Sunday, April 07, 2013
Heidelbergerin / Brummagemerin
The old title, Heidelbergerin, was just a reference to where I was living. In German, a man from Heidelberg is called a Heidelberger; a woman from Heidelberg is called a Heidelbergerin. To use the name Heidelbergerin as a foreigner was stretching it a little bit - the term is generally used for natives of a city - but I didn't really understand that yet at the time I named the blog.
This blog's history is of course still very tied up in Germany, and all my future observations will still be influenced in some way by the years that I spent there, so I wanted to keep something German: the -erin ending was a simple thing to keep. So why not Birminghamerin?
If you've a bit of experience with Birmingham, you may already know that its nickname is Brum. A person from Birmingham is not called a Birminghamian or Birminghamite but a Brummie, and the local dialect goes by that name as well. Brum is short for Brummagem - an older/dialect form of Birmingham. Brummagem or brummagem ware also can be used to refer to imitation goods (more on the history of this through the Wikipedia link). I went with Brummagem instead of Birmingham for a few reasons. First, it goes better with -erin. Second, if I were to ever call myself a Brummie, I would still be an imitation. It's my home now and may even become my home permanently, but it's not my original home. Brummagem seems appropriate. Third, I like that this word is being reclaimed with positive connotations rather than the negative ones that in the past led to its second meaning.
I also considered permutations like Heidelbrumerin, but it seemed like Heidelberg should leave the title since I won't really be posting anything current about it anymore. I had goofy ideas combining my real name and Birmingham which thankfully didn't leave the drawing board. I also tried several ideas relating to popular local vocab that I found strange like "You alright?" for "How are you?" and "Hiya" being used amongst strangers...but they all came off a bit too hokey.
What would you have renamed this blog? Would you have renamed it at all? Have you ever needed to rename your blog or other online presence, and if so what factored into the decision?