CAVE people (an acronym for "citizens against virtually everything") is a pejorative term for citizens who regularly oppose any changes in their community, organization or workplace.[1][2]

The phenomenon is linked to the so-called NIMBY (not in my back yard) phenomenon in which residents oppose a development ostensibly on the grounds of it being inappropriate for the local area.[3] While the NIMBY phenomenon is typically related to development issues, CAVE people, as the name implies, oppose virtually everything. This attitude is manifested in opposition to changes in public policy as varied as tax levies, sewer rates, public transportation routes, parking regulations and municipal mergers or annexations. CAVE people often express their views publicly by attending community meetings,[4] writing letters to the local newspaper, or calling in to talk radio shows.


A reference to the term "CAVE dwellers" can be found in the September 30, 1990 edition of the Orlando Sentinel.[5] The term apparently existed before the publication of this article.


  1. ^ Grant Barrett (2006). The Oxford Dictionary of American Political Slang. OUP USA. pp. 76–77. ISBN 978-0-19-530447-3.
  2. ^ Joel E. Ross; Susan Perry (1999). Total Quality Management: Text, Cases and Readings (Third ed.). CRC Press. p. 65. ISBN 978-1-57444-266-3.
  3. ^ Peter W. Salsich; Timothy J. Tryniecki (1998). Land Use Regulation: A Legal Analysis & Practical Application of Land Use Law. American Bar Association. p. 285. ISBN 978-1-57073-485-4.
  4. ^ Thad L. Beyle (1998). State Government: CQ's Guide to Current Issues and Activities 1998–99. Congressional Quarterly, Inc. p. 129. ISBN 978-1-56802-098-3.
  5. ^ Turchin, Peter. "CAVE Dwellers". Harmony. Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 20 September 2006.