To wonder why people increasingly refer to places not in London as 'in London'

(519 Posts)
redpipe Sun 15-Dec-13 11:23:07

I genuinely don't understand why people say they live in London when in fact they live in a town within the M25.
Croydon is not in London is it? Nor is Kingston. I never remember people referring to these towns as London years ago. Is this a new thing?

Some years back I met a very Cockney chappie who informed me that he was from Bromley.

"Oh, Bromley by Bow?" I enquired.

"Naah", he said disdainfully. "Bromley South London.

"Oh" I said, perplexed at the thought that a few minutes earlier I'd told him that I was from another part of <GLA area/former Middlesex> and could be presumed to know that there ain't nuffink Cockney about that Bromley.

Changebagsregeneratedgladrags Tue 17-Dec-13 23:22:51

When I bought my first flat the solicitor addressed the final documents to:

Changebags
Xx street
London
SE xx xxx
Kent

Kent WTAF??

But then at some point, all of London has been either Kent, Surrey, Middlesex or Essex. Depends on how far back you want to go to satisfy your snobbery. I'm sure Crotch End was not in Londinium. Or even Chelsea. Or Brixton.

If it is London now then it is bloody London. Who cares where it was 50 years ago. 1000 years ago it was all fields around here.

ephemeralfairy Tue 17-Dec-13 23:26:04

I currently live in London (zone 2, tube station, soaring rents etc etc) The latter is sadly forcing me to move in the next couple of months, most likely to one of the borderline places. It's on the tube but I can tell you now that I sure as hell won't feel like I live in London when I face more than an hour's commute to work and become a slave to last trains instead of lurching onto the night bus at 3am.
DP claims to 'live in London' but has a Kent postcode. I think not!
Seriously though, if I lived in a place that has a distinct identity of its own like Richmond or Romford I'd be annoyed to just be lumped in with London.

limitedperiodonly Wed 18-Dec-13 00:19:01

Empires crumble and cities fall and you have no romance in your soul fetacheeny wink

redpipe Wed 18-Dec-13 02:15:01

I have learned some things about London Boroughs from this thread and many of the posters have made me laugh with witty posts. Thank you Mnetters.
I can't believe though that it got over 500 posts!

lessonsintightropes Wed 18-Dec-13 02:17:37

This is really important stuff. You ask the people of Poland. I think their country's been wiped off the face of the map three times. Borders are really important to some of us

What the lovely PP said. I am touchy about people telling me I don't live in London when I actually live in Crystal Palace!! Glad you learned something OP, me too, this has been both amusing and educational and also quite revealing in terms of other people's prejudices about where I live too!

Actually I reckon nowhere is part of London because it doesn't have a county cricket club. North of the Thames is Middlesex and Essex, and south is Surrey and Kent.

RubberBaubles Wed 18-Dec-13 08:16:31

I am in Mid Cornwall and have a Devon postcode. Devon is about 50 odd miles from here so agree you can't use postcodes. Roughly half of Cornwall has a Devon postcode but we are still Kernewek.

FetaCheeny Wed 18-Dec-13 08:21:11

limit! grin low blow!

crotch end? Great typo! grin

Woodhead Fri 20-Dec-13 12:49:22

When talking with a London friend I'd use Croydon or Romford etc by name, as I'd assume they'd have heard of the places.

At home (Edinburgh) or in most contexts overseas I'd just lump them in with London for simplicity. If it turns out someone knows London well, then I'd revert and be more specific. Surely it's just context and who you happen to be talking with. I doubt it's particularly new, my Dad worked in Watford for a year in the 50s and his Edinburgh friends all just called it London. The distinction becomes unimportant with distance.

that's like someone claiming Edinburgh is in Glasgow, Woodhead - it's just wrong. Not slightly wrong, completely and utterly wrong. 'The distinction is unimportant' - no it isn't, unless you also think the distinction between dog and cat is unimportant, or left and right...

PigletJohn Fri 20-Dec-13 20:52:20

It is not wrong to say you live in London, if you live in a London Borough.

AFAIK Edinburgh is not yet in Glasgow.

winterchunderland Fri 20-Dec-13 21:54:16

I have just had a conversation with someone whilst in a bar in central London.

I asked where they lived and they said "North London"
When I asked them to be more specific they said "Potters Bar"
grin

Piglet, I was responding to a post where someone said they'd say their Dad lived in London when he was actually in Watford 'because the distinction is unimportant' or words to that effect! Watford is NOT a London borough, it's in a completely different county about 20 miles away from the capital.

Saying someone who is in Watford is in London is as daft as saying someone in Glasgow is in Edinburgh. Completely different places.

NiceTabard Sat 21-Dec-13 12:12:25

If you live in a London Borough, pay tax to the mayoral office and vote in the London elections then you live in London. I'm sure there's other stuff as well.

Most of the places mentioned on this thread seem to be in London boroughs ie London.

VampireRabbit Sat 21-Dec-13 12:58:24

Ooh, some people from Ilford/Redbridge are on here! I'm not from Ilford, but am living in Barkingside (from Oslo). I think it's London- we're in a London borough after all. My DP is adamandant that we are in Essex (he's from Southwark)...<sigh>

limitedperiodonly Sat 21-Dec-13 13:07:58

Your DP is right vampirerabbit. Like I said before, no part of the London Borough of Redbridge is London. It's just not. Fact.

LaGuardia Sat 21-Dec-13 15:05:31

Amersham is on a tube line, but no-one who lives there would want their lovely town to be lumped in with London. Amersham is in Buckinghamshire. London Stansted Airport is nowhere near fucking London.

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