Wait, why is it called “Nerd Prom”?

February, 3rd 2015 Blog

That’s a good question … and kind of a timeless one.

In short, the White House Correspondents Association’s annual dinner and its corresponding parties have earned the “nerd prom” nickname over the years for one simple reason: This is Washington’s biggest party each year (hence, the “prom”) and, well, the town is filled with a bunch of policy and legislative gurus … not exactly the sexiest bunch sometimes (hence, the “nerd”).

The nickname — which, to be fair, had already been used by attendees of the “Comic-Con” comic book conventions for years — seemed to have garnered mainstream acceptance as an apt title for the Correspondents’ Weekend in 2009.

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At the time, journalist Ana Marie Cox got the most credit for giving Washington’s dinner the nickname, although reporter Christina Bellantoni seems to have been the first with the #nerdprom hashtag, according to the search engine Topsy: Embed:

Nerds aside, the Washington Post was calling it “prom” as far back as 2005.

The president of the United States even got in on the action — sort of — in 2012 when President Obama said during his dinner remarks:

“Of course, the White House Correspondents’ Dinner is known as the prom of Washington D.C. — a term coined by political reporters who clearly never had the chance to go to an actual prom.”

But, lest we forget: Saturday Night Live was on the Nerd Prom train way back in 1978:

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On Twitter

Nerd Prom: The Movie

@NerdProm

RT @pwgavin: Kudos to @hasanminhaj for politely calling out WHCA's ironic plea to go easy on Trump underneath a banner touting the First Am…
Apr 30 2017 3:31 AM

Nerd Prom: The Movie

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WH staff are following #Trump's lead and skipping the Correspondents' Dinner this April t.co/w6O131Mgxi #WHCA
Apr 5 2017 12:55 AM

Nerd Prom: The Movie

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Major magazines are cancelling annual pre-parties for the @whca's dinner t.co/kQ1r51BjXp #Trump #media
Mar 23 2017 12:50 AM

Nerd Prom: The Movie

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Will the president reconsider his decision NOT to attend the @whca's annual dinner? t.co/N3USXqTvZo #correspondents #dinner
Mar 16 2017 1:07 AM