What do we call someone from Sydenham?

Friendly chat, questions, reviews, find old friends or relatives. Not limited to Sydenham only issues but keep it civil!

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marymck
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Location: Upper Kirkdale

What do we call someone from Sydenham?

Post by marymck »

No, seriously, I mean it, I genuinely need some proper advice on this one. Would someone who lives in and goes to school in Sydenham be called a "Sydenhamite"? Or what?

Blushingsnail
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Re: What do we call someone from Sydenham?

Post by Blushingsnail »

'Sydenhamite' is what sprang to my mind when I read the title of your post (before having read the content).

Voyageur
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Re: What do we call someone from Sydenham?

Post by Voyageur »

A Syd'ling?

leenewham
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Re: What do we call someone from Sydenham?

Post by leenewham »

A londoner.

Robin Orton
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Re: What do we call someone from Sydenham?

Post by Robin Orton »

I would have thought the choice is between 'Sydenhamian' 'Sydenhamite', and 'Sydenhamer'. I see from the web that students from Sydenham (commercial) College in Mumbai call themselves 'Sydenhamites' - I don't know how conclusive that is.

The '-ian' suffix is Latin in origin, and, in my view, has the classiest ring to it. Cf Etonian, Harrovian, Rugbeian, Mancunian, Oxonian, Glaswegian, Liverpudlian. It would work e.g. for Catford - 'Catfordian' sounds quite good. However, it doesn't trip all that easily off the tongue in the case of a place ending in '-ham'.The only example I can think of is 'Oakhamian' (the school) - I don't know how it's pronounced. In our case, I suppose it would have to be 'Sidn-HAY-mian.' Possible, I'd have thought, but a bit awkward.

'-ite' is Greek in origin, and is often found in our translations of the Bible applied to peoples or clans - 'Israelite', 'Canaanite', 'Sodomite' and so on. It is also applied in more modern times to sects or parties, often originally by their opponents - Mennonites, Jacobites, Paisleyites, Blairites etc. The Oxford English Dictionary says that 'in words of modern formation [...] denoting the inhabitant of a place; as [...] Claphamite, Durhamite [...]: now rare and mostly somewhat contemptuous'. I suspect however that this OED entry is a bit out-of-date - a quick Google suggests that nowadays e.g. Claphamites, Balhamites and Peckhamites don't object to being so described.

'Sydenhamer ' looks manly and vernacular (cf. Londoner) but is even more difficult to pronounce than 'Sydenhamian.'

I expect 'Sydenhamian' would do more for property values, but perhaps 'Sydenhamite' would be safest.

simon
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Re: What do we call someone from Sydenham?

Post by simon »

What about Sydenhamists? It suggests a bit of attitude and commitment and could apply to someone from outside, who just likes the place.

Tim Lund
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Re: What do we call someone from Sydenham?

Post by Tim Lund »

If we're talking about what you call someone, it's worth writing it out as said, and in most of these variants, that little 'e' and the 'h' will get lost. So Simon's option is really Syd'n'amist, and it would be Syd'n'amite. 'Sydenhamer' is different, because the 'er' sound at the end is weak, so the 'ham' syllable has to stay to keep the pattern of stress natural to spoken English.

Moving on, as a variant of Simon's committed and friendly Sydnamist - maybe too close to bigamist or sodomist? - how about Sydnamista?

Rachael
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Re: What do we call someone from Sydenham?

Post by Rachael »

Would that be Sydenhamista for the ladies and Sydenhamisto for the men?

Are there any names for London locals based on their area? Apart from Sloanes, that is.

Robin Orton
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Re: What do we call someone from Sydenham?

Post by Robin Orton »

'Sydenhamer' is different, because the 'er' sound at the end is weak, so the 'ham' syllable has to stay to keep the pattern of stress natural to spoken English
Do you mean we should say 'Sidn-HAM -uh' or 'Sidn-HAY -muh', Tim? 'SID -nmuh' sounds better surely?

'Maybe it's because I'm a Syd'namer
That I love Syd'nam Town...'

I must say I like the idea of a 'Sydenhamist'. 'Professor Steve Grindlay, the internationally renowned Sydenhamist, has just been appointed to the chair of Sydenham and Forest Hill Studies at Harvard....'

Eagle
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Re: What do we call someone from Sydenham?

Post by Eagle »

Someone who is glad they do not live in Penge.

Rachael
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Re: What do we call someone from Sydenham?

Post by Rachael »

Sydenhamist / ista works for someone who is a fan of Sydenham, but doesn't answer the OP's question about what to call someone who lives here.

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mummycat
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Re: What do we call someone from Sydenham?

Post by mummycat »

Mary, you'll always be a Kirkdalian (rhyming with alien).

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marymck
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Re: What do we call someone from Sydenham?

