North Texas is one of the fastest growing regions in the country.
Or is it Dallas-Fort Worth?
Or "the Metroplex"?
The debate got sparked again over the weekend, when an inquiring Redditor asked /r/Dallas what we most commonly call our fair burg.
"I am from Raleigh, NC, which is very close to Durham, NC, and is often called "Raleigh-Durham" by outsiders. In fact, we have an airport with that name, just as you guys have one named "Dallas-Fort Worth". Do you guys get annoyed by references to "Dallas-Fort Worth" like we do when someone refers to us as "Raleigh-Durham"? Do you also assume when people say that that they're specifically referring to the airport?"
The question stemmed from a tweet by NBC News anchor Lester Holt, who posted last week that he was "Waking up in Raleigh-Durham," drawing tongue-in-cheek concerns that Holt had to sleep in an airport.
The simple "DFW" seemed to get the most responses, despite also being the same reference as our biggest airport. "North Texas" – which is convenient for describing the region, despite the most northern parts of Texas being a few hundred miles away – also got a few votes
One commenter made an interesting point: If you're east of the airport, it's Dallas; if you're west, it's Fort Worth. Or, if you're in Arlington, Irving, Denton, Frisco, etc., you just say the name of that particular city.
There was also a mention of the Tarrant County favorite, "Fort Worth-Dallas."
According to Google, "DFW" produced the most search results at more than 39 million. "Dallas-Fort Worth" returned about 30 million results, while "North Texas" produced just under 20 million. But those could be skewed by the airport or the University of North Texas in Denton.
There's some history behind all these names, courtesy of the North Texas Commission, which formed in 1971 to help market the new DFW Airport and promote business in the region.
The NTC first copyrighted the term "Southwest Metroplex" in 1972, later shortening it to "Metroplex," according to its website.
In 1990, the commission started "Campaign: North Texas" and then later, in 1995, the "Dallas/Fort Worth Area Partners in Mobility."
The North Texas Tollway Authority was also formed in the 90s, so by that point North Texas, Dallas/Fort Worth, DFW and the classic "Metroplex" all seemed to be common monikers for the region.
And, as Arlington residents might frustratingly be able to recall, the 2010 Super Bowl and the 2014 Final Four were brought to AT&T Stadium under the billing of "North Texas."
Bryan Curtis, a Fort Worth native, described North Texas as "the Sun Belt's answer to New York City's tri-state area" while writing about Arlington's Final Four for Grantland in 2014.
"In a break during Saturday night’s Wisconsin-Kentucky game, Common stood at half court of AT&T Stadium and yelled, “Where you at, North Texas?”' Curtis wrote. "The big sign posted outside contained the same vague term. North Texas?"