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"Capitol Hill" is a proper noun as a name for both the area where the US Capitol building sits as well as a residential district. Of course these should be capitalized when used as proper nouns.

But also, in news and politics, people often use "Capitol Hill" as an informal nickname meaning "members of Congress" or areas including nearby congressional buildings that may not technically sit atop Capitol Hill, but be related to the work or culture of the Capitol. What about that?

English has some rules for "always" capitalizing words, three examples being: "I" (myself), "English", and "Indian". These words should always be capitalized.

So, is "Capitol Hill"—in reference to anything Washington, DC -related—also among words that should always be capitalized? Or, if not, what is an example of when not to?


Resources that use the term, but do not answer this question specifically:

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The only case I can think of where it would make sense is if capital were being used as an adjective to describe an arbitrary hill, rather than referring to the section of DC or as a metanym for Congress.

For instance,

Bunker Hill is a capital hill.

That said, there probably aren't many contexts in which we'd rate the quality of hills, and use "capital" to describe it. Maybe if you're talking about whether a hill is a good one for sledding.

EDIT:

I just realized (based on someone's attempted edit) that this is actually a homonym of the word being discussed. The word "capitol" with an "o" is a noun, usually only refers to the building housing a legislature. When capitalized it refers to the building in DC used by the US Congress, but it can also be lowercase to refer to the analogous buildings in state capitals. I don't think there would be any "Capitol Hill" constructions that don't refer to the location of the US Congress, or other named geographic/political locations, so it would always be capitalized.

  • Could also be referring to a capital "HILL". – Hot Licks Dec 25 '18 at 0:37
  • Possibly, although many would call that an "all capitals 'HILL'" – Barmar Dec 25 '18 at 16:06
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    I don't think there would be any "Capitol Hill" constructions that don't refer to the location of the US Congress, so it would always be capitalized. There is a neighborhood in Seattle called Capitol Hill, and I'm sure there are in other cities, but they would also always be capitalized. – Azor Ahai Dec 26 '18 at 17:05
  • Thanks, I've updated the answer to refer to named locations. – Barmar Dec 26 '18 at 17:07
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It should always be capitalised.

It is a proper noun, and proper nouns should be capitalised.

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