28 March 2016


NIMBY is an acronym meaning "Not In My BackYard." It appears in stories about a neighborhood protesting the location of a new unwanted project in their area.

Many such "undesirable" projects are attached to its use. A list on Wikipedia includs: low cost housing development, skyscrapers, homeless shelters, oil wells, chemical plants, industrial parks, military bases, fracking, wind turbines, desalination plants, landfill sites, incinerators, power plants, quarries, prisons, pubs, adult entertainment clubs, firearms dealers, mobile phone masts, electricity pylons, abortion clinics, children's homes, nursing homes, youth hostels, sports stadiums, betelnut vendors, shopping malls, retail parks, railways, roads, airports, seaports, nuclear waste repositories, storage for weapons of mass destruction, and cannabis dispensaries and recreational cannabis shops.

Whether it is a new garbage dump or energy plant, this acronym is a pejorative characterization of opposition by residents. Often that opposition is not to the need for such facilities, but just that it should be further away from their neighborhood. The residents are often called Nimbies and their state of mind is called Nimbyism.

The NIMBY concept i sometimes also applied to people who advocate a proposal, such as budget cuts, but oppose implementing it in a way that might affect their lives or require any sacrifice on their part.

The acronym's earliest use is listed as being in 1980 in the Christian Science Monitor. However, the OED  notes that the term was already used in the hazardous waste industry. It is probable that people were using the phrase "Not in my backyard" much earlier than the acronym.

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