• Dear Guest, and welcome to RailUK Forums. Our non-railway discussion forums are currently restricted until members have five or more posts, and you will not be able to make a new thread or reply to an existing one in this section until you have made five or more posts elsewhere on the forum.

What do you usually say when people ask where you live or where you’re from?

When somebody asks you where you live or where you’re from, what do you usually reply?

  • The name of the actual settlement where you live

    Votes: 38 42.2%
  • The name of the nearest small town/city

    Votes: 12 13.3%
  • The name of the nearest large or postal town/city

    Votes: 37 41.1%
  • The name of the top tier local authority area or London Borough

    Votes: 5 5.6%
  • The name of a lower tier local authority area (East Dorset, New Forest etc)

    Votes: 1 1.1%
  • The name of a former local authority (Avon, Humberside etc)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • The name of the ceremonial county

    Votes: 10 11.1%
  • The name of the historic county

    Votes: 9 10.0%
  • The name of the official region (London, South West, Wales etc)

    Votes: 4 4.4%
  • The name of an unofficial region (South Wales, West Country etc)

    Votes: 1 1.1%
  • I live abroad - The name of the country

    Votes: 1 1.1%
  • I live abroad - The name of the state/region in the country

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I live abroad - The name of the town/city in the country

    Votes: 1 1.1%
  • I prefer not to say

    Votes: 1 1.1%
  • Other (please specify)

    Votes: 6 6.7%
  • “Between X and Y” towns/cities

    Votes: 7 7.8%
  • “X miles north/west/south/east of [town/city]”

    Votes: 2 2.2%
  • Come from another country (but live in UK)

    Votes: 1 1.1%
  • Come from [state/region] in foreign country (but live in UK)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Come from [town/city] in foreign country (but live in UK)

    Votes: 1 1.1%

  • Total voters
    90

PTR 444

Member
Joined
22 Aug 2019
Messages
926
Location
Southampton
It’s a no brainier really that whenever you meet someone new, they at some point will ask where you live or are from. The big question is when you reply, how accurate of an answer do you give to your actual location, particularly if the person is not local to your area. I’m not intending for this to be a thread where everyone gives away their address as that would be breaching people’s privacy, but the idea is that different people have different definitions of where they live, so this is more to see which is more common.

For example, my non term time address is in a large village in Dorset, but if I responded to the question with the name of the village, aside from privacy concerns, hardly anyone apart from locals would have heard of it. On the other hand, responding with Dorset would be too broad due to the county’s size, so I would need to narrow it down to nearest towns. I have responded with both Poole and Wimborne in the past, but despite being larger settlements are still amazingly largely unheard of from people not local to the area. In more recent times I have had to say, “near Bournemouth” as far more people have heard of that town and can locate it in relation to other major towns in the UK, but despite being the nearest postal town is not really accurate to where I actually live. It’s a bit like living in Wolverhampton or Dudley and saying you’re from Birmingham because the latter is a more widely recognised city.

I guess how geographically accurate you are is all down to personal interpretation really. For example, certain Croydon residents may prefer to identify with Surrey rather than London, or they may just simply say the name of the London borough to avoid that can of worms!
 
Last edited:
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

185143

Established Member
Joined
3 Mar 2013
Messages
3,650
It'd depend on where I was when I was having the conversation. I'm in the suburb of a medium sized town. A lot of people will have heard of the town, but maybe not know where it is. Yet if I said "Near [City]" or "Halfway inbetween [City] and [City]" they'd know pretty much exactly where it is.

I'm in Scotland at the moment and over 200 miles from home at the moment so I'd go with reference to the nearest cities. Yet closer to home I'd probably use the name of the town.

As an aside-I've been to Wimborne, so would know exactly where it is! :D Admittedly, I suspect if I mentioned Wimborne locally (at home that is, and especially so in Scotland!) No one would have a clue where it was.
 

Typhoon

Established Member
Joined
2 Nov 2017
Messages
1,829
Location
Kent
The name of the place I was born in. That's what made me what I am, for good or ill,
 

lxfe_mxtterz

Member
Joined
3 Mar 2018
Messages
516
Location
Horse Stables
Initially, I just respond with the name of the town I live in.

If they don't know where that is, then a simple "x miles north/east/south/west of London" usually works - whether that be 30 or 300 miles. Saves a lot of trouble. :lol:

I remember, on one occasion, reeling off a long list of nearby towns to someone who didn't know where my town was, and them not knowing where a single one of them was!
 

LSWR Cavalier

Member
Joined
23 Aug 2020
Messages
1,140
Location
Leafy Suburbia
I think I shall in future tell people I am from Newtown, there are so many places of that name. Where I live is not called "Newtown" but it is, or rather was, a New Town. To perfect the confusion, there has been a Smalltown here for centuries.
 

MattRat

Member
Joined
26 May 2021
Messages
378
Location
Liverpool
I say the city I live in, which is technically true. However if going into more detail, I talk about the local area, although that gets more complicated as I'm sandwiched between two local areas.
 

NorthOxonian

Established Member
Joined
5 Jul 2018
Messages
1,232
Location
Oxford/Newcastle
Usually, I'll say County Durham. Where I grew up left the county about fifty years ago now, but if I say I'm from Newcastle people always assume I support Newcastle United - and I definitely don't! If pressed further, I'll usually say "between Newcastle and Sunderland", which is strictly accurate even if one of those is much nearer than the other!

