The term demonym is used to describe people from a particular locality and here we’re looking at hilarious UK demonyms.
One of the most well-known monikers is that Londoners are from London! However, there are some strange ones that don’t really make that much sense. So we have compiled a list of the funniest and included a bit of history on how and where these quirky names originated.
Shrewsbury is the second largest town in Shropshire after Telford and is a market town with a medieval heritage. One of the most celebrated Salopians to have lived is none other than famous evolutionist and biologist Charles Darwin. There is also a local Salopian Brewery which mostly produces craft beer for the local area in true local Shrewsbury style. The name salop originated from the old English word Scrobbesburh, which roughly translates to fort in the scrub-land region, Scrobb’s fort, shrubstown or the town of the bushes.
Blackpool: Blackpudlians and Sand Grown’uns
Now this is a complex demonym to say the least. Liverpudlians has a similar place-name structure so it would follow that Blackpool locals are call Blackpudlians, right? Well that is a widely agreeable name for them. But real locals, whose parents were also born in Blackpool, are referred to as Sand Grown’uns, a rather unique name for the people who live in the home of seaside rock and the illuminations.
People from the capital of Scotland have a few names that they are known by, including Edinburgers and Edinbourgeois, but the most common is Edinburghians, pronounced Edd-inn-burr-eee-anns. The basic origins appear to derive from the place name Eidyn, mentioned in the Old Welsh epic poem Y Gododdin.
Well-known studious city Oxford, located in southern England, has played host to a plethora of famous citizens, such as author Lewis Carroll, who wrote Alice in Wonderland, and J.R.R. Tolkien, who penned The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. The nickname Oxonian is supposedly used to refer to people who have been to Oxford University, but it’s widely used to describe all people from Oxford, regardless of education.
Slough: Paludians or Sluffs
The town Slough is not known as a UK tourist attraction, although it is home to the largest industrial trading estate in single private ownership in Europe. But the place nicknames are certainly worth a mention as these strange demonyms have no vague relation to the spelling of places at all. Paludians is believed to have been derived from the Latin palus meaning slough or marsh.
There are a number of theories on where the demonym of Leeds originates. One favourite is that, in the area of Briggate, locals referred to numerous nearby streets and loins in the local Leeds accent. Apparently people who gathered in the loins to gossip were termed Loiners; perhaps there’s a connection with the phrase gird your loins?
Now I’m sure once your eyes first set on the next hilarious demonym location, you knew there was only one way it would go, that’s right people, we found a nickname with mingers in it. Godalming itself is a quaint town in Surrey and is apparently ranked as the UK’s third most desirable property hot spot. Godalming also appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Godelminge.
Solihull is a town in the West Midlands with a population of 200,400 Silhillians. Perhaps most interestingly the name of Solihull as a place is thought to have derived from the position of its parish church St Alphege, on a soily hill (yes really). The church was built on a hill of stiff red marl which apparently turns to sticky mud in wet weather. The more you know!
So we have imparted many pearls of demonym wisdom and I think it’s clear to see that the people of the UK are truly creative when coming up with the names of their people’s locales.
Written in partnership with Virgin Trains to promote their new route to Blackpool