I was listening to the public radio show “The Takeaway” today. They had an interview with Thomas Kershaw, who for many years has owned the Boston bar after which the one in the TV show “Cheers” was modeled. Talking about the atmosphere in the city after the recent bombings, he said, “People have places they frequent, that they call their local.”
My ears perked up. This sounded like local in a very British sense, the one usually referred to as the local and defined by the OED as “the public house in the immediate neighborhood.” The dictionary quotes Germaine Greer: “Women don’t nip down to the local.”
After some looking around, I am going to label local as On the Radar. The only possible U.S. use I was able find about wasn’t about a bar at all. It was a March 2012 New York Times article that talked about how a man “came to own his local: the Mud, Sweat and Tears Pottery studio.”
But I bet local will eventually come into its own as a full-fledged NOOB. Probably in Brooklyn.