For a resident and someone who’s written about Dumbo for at least a year, I find the above question is pretty obvious. But I’m certainly no expert. I’ve always known Dumbo to be Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. The naming of Dumbo was conceived by resident artists as a way to make the area sound silly and unattractive to people looking to buy real estate here. But when reader sent in the question that Dumbo could stand for Down Under the Manhattan and Brooklyn Overpasses, it makes more sense than the more well known version because Dumbo is generally between the bridges:
“I’ve always understood DUMBO to stand for “Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass.” Of course, if you think about it, “Bridge” and “Overpass” are redundant and it sounds like there is an overpass that goes OVER the Manhattan Bridge. A colleague of mine whose friends are friends with Jed Walentas, told me that she read an article on the Walentas family where DUMBO was defined as “Down Under the Manhattan and Brooklyn Overpasses,” which makes more sense. And, if you google that meaning, you get quite a few hits.”
So which is it?
Related article: What Does Dumbo Stand For, Revisited