adjectival forms of british place names

Where in the heck do these words come from?

Place Adjective

Liverpool Liverpudlian
Glasgow Glaswegian
Oxford Oxonian
Cambridge Canterbridgian
Manchester Mancunian
Newcastle Geordie
Not sure on the spelling of “Canterbridgian.”
Anyhow, can anyone explain the etymology of any of these?

I believe “Mancunian” is from “Mancunium,” the Roman name for Manchester.

Cambridge was called “Canterbrigge” as late as Chaucer’s time.

Can’t help with the others, but I’m sure somebody will be along to fill in the gaps.

They’re all Latin, except for Geordie and Glaswegian. The latter interests me also, as the only other -wegians I know of are Norwegians and Galwegians and they are, of course, -way places.

By the way, the adjectival form of Cambridge is Cantabridgian, also used here for Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Sorry. That should be spelled Cantabrigian.

Liverpudlian (archaic, Scouser is the correct term) comes from the old Breton word ‘pudle’ meaning ‘to steal’. Hence Liverpudlian means ‘thief from Liverpool’.

I found one explanation for Geordie, but I’m sure I’ve heard different reasons in the past…

And, to add to the OP, there used to be made a distinction between a Kentishman and a Man of Kent: if you lived east of a certain line you were one, and if you lived west of it you were the other. Does this still hold true?

This sounds like anti-scouse prejudice.



Given that Liverpool is often referred to as The Pool, and puddle is a small pool, i’d take a lot of persuading (including cast-iron cites) that Liverpudlian has anything to do with thievery, especially as scousers are regularly falsely accused of being ‘scallies’ (law breakers etc.)- ‘What do you call a Scouser in Court?- The Defendant.’

Just to cnofuse you even more, people from Leeds are known as Loiners but this is an old term and is hardly used - except by Leeds Rugby League Club supporters.

Sorry Pjen, I had thought that it was blindingly obvious that I was kidding…now I know better :wink:

Apar from being confused about cnofuse why not put those city names along with the residents names into a search engine, this is what Google gave me -

Oxonian comes from Oxoniensis, the Latin name for Oxford (although there never was a Roman settlement at Oxford, and so it is an affectation). Oxon is still the abbreviation for Oxfordshire, as is Salop for Shropshire for similar reasons.

There is no real rhyme or reason for how these names are chosen. Some are formal, some verge on insults, all have varied over time. Some places don’t seem to have any name for residents:

Plymouth Plymouthian
Bristol Bristolian
Birmingham Brummy
Dublin Dubliner.

I’ve been trying to find a simple list of these but haven’t been successful on the net or in print: any help anyone?

Apologies for misreading you, but I get so used to negative imagery and negative myths building around devalued groups that I guess I kind of ‘knee-jerked’. I’m just over-sensitive and have obviously lost my sense of humor. BTW I’m not from Liverpool, so I can’t even use that as an excuse.

I’ve heard them called other things in Sheffield.

What I want to know is how do you get from “Hartlepool” to “monkey hanger”?



You really do not know the story of that one ?

Yeah, sure you don’t :slight_smile:

pjen- interesting about the “puddle” and “pool” connection. I’ve always had my theories that this was just some wacky British substitution, but I thought it was mere coincidence. Seems like your website gives some creedence to this idea.

Here are a few non-British examples:

People from Halifax, Nova Scotia are Haligonians (from Latin Haligonia “Halifax”.)

People from Anjou, France (and Quebec) are Angevins.

As for “Men of Kent”… in English, a person from Quebec is a Quebecer, and a French Quebecer is a Québécois. (It would sound strange to call Jacques Parizeau a Quebecer.) But in French, everyone in Quebec is called québécois.