bubble up out of the Washington, D.C., swamp

< Previous | Next >

humvee

Senior Member
Cantonese and Mandarin
Hi folks

If you thought GDPR compliance was fun, just wait. The seemingly endless series of data breaches, coupled with Facebook's continuing faceplants, are likely to spur new privacy regulations to bubble up out of the Washington, D.C., swamp over the next 12 months.

What the heck does this invented idiom mean?

I googled it and was told that Washington is purportedly built on swamp. And I know that Washington can metonymically refer to The US government. But that still doesn't add up.
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    As you say, it’s not a standard metaphor — but it’s rather a good one.

    The Washington swamp = the mess that is the US Government of today

    bubble up [from the swamp] = emerge out of it
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    It is not an idiom.
    I googled it and was told that Washington is purportedly built on swamp.
    Just to clarify, Washington is not built on a swamp and, as you point out "Washington, as a metonym, can refer to the US government."

    A swamp is seen as an unpleasant place in which unpleasant creatures live and those creatures do unpleasant things.

    One of the attributes of a swamp is that gas from rotting vegetation that is deep down within that swamp will make its way to the surface as a bubble.

    That is the image that the writer achieves.
     

    humvee

    Senior Member
    Cantonese and Mandarin
    My best shot

    If you thought GDPR compliance was fun, just wait. The seemingly endless series of data breaches, coupled with Facebook's continuing faceplants, are likely to spur new privacy regulations to bubble up out of the Washington, D.C., swamp over the next 12 months.

    If you thought GDPR compliance was fun, just wait. The seemingly endless series of data breaches, coupled with Facebook's continuing faceplants, are likely to cause new privacy regulations to be introduced.

    Something lost in translation.

    Correct me if I'm wrong. Thanks.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    During the last Presidential campaign, Trump made references to "draining the swamp" so the American press has been using this metaphor a lot recently.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    From Wikipedia.

    Drain the swamp - Wikipedia

    The usage goes back as far as the early 1900s.

    Here's the most useful quote given as relates to the OP.

    Pat Buchanan during his 2000 presidential campaign, when he invoked the saying in opposition to the dominant political parties: "Neither Beltway* party is going to drain this swamp: it's a protected wetland; they breed in it, they spawn in it".

    * the Beltway - the road that encircles Washington, D.C. It's another way of referring to Washington.

    Obviously, he is speaking figuratively. He considers it a political swamp.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top