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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

acronym for not in my back yard, 1980, American English, supposedly coined by Walter Rodgers of the American Nuclear Society.


a. Not wanting to have to deal with unpleasant or distasteful things near them. alt. (context chiefly US UK English) not in my backyard. n. (context usually pejorative English) Someone who objects to the building of an undesirable structure in their neighborhood, especially in public policy debate. phr. (context chiefly US UK English) not in my backyard.


NIMBY (an acronym for the phrase "Not In My Back Yard"), or Nimby (as a word, instead of an acronym), is a pejorative characterization of opposition by residents to a proposal for a new development because it is close to them (or, in some cases, because the development involves controversial or dangerous technology) often with the connotation that such residents believe that the developments are needed in society but should be further away. The residents are often called Nimbies and their state of mind is called Nimbyism.

Examples of projects likely to be opposed include any sort of 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, shopping malls, retail parks, railways, roads, airports, seaports, nuclear waste repositories, storage for weapons of mass destruction, and cannabis dispensaries and recreational cannabis shops.

The NIMBY concept may also be applied to people who advocate some proposal (e.g., budget cuts, tax increases, layoffs, immigration or energy conservation) but oppose implementing it in a way that might affect their lives or require any sacrifice on their part.

Usage examples of "nimby".

Nimby get even a little curious about what human love and bleep was all about?

Then she sat on Nimby dragon, and Tweeter perched on her hair, and she invoked the crime against nature.

Then Chena did the next, and so on, until only Nimby and Jim were left outside.

It was worse for Nimby than for Chlorine, because as a Demon he had not had natural functions, and in manform he had simply used magic to abate those he didn't care for.