite private schools cost about as much as a college education. On another related note, you can easily identify those who attended said schools by the bumper stickers on their cars and the lacrosse shorts they’re still wearing a decade after graduation.

The Whole Foods Snob

There’s an entire nationwide culture of snobbery built around people who shop at Whole Foods, so it’s no surprise they’re well-represented in DC, where paying way too much for groceries and haranguing strangers about GMOs is a point of pride.

The Job Snob

Are you a self-proclaimed expert or thought leader? Do you travel the conference circuit, extolling the values of your company? Do you regularly break any of these rules? If you answered yes, then you’re probably a Job Snob.

The Black-Tie Snob

One could also call these people “clingers-on.” They are the ones who gate-crash state dinners. Or, jockey for a chance to hear the president crack jokes at the White House Correspondents’ dinner (aka: nerd prom). The black tie is never optional for this person. Their tux is constantly pressed and ready. Dressing business casual makes them feel practically naked.

The Dual-Degree Snob

JD, MD, MBA, MA, MS, PHD… you see, a BA simply won’t do in DC. You might as well tell these people you dropped out of high school..

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Tim Ebner is a dual-degree DC resident with many leather-bound books. He also owns a tuxedo. He write features about food, travel, and culture. By all definitions, he is a snob... which is also why he’s going to shamelessly promote himself on Twitter: @TimEbner.