Post by marymck »

Wow - thank you all for so many great responses. (Though mummycat's wrong! I personally loath the name "Kirkdale", which is such an artificial name for this road & I believe it's just an invention of the London County Council and not to be confused with a Kirk in a dale. In fact, as an aside, I wonder what Church it was named for? Was either St Matthew's or The Church of the Resurrection ever generally known as the "Kirk"? Or was there another Kirk on the street that I don't know about?)

Thanks again folks & I think I'm a Sydenhamite!
Last edited by marymck on 7 May 2011 10:20, edited 1 time in total.

chrisj1948
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Re: What do we call someone from Sydenham?

Post by chrisj1948 »

I feel Sydenhamite is the expression which seems most natural. A shame that it sounds a bit like 'sodomite', but I guess that is just my dirty old mind.

Regards
Chris

Tim Lund
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Re: What do we call someone from Sydenham?

Post by Tim Lund »

rshdunlop wrote:Would that be Sydenhamista for the ladies and Sydenhamisto for the men?
.
I don't think so - the word which gave the suffix to the English language was 'Sandinista', which was definitely for men as much as women, and from which it was naturally extended to 'Guardianista'. I guess it's that same as the Italian for a (male) poet being un poeta, in Spanish 'uno poeta'. Blame those first declension Latin masculine nouns.
rshdunlop wrote:Are there any names for London locals based on their area? Apart from Sloanes, that is.
Interesting question - which perhaps shows where loyalites lie, since there are names for followers of football teams - e.g. gooners. The best I could think of for a name based on area was 'Hampstead liberal' - though 'Eastender' is a candidate. Has that meaning been distorted by the TV series?

Eagle
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Re: What do we call someone from Sydenham?

Post by Eagle »

Mary
I would imagine Kirkdale named after St Barts but not sure how far the name goes back.

I believe St Barts built about 1830's and earliest church in the area ( if you ignore The Dissenter's Chapel .

Robin Orton
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Re: What do we call someone from Sydenham?

Post by Robin Orton »

I'm pretty sure I've read somewhere that the name 'Kirkdale' came, not from the LCC, but from some builder who developed the area. I've looked at all my Sydenham books and Steve Grindlay's blog, but can't find the reference. I can't remember when it said the name of this bit of Sydenham Road was first changed or whether it said, explicitly, that the 'Kirk' was St Barts, but it's difficult to believe it wasn't. (The Catholic Church at the end of Sydenham Park wasn't built until 1974).

marymck
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Re: What do we call someone from Sydenham?

Post by marymck »

I see what you mean, Robin & Eagle, about the "Kirk" being St Bartholomew's. I was just looking for a church actually on Kirkdale itself. But of course it couldn't have been St Matthew's, because that was "just off" Sydenham Hill Road (which didn't get re-named Kirkdale until 1936).

Having just checked an 1865 map, I see that (Lower) Kirkdale carried the Kirkdale name in 1865. At that point St Bartholomew's seems to have been the closest church to lower Kirkdale. I guess the LCC just used an existing street name, vastly extending its length, without much thought to character. It would be interesting to see how far back that original section of Kirkdale was so named.

I think I'll bump up my thread in the Town Museum re. the originals of street names and pose these questions there, in case I get bumped out of this thread for going off topic (again - lol).

I've always thought "The Kirk" was Presbyterian. Certainly when I lived in Scotland and people talked about "The Kirk" they were talking about the Church of Scotland. Our Church (being Catholic) was known as "The Church". (Actually, the Proddies usually called it something unprintable and not fit for the ears of children.)

Was there a Presbyterian church in the area do you know? Where was the dissenters' chapel & could that have been it?

Eagle
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Re: What do we call someone from Sydenham?

Post by Eagle »

About 100 years ago St Bart's would have been on Kirkdale as well as West Hill and of course when walking down Kirkdale St Barts stands out ( and would even more so then )

The Dissenters Chapel was / is where All Saints Church is now on Sydenham Road.

I think the Scots use Kirk to cover any Protestant Church , but could be wrong.

Hope this helps.

Robin Orton
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Re: What do we call someone from Sydenham?

Post by Robin Orton »

I don't think there's ever been a Presbyterian church in Sydenham. But I think you'll find anyway that 'kirk' is just the Scottish (and Northern English, as in Kirkby Stephen, Kirkby Lonsdale and West Kirby) form of 'church.' Latterly 'the Kirk' has been used mainly to refer to the (Presbyterian) Church of Scotland, but there's nothing specifically Presbyterian or Protestant (let alone 'dissenting' ) in the word itself. It was applied to the Catholic Church before the Reformation.

I guess that anyone consciously using a Scots dialect could apply the word, with a small 'k',to any church (building). So I still think St Barts is the origin of Kirkdale, and that whoever named it was either Scottish (or Northern English, possibly ) or liked Scotland (or Northern England). 'Och, that's a braw wee kirk doon there in the dale, I'll name ma new road fer it.'

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