flyover country
n. Pejorative nickname for middle America, most often used by people on the east or west coast.
Also Seen As
As the Clinton White House took on the appearance of the Playboy Mansion East, it somehow seemed natural for habitues of the Playboy Mansion West to pose as watchdogs of democracy. In the go-go management language of the era, L.A. and D.C. spotted a "market inefficiency" in their longtime practice of maintaining separate A-lists. Why not join up and make it one big party? So they did, but the public felt a little left out. The folks in flyover country felt overflown by this swinging bicoastal encounter session.
—Walter Kirn, “The End of the Affair,” The New York Times, May 26, 2002
The critics of "fly-over" country adored "Hannah and Her Sisters" as much as the official organizations of the L.A. and New York critic associations — both of which groups named "Hannah," with rare concurrence, as the Movie of the Year.
—Pat McGilligan & Mark Rowland, “Consensus!!! Crtitics rate 'Hannah' best, Prince worst,” Los Angeles Times, January 18, 1987
Tom Wolfe once said people from New York and California look upon the Midwest as "fly-over country," a wasteland viewed nervously from a plane window as they hurry from coast to coast.
—Gloria Whelan, “Dig into garden-variety fun,” Detroit Free Press, August 08, 1982
Because we live in flyover country, we try to figure out what is going on elsewhere by subscribing to magazines.
—Thomas McGuane, Esquire, March 01, 1980 (OED)
1979 (earliest)
That's when the real test will come out here in fly-over land. the current Madison Avenue term for the part of America you have to fly over to get from the east to the west coast.
—Evarts Graham, “The Jimmy Carter Show,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 30, 1979