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What is a bro? What are the specific dimensions of bro-ness?

Are bros always white? (The answer is, as could be guessed, a round “usually.”) Are bros always athletic? (No, not always.) Is every bro (at least pretending to be) straight?* These are good questions. I’m not going to investigate them further or anything, but they did lead to a sweet venn diagram.

The folks at NPR’s Code Switch set out to distill the essence of bro-ness into four distinct categories. By doing so, they landed on a pretty rock-solid unpacking (no homo) of an otherwise elusive anthropological archetype. Here’s what they came up with:

Jockishness, Dudeliness, Stoner-ish-ness, and Preppiness.




Source: Franco: Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images; Hammer: Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images; Harris: Ron P. Jaffee/CBS Entertainment via AP; Lochte: Daniel Ochoa De Olza/AP; McConaughey: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Veuve Clicquot; Penn: Matt Sayles/AP; Samberg: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images; Smith: Kevork Djansezian/AP; Tebow: Marc Piscotty/Getty Images

Credit: Alyson Hurt/NPR

So, yeah. Ryan Lochte simply is what it means to be a bro – in general. That’s definitely true. He meets the highest criteria for all four bro categories. He’s preppy as shit, he’s an Olympian, he’s either really stoned or just very stupid, and he’s got no discernible shortage of “dude.”

But what about the D.C. Bro? Is he not, to use a phrase, a bro of a different bro? Is he not slightly more Bro-fessional?** The first thing that seems obvious is that D.C. probably has more political bros per capita than any other city. On that token, HBO’s “Veep” offers some nuances to the bro that D.C. should be proud to call their own. So here are some D.C.-specific categories for bro-ness, distilled mainly through Jonah-isms.

Tech/Social Media Savviness:

Bros of the 21st century, really. When bros in D.C. saw the Robin Thicke “Blurred Lines” video for the first time, they sent it as an email to at least 36 of their friends. No, they didn’t BCC them. Yes, they wanted to start an email conversation about boobs with 36 people.


Ironic Counter Culture Music Taste:

D.C. bros accomplish something rare. They both are the system, and they hate the system.

Very Into, but Does Not Play, Sports:

Having a genuine investment in game seven last week came with a certain amount of jock-ish intensity for many a bro D.C.-ist, no doubt.

Proximity to Power = Size of One’s Junk:

That’s just science.



Zero Apologies:

Hits on nines regularly. For some reason, he’s had sex with a couple of them.



So, I guess Jonah is the D.C. Ryan Lochte — who knew?

*(cont.) Is one born a bro? Is bro-ness a choice? Is bro-ness in the eye of the beholder?

**Editor’s Note: The piece was edited on 6/26/13 at 2:51PM, thanks to the good people at Thrillist DC, in order to reflect that D.C. Bros are THE most “Bro-fessional” of all the bros in the land.