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I have heard multiple instances of "London town" in Gwen Stefani's song Rich Girl, and in a commercial for the second Garfield movie (just a TV spot, not a trailer).

I want to know what it means and the significance of it. It's confusing because London is a huge city with a monstrous airport and lots of people.

Thanks in advance!

  • There are other anomalies. How many people live in Greenwich Village? How many green fields and duckponds does it have? – Edwin Ashworth Jul 21 '16 at 23:48
  • I'm under the impression that, technically speaking, "London Town" refers to the portion of downtown London that contains the old financial district. Of course, a songwriter is not constrained by such technicalities, and "London town" sounds better than just "London" in many cases. – Hot Licks Jul 22 '16 at 1:01
  • @HotLicks You are thinking of the term 'City of London'. – DJClayworth Jul 22 '16 at 17:21
  • @DJClayworth - Yeah, you're probably right. – Hot Licks Jul 22 '16 at 18:02
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London town is a colloquial expression to refer to modern London in a way that evokes traditional sentiments, to a time where it wasn't as populated.

Nicknames of Places: Origins and Meanings of the Alternate and Secondary Names, Sobriquets, Titles, Epithets and Slogans for 4600 Places Worldwide

"London Town London, England. A form of the British capital's name found mainly in ballads and popular songs, as well as more generally in poetry. It emphasizes the city's quintessen- tially urban nature."

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Slicing the Moon: A Guided Poetic Excursion

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Cycling Britain

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Thou Kingdom Come Robert J Monk is God's Secret Agent: Book of Revelation ...

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So you wouldn't use the phrase if you weren't a native of U.K.

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    Also worth noting that London has engulfed many of the surrounding towns. For example, I think Kensington was a distinct town at one time with fields between it and London. But you are right about the modern use to evoke an older time. – ab2 MonicaNotForgotten Jul 21 '16 at 23:27
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    Wow... That's a lot of examples! Thanks for clearing that up for me! :) – tycrek Jul 22 '16 at 3:29
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    I'd use the phrase, and I'm not a native of London, but the use would be jocular and possibly slightly disdainful, as those of us in the provinces can often be about old London Town. – Spagirl Jul 22 '16 at 11:35
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    @Spagirl ~ good point; I should have said "native of U.K." and not London :) – user180089 Jul 22 '16 at 15:11
  • @TrevorD ~ appreciated, Mr. D :) – user180089 Jul 22 '16 at 16:48

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