Do you regard yourself as a Sotonian? Do you live in Soton?

Ever wondered where these words come from?

Perhaps less used today than in the past these words are thought to have been first used by a former Southern Daily Echo editor Clarence Firbank Carr (1892-1979).

Echo journalists found Southampton and Southamptonian far too long to fit easily into the newspaper’s headlines.

Carr, told local Rotary club members in 1957: “These words were produced for convenience in newspaper headlines. The abbreviations for Southampton and Southamptonian were invented by the Southern Daily Echo years ago.’’

By all accounts Mr Carr was a formidable individual referred to just as CFC by his staff. A polymath, he had many interests including gliding, public speaking, beekeeping, poetry, accounting, playwriting and film scripts.

His play about Charles Dickens was put on at the former Grand Theatre near the Civic Centre.

Starting as a cub reporter in Dorchester he had met Thomas Hardy and even wrote a scenario for a silent film of Far From The Madding Crowd.

By 1921 he was the editor of the Dorset Daily Echo and in 1924 the assistant editor of the Southampton Echo becoming editor in 1941.

Carr was then general manager of Southern Newspapers Ltd from 1948-1957. He helped set up the Guild of British Newspaper Editors.

Back in 1926 he modernised the Weymouth, Bournemouth and Southampton versions of the Echo by removing advertisements from the front page and replacing them with eye-catching headlines.

Around this time the Sotonian and Soton abbreviations were introduced.

The abbreviations did not enjoy universal approval as Norman Scholfield, Southampton’s Town Clerk of many years, dismissed the words as “literary slovenliness’’.

Earlier in 1896, King Edward VI Grammar School launched a school magazine entitled “Sotoniensis’’ and it is still published.

This Latin name reflects the academic tradition by which Oxford and Cambridge become Oxoniensius and Cantabrigiensis.

It is possible that CF Carr knew of this and it influenced his use of the name Soton,

The name of our area has had various forms over its history.

After the Roman invasion in 43CE it was Clausentum.

This was a small town on a promontory of the east bank of the River Itchen where inscribed stones, coins and pottery have been found. Today it is known as the Bitterne Manor area.

Vespasian Road recalls the Roman Emperor at the time the settlement was built.

From around 700 CE the Saxon town was a large settlement of possibly 4,000 people on the west bank of the River Itchen variously known as Hamwic, Hamwick or Hamton.

Historians consider the definition to be “the settlement on the bend in the river’’. When the St. Mary's football stadium was built, a Saxon woman’s brooch was found during excavations.

The Vikings also left their mark settling in the Woolston area.

A small craft ale bar there since 2016 is called Olaf’s Tun.

The name is thought to be derived from King Olaf I of Norway who in 994 CE had a small fort or tun there.

By 1086 the Domesday Book recorded the name as Olvestune and this eventually became Woolston.

The “South’’ prefix does not appear before the late 10th century. The first part of the name was usually spelt Sut, so local people in those days were from Suthamton.

Southampton followed the Saxon Hamtun and was a royal borough before 1086.

The earliest town charter was given by King Henry II, probably in 1154–55, but the borough was not incorporated until 1445.

Henry VI, in 1447, created Southampton as a county in itself which gave its name to the whole county of Hampshire.

Southampton today is a Unitary Authority separate from Hampshire and responsible for all local government services within the city boundary. Southampton became a city 1964 yet most still talk of going into ‘town’ rather than into the city!