"Bridge and tunnel" was originally a derogatory slang directed against people living in the outer-boroughs of NYC, who by definition must either use a bridge or a tunnel in order to travel into Manhattan. The original slang had connotations of class distinction,with the implication that bridge and tunnelers were less affluent than those living in the city and were therefore of a lower class. Because of the recent hipster revolution and the ongoing "hipsterization" of popular culture, over the years the term has drifted away from being a distinction based on affluence and location of residence, to a distinction based on cultural awareness, values, and attitude. In terms of the modern usage of the term, one can now reside in Manhattan and still be considered "bridge and tunnel". And in fact even people living in other cities such as San Francisco are using "bridge and tunnel" to describe people of specific demographics and cultural attitude in their respective locales.
So what has bridge and tunnel evolved to mean? Bridge and tunnel is currently a derogatory slang directed at people who are culturally ignorant and hold very mainstream ethnocentric ideals of beauty and rules of attraction, who embrace decidedly passe suburban cultural values and "reality TV" ideals. For example...one would be considered "bridge and tunnel" if your musical awareness only includes whatever is played on Top 40 radio, your ideal female sex symbol would be someone like Paris Hilton, you go to tan...
Term used by Manhattan eliests for people who venture into "The City" that have to travel via bridge or tunnel to arrive, specifically those people from New Jersey or Long Island. Traditionally, people who live in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and even Staten Island are excempt from this term. This is not a favorable term, and at times is synonymous with "trash."
The Gotti kids are bridge and tunnel to the core: they have stupidly lavish parties here that real New Yorkers would never have and they use too much gel.
A derogatory reference to people who commute into the borough of Manhattan in New York City for any social reason. Implies that the B & T person is of lower class. Term was coined by Steve Rubell of Studio 54 fame – and contrary to the above definition – it was specifically directed toward people from Queens and Staten Island. Today the term – in NY – applies to people from the outer boroughs, Long Island and New Jersey. Ironically, those who use the term Bridge and Tunnel or B & T, are generally not from New York. If you probe, you will often find out they moved to Manhattan after college from some sissy-ass suburb where they grew up.
The ABC club was uber-hot last week, but then the bridge and tunnel people showed up! (gasp) I am sooo upset... Now I'll have to sit home and study Sex and the City re-runs and figure out what Carrie would do.