I heard in the movie Adventureland:

Em Lewin : So what's the plan?

James Brennan : I'm gonna crash at the Y for a week, I'm gonna look for a shitty job, and I don't know.

IMDB has a longer script here. What does "the Y" in "crash at the Y" mean? Does it refer to a park or a hotel? James here is saying he will be sleeping for a while at this place the Y, but what is "the Y"?


1 Answer 1


"Crashing" in this place means "staying/sleeping at".

"The Y" is shorthand for "the YMCA" - famous from the song... the "Young Men's Christian Association".

From the Wikipedia article:

From its inception, it grew rapidly and ultimately became a worldwide movement founded on the principles of Muscular Christianity. Local YMCAs engage in a wide variety of charitable activities, including providing athletic facilities, holding classes for a wide variety of skills, promoting Christianity, and humanitarian work. YMCAs continue to be religious organizations; many national or local organizations de-emphasize this aspect, while others choose to prioritize its religious mission above all others.

The humanitarian work has included offering a place for someone in need to stay for the night or get a hot shower or meal.

Their current logo and website actually minimize the full name of the group, and depict the current term used for the association "The Y".

The YMCA current logo

  • 10
    Note that the price charged by "the Y" for a night's stay is very minimal (as are the comfort of the accommodations!), so when you "crash at the Y," you are saying that you're choosing extremely low cost at the expense of comfort. Apr 5, 2018 at 14:52
  • 3
    Also probably worth noting that in other contexts, "the Y" can often mean the YWCA, a similar but separate organization whose mission is "eliminating racism, empowering women".
    – 1006a
    Apr 5, 2018 at 16:51
  • 3
    Pretty sure YMCAs were famous before the song, that’s why the Village People wrote a song about them.
    – KRyan
    Apr 5, 2018 at 21:21
  • 1
    @KRyan It's partly a joke and partly a reference that people who have never known what "the Y" is would likely have an immediate connection with. I'm pretty sure the song is well known even outside the US.
    – Catija
    Apr 5, 2018 at 21:24
  • I think the OP (and others) may be forgiven for being mystified by the extreme abbreviation "the Y" even if they know of the YMCA and/or YWCA, and might not realise that "the Y" is supposed to refer to the same organisation.
    – Rosie F
    Apr 6, 2018 at 6:37

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