“But what we’re looking at today — a portrait of a biracial kid with an unusual name and the daughter of a water pump operator and a stay-at-home mom — what we are seeing is a reminder that there’s a place for everyone in this country,” she said. “Because as Barack said, if the two of us can end up on the walls of the most famous address in the world, then again it is so important for every young kid who is doubting themselves to believe that they can, too. That is what this country is about.”

I only know that when you say "address", you refer to the details about where you live. Would there be any difference if I replace "address" by "place"?

  • You can take it that literally for the number of the White House, and you would understand it represents more. Sep 9, 2022 at 11:52
  • You should give the source of any passage you quote. I assume the speaker here is Michelle Obama and she is referring to the White House. You could replace address with house rather than place. Sep 9, 2022 at 11:54
  • It's metonomy, using address to mean the place to which an address refers, which in this case is the White House, or in other contexts address might mean house, office, building, etc.
    – Stuart F
    Sep 9, 2022 at 12:08

1 Answer 1


Address is a special sort of place, which is a more general term for somewhere such as a region, an area, a site, a building ...

Merriam Webster has

Merriam Webster
a place where a person or organization may be communicated with

Longman has

the details of the place where someone lives or works, which you use to send them letters etc

The quotation is therefore drawing attention to a particular place (The White House) by alluding to its address as the most famous place of residence and work in the world. Furthermore, by mentioning the upbringings of herself and Mr Obama, she is widening the allusion to everything that special address implies - presidency, opportunity, aspiration, self-belief. None of this would work properly if she referred to the more general and more vaguely defined concept of "place".

  • What a profound insights! There is no more I need to learn but this. Thanks a lot.
    – feng rao
    Sep 9, 2022 at 12:37
  • Thankyou. It may be best to wait a little before accepting it because other answers sometimes add useful information to first answers.
    – Anton
    Sep 9, 2022 at 17:13

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