Saturday, 29 May 2010
However, before one can say anything about Oslo it is important to decide what to call those who reside in that glorious city. It came to my attention that the English language had no word for ‘one who comes from Oslo’. Thus it was up to us to coin a suitable term. So I’m having a think to see if there is any logic to the naming of a city’s inhabitants, and have decided, if there is any logic, it is well beyond the outer extremities of my no doubt illogical brain.
Look at Scotland. If you are from Glasgow, you are a Glasgwegian, which Americans are usually amazed to hear, and makes us sound as though we are distant cousins of the Norwegians (both of us are nick-named ‘Weegies’). Then we have Edinburghers, which sounds like a fast food, Aberdonians and Dundonians, which sound like something related to kebabs, and Invernesians, which I’ve always thought sounds a wee bit posh.
If one crosses the border, any kind of uniform pattern flies out of the window. Londoners are just fine, but what about Mancunians from Manchester, Geordies from Newcastle and Brummies from Birmingham? These may be peculiar labels but they are all worn with pride by the individuals who happen to sport them.
Looking at the rest of Europe, there is still no logic. Athenians and Romans sound extraordinarily old, biblical, classical and very civilized in an Empire-building kind of a way. Florentines sound lovely. Parisians we know are terribly sophisticated. Muscovites sound absolutely thrilling while Berliners have to describe themselves within the correct context for fear of being mistaken for a doughnut.
So we looked at the map of Norway. Stavanger must surely produce Stavangerites; Bergan, Berganians; Trondheim, Trondheimers, and Tromso, Tromsonians. But Oslo was proving more of a challenge....until one night while we were watching ‘Dr Who’ when a flash of inspiration struck.
Now here I have to digress. Some of you will know of ‘Dr Who’ whereas many will still have this delight to come. Quite why this man has been able to travel across time and several galaxies without making it across the Atlantic I cannot fathom. Suffice to say, every American and Canadian TV viewer who has seen ‘Dr Who’ while round at our place is amazed that British TV could ever come up with such a winning formula. We oldsters grew up with it, and are still to be found hiding behind sofas while it is being broadcast. At the moment it has an Invernesian in it, so I’m especially interested.
Anyway, to return to my theme, after an episode of ‘Dr Who’ we suddenly realised what we should be calling those who come from Oslo. It’s a great city, awash with fabulous culture, museums, the coolest of opera houses, and staggering views. It is an important centre for commerce, industry, banking, shipping, scientific endeavour, cultural and sporting activities. It has produced some top-drawer artists, musicians, writers, philosophers, scientists, academics, sportsmen and women, and it goes an absolute bundle on explorers. Oslo is ranked as the world’s most expensive city at the moment, with Tokyo, Copenhagen and Paris as runners up. There are over 1.4 million people in Oslo and they are currently the fastest growing population in Europe. Surely, these people deserve a decent name for themselves in the English language.
So now, in our house at least, we refer to them as ‘Osloids’. Any other suggestions very welcome...it would be nice to enter the Oxford English Dictionary.
Posted by Returning Scot at 10:30