Baltimore’s Catchy Phrases

"The City That Breeds", Reptilian Records, 1993

By Richard Harrington (Washington Post, 7/8/2005)

In 2002, Mayor Martin O’Malley initiated the “BELIEVE” project, a multimillion-dollar campaign aimed at engaging the public in the fight against drugs and possibly changing residents’ perceptions of themselves through somber white-on-black bumper stickers, buttons and street banners.

That naturally led to abuse in the form of competing stickers (in matching typeface) advising “BEEHAVE,” “BE EVIL,” “BEEHIVE” and “BLIEVE, HON,” the latter two recognizing Bawlmer’s famous hairdo and the Bawlmerese penchant for vowel-dropping, word-shortening vernacular.

O’Malley is also responsible for branding Baltimore “The Greatest City in America.”

The slogan, frankly, is not up to former mayor (later governor and now state comptroller) William Donald Shaefer’s “Charm City” and “Baltimore Is Best,” but it’s clearly superior to former mayor Kurt Schmoke’s “Catch the Spirit” and “The City That Reads” (its unofficial variants included “The City That Bleeds” and “The City That Breeds,” referring to Baltimore’s teen pregnancy rate, once one of the highest in the nation).

Continue Reading “Baltimore’s Catchy Phrases” at The Washington Post.

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