What Londoners actually call their neighbourhood

London Oct 7, 2020

A question was posed to the r/London Reddit community: “What nicknames have you heard for London's boroughs, suburbs etc.?”.

Having lived in London for 2 years, I’ve rented in the West, North and South - something that confuses many Londoners who are generally borough loyalists. However many of the names on the list were ones I had never heard of.

Being the hard hitting journalist that I am, I took it to the Fronted co-founders. The nickname knowledge success rate to these London locals was 33%.

Screenshots of the conversations with Fronted co founders where they are asked they know a neighbourhood nickname.
Important work business 

I knew then that it was my civic duty to share this information with the world. An important thing for what you should know about London - but how true this street slang is remains to be confirmed by a roadman.

Here is the interactive map of London neighbourhood nicknames for you to explore

In this map you will find nicknames for: Abbey Wood, Archway, Balham, Barnet, Battersea, Beckenham, Beckton, Bethnal Green, Brixton, Camberwell, Clapham, Clapham Junction, Clapton, Crouch End, Croydon, Dagenham, Dalston Junction, Dalston Kingsland, Dartford, Docklands, East Dulwich, Edmonton, Edmonton Green, Elephant & Castle, Finsbury Park, Fitzrovia, Haggerston, Hammersmith, Hounslow, Isle of Dogs, Ladbroke Grove, Lewisham, Leytonstone, London Fields, Muswell Hill, Newham, North West, Northwick Park, Palmers Green, Peckham, Penge, Putney, St. Johns Wood, Shepherds Bush, Stockwell, Stoke Newington, Stratford, Streatham, Sutton, Tooting, Tooting Broadway, Tottenham, Twickenham, Vauxhall, Walthamstow, Watford, Westminster, Wimbledon and yes even Wood Green.

Not satisfied with the map, I wanted to understand the etymology of the nicknames - the trends that drive neighbourhood slang in London.

Here is my breaking revelation:

To give a London borough a nickname all you need to do is shorten the neighbourhood name and add a ‘y’, as seen in ‘Stokey’, ‘Bricky’ or ‘Darty’.

The r/dataisbeautiful community would hate this

My personal favourite nickname mentioned is ‘Bla'hm’ and the genius who thought ‘Balham’ needed to be shortened.

If there’s any neighbourhood slang you think could beat 'Bal'hm', let me know in the comments.

Or.. are you a renter moving neighbourhoods? Here’s a checklist of what you should consider.

Jamie Campbell

Co-founder of Fronted