The one exception is if I'm between roughly Scarborough and Berwick. Most people who live in that area have heard of my home town so there's no need for further clarification. The same goes if I'm with people who are well travelled.

However, generally people can tell where I'm from because of my accent (barring some southerners who mistake me for Scottish!), and so rarely ask.
 

507021

Established Member
Joined
19 Feb 2015
Messages
4,442
Location
Liverpool
I've always said I'm from Liverpool, regardless of where I was living at the time.

My partner is the same, she says she's from Manchester even though she doesn't live there anymore.
 

westv

Established Member
Joined
29 Mar 2013
Messages
3,284
Depends if I'm asked where I live or where I was born.
For the later I normally just London or south London if asked.
Breaking it further down to Peckham normally brings the conversation to Only Fools and Horses. :D :D
 

ComUtoR

Established Member
Joined
13 Dec 2013
Messages
7,433
Location
UK
There aren't options for when someone is asking about your 'race'
 

_toommm_

Established Member
Joined
8 Jul 2017
Messages
4,556
Location
Yorkshire
I’m from a village in Rotherham. Either people haven’t heard of Rotherham, or it conjures up quite negative connotations, so I tend to say ‘near Sheffield’. If they haven’t heard of that, I say South Yorkshire.
 

DanNCL

Established Member
Joined
17 Jul 2017
Messages
1,754
Location
County Durham
Depends who's asking. If it's someone who knows the local area and I don't mind them knowing, then I'll tell them the name of the actual settlement. For anyone else I answer with "Newcastle" or "County Durham", depending on which I can be bothered to use that day. I actually live in County Durham but sometimes it's easier just to say Newcastle.
 

apk55

Member
Joined
7 Jul 2011
Messages
408
Location
Altrincham
Depends on the person asking the question and how much local knowledge they have.
i/ If local and very familiar with the area I would say which part of the town I live in - eg North Altrincham + more details
2/ reasonably local I would say the local town eg Altrincham
3/ If unfamiliar with the area I would say near the nearest town that they would have heard of eg near Manchester; Suburb of Manchester
 

J-2739

Established Member
Joined
30 Jul 2016
Messages
1,788
Location
Yorkshire
I’m from a village in Rotherham. Either people haven’t heard of Rotherham, or it conjures up quite negative connotations, so I tend to say ‘near Sheffield’. If they haven’t heard of that, I say South Yorkshire.
And if they've never heard of that, London.
 

Ostrich

Member
Joined
15 Jul 2010
Messages
155
Again, it depends on who's asking. If it's someone I know to be local, I'll name my town or suburb. If it's someone not local, I'll probably say "North Dorset", which used to be the local district council name for these parts until it was merged into the new Dorset County Council a few years back (leading to a disproportionate increase in council tax <(, but that's off-topic). Usually, my accent's a giveaway, although that tends to be more Zummerzet than Daarzet.

I also know Wimborne well, and I'm looking forward to visiting New Cuthbury when the footie season restarts ....
 
Last edited:

deltic

Established Member
Joined
8 Feb 2010
Messages
2,428
Exact address and full details how to get there if it is the right person:D
 

J-2739

Established Member
Joined
30 Jul 2016
Messages
1,788
Location
Yorkshire
London is a terrible city (IMO).
My original post was tongue in cheek, but whatever you think of London, it is probably the first think that comes to most peoples mind in connection with the United Kingdom. Much more than South Yorkshire.
 

soccermad

Member
Joined
2 Mar 2008
Messages
77
Location
Derbyshire
i live within half a mile of Derbyshire, Notts and S Yorks (actually in Derbyshire with a Notts post town and an 'S' Post code)
 

satisnek

Member
Joined
5 Sep 2014
Messages
631
Location
Kidderminster/Mercia Marina
I just tell people I'm from Kidderminster. For those outside the geographical West Midlands area the response tends to vary with intellect, from high to low it's usually something along the lines of:
  • carpets
  • Severn Valley Railway
  • Kidderminster Harriers FC
  • Birmingham
  • where?
 

alxndr

Member
Joined
3 Apr 2015
Messages
958
This question has caused a bit of frustration in the past.

I used to just say "Suffolk" as I've found people don't know where Suffolk, or even East Anglia, is, let alone the places within it.
If people pushed for something more specific then I'd ask where they knew and could say "oh, about 30 minutes nearer the coast from there" or similar.
Sometimes people insisted I give them a settlement or the nearest down. They wouldn't have heard of my village, and no one's ever heard of the nearest town either. The only places they've heard of are Ipswich and Norwich, and I lived bang smack inbetween. I certainly didn't come from either.
 

Iskra

Established Member
Joined
11 Jun 2014
Messages
4,500
Location
Chapeltown, Sheffield
I say I'm from Leeds but live in Sheffield. If they show any knowledge of the geography of West Yorkshire, I may go into more detail and explain where exactly near Leeds, (Birstall). Birstall itself is interesting that it's in Kirklees, has a Wakefield postcode and phone number, its nearest city by distance is Bradford but the quickest to get to is Leeds. Oh and it used to be in Leeds.
 

Gloster

Established Member
Joined
4 Sep 2020
Messages
2,383
Location
Up the creek
Why would someone want to know where I come from? What business of theirs is it? People with a legitimate reason to know my address will get it: the rest will get a hard stare.
 
Last edited:

Top