A recent survey by Travelodge has revealed that half of British adults cannot identify some of the country’s most celebrated cities by their nicknames.
Fewer than half of the respondents knew the ‘Black Country’ referred to a region of the West Midlands with a fifth unaware than the nick-name for Birmingham is ‘Brum’.
More than a quarter were unaware that Sheffield, for example, is known as the ‘steel city’. Seventy-five percent did not know that York’s chocolate-producing heritage has led it to be known as the ‘chocolate city’.
Travelodge surveyed 2000 people across the country to seek the nation’s knowledge to the whereabouts of our largest cities by their popular nicknames.
The report revealed that young adults are the least knowledgeable when it comes to location lingo with over a third not knowing where any of the most famous nicknamed cities are in the UK.
More controversially, the study also revealed that men’s national nickname knowledge is, on average, greater than women’s. 75% of men but only 60% of women identified ‘The Toon’ as another name for Newcastle. Half of British men surveyed knew that Edinburgh was known as ‘Auld Reekie’ compared to 65% of women who believed it was somewhere else.
Dr Tom Clark, Lecturer in the Department of Sociological Studies at Sheffield University said: “Location nicknames provide valuable points of reference and help us to celebrate the unique heritage associated with the area of landmark. Names like ‘The Toon’ help to evoke a sense of a place - sometimes with a hint of irony, and sometimes with a touch of the grandiose. Without these descriptive adornments - and more importantly, what they represent - we could be in danger of losing a vital sense of ourselves.”