13 September 2009 Leave a comment
There isn’t a name for people who live in Nottingham.
Many other cities and areas have a demonym or gentilic (a term for the residents of a locality); Liverpudlians, Brummies, Mancunians, Geordies, Londoners etc, but not Nottingham.
I hadn’t thought about this before, but Oonagh Robinson has just written a piece in the Nottingham Evening Post on the subject that made me realise what we’re missing out on.
Nottingham doesn’t lend itself to happy abbreviations. Whichever part of the name you extract it doesn’t work in isolation; Notts is the County abbreviation and Notters is too close to Nutters. Tings or Tingers, Hams or Hammers are all too similar to other names and don’t link to Nottingham without the ‘Nott’ bit.
Nottinghamian or Nottinghammers are too clumsy; Nottimers or Nottamers are slightly better, but awkward.
I’m digressing slightly here, but isn’t awkward an awkward word? I must have used it before, but when I put the ‘wkw’ bit down the more I looked at it the less it seemed to be right. I had to use the spell checker and thesaurus twice before I believed it.
Notties is a bit twee and too close to Nottinghamshire, or to Ken Dodd’s Knottyash.
Nottingham’s original name of Snotengaham (meaning ‘home of Snot’) works better in abbreviation; Snots or Snotties have a contemporary but tenuous and icky link to green issues, but perhaps it snot practical, who nose?
The standard abbreviations for Nottingham (Nottm) and for Nottinghamshire (Notts) are very often confused and incorrectly transposed, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen correspondence addressed to Notts City Council and Nottm County Council, or references to the city of Notts.
Sherwood is too broad an area to refer just to Nottingham, but what about Hooders (obviously not Hoodies), Robins, Outlaws, Merries? No, it’s just not working is it?
Nottnum seems to be an extensively used pronunciation of Nottingham; is that from the spread of Estuary English to the Midlands? So how about Nottnumers?
Actually, looking back over that, Nottimers, Nottamers or Nottnumers are probably about the best of the bunch.
Somebody must have a better idea however; it would be good for the city to have a widely accepted dweller epithet.
If anyone happens to read this, any ideas will be greatly appreciated. I shall be deeply offended, but probably entertained, if they disrespect this great city though.