Local Lingo: Ward Nine

Map of Ward 5 bordering Prince George's County courtesy of D.C. City Council.

Some people like to joke that Prince George’s County is “Ward Nine” — the fictitious extra ward for the Washington, D.C. City Council.

The earliest published reference I could find for the term is a quote from then-Councilman Kevin Chavous in the Washington Post on March 28, 1993 (not available online):

No area of the District, however, has been hit harder by a migration to the suburbs than Chavous’s Ward 7, the city’s easternmost ward. It stretches from the Anacostia River to the Prince George’s County line. For decades, it had been one of the city’s most stable working-class black communities, but in the last 10 years, it has lost more than 15,000 residents.

“And most of those people have only moved five miles away,” Chavous said. “You could call parts of Prince George’s the District’s ‘Ward 9.'”

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