Style Guide

How to write about Birmingham, the official hauntological style guide. Need tips? Tweet us with the hashtag #styleguide.

1 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Boon (series 1-3 only): always distinguish between Boon (series 1-3 only) and the TV programme as a whole. Only series 1-3 was set and filmed in Birmingham.

Brummie: -ie is for nouns, and we’re people and things. Besides ‘brummy’ looks shit.

Bull Ring: Not Bullring, or bullring or thebullring or variants. There were bulls, way before there was the dalek’s arse, private pavements where no photography is allowed, and flash mobs.


Cliff Richards: Take Me High star, and Centenary Square ‘Eternal Flame’ patron. (Note quotes on ‘Eternal Flame’, although it’s not Cliff’s fault that the council wouldn’t pay the gas bill.)

comedian Jasper Carrott: it’s worth reminding young people who he was.

Cadbury: sold off to Americans in 2010, Cadbury became part of Kraft which then subsequently shifted it into being subsidiary of another company with a name we can’t spell. You may informally use ‘Cadbury’ or ‘Cadbury’s’, with the former being preferred. Wherever possible the company should be formally named as Cadbury-Kraft-Monosomething e.g. Cadbury-Kraft-Monorail, Cadbury-Kraft-Monobrow, Cadbury-Kraft-Monodactyl. Use a different variation each time in the hope you get it right, or just wait for them to be renamed again.


Digby ‘Biggest Dog in the World’ Jones: Always use full title for this self-mythologising fat cat.


Evening Mail: You’re in Birmingham, you don’t need to tell everyone. Use ‘the Mail’ if you’re telling that joke about the guy on the last bus home. “Ev’n Maayol” if selling from a wooden shack on New Street.


Palisades / Pavilions: Interchangeable names for empty shopping centres. Don’t bother getting them right — locals never do.

Perry Barr the bull: Commonwealth Games mascot, give him his full name, it’s only polite.


Ron Atkinson: Racistially-challenged ex-football manager and pundit. ‘Fat’ Ron Atkinson on first mention, Big Fat Ron, or BFR subsequently.


the scallop line: The border of Greater Birmingham, the outskirts of where you can buy battered potato scallops at a chippy and call them scallops. A 2015 study confirmed this to stretch as far as Coventry and Warwick in the south east, Kidderminster in the west and Cannock in the north. Although it upsets them it encompasses Wolverhampton, Dudley, Walsall and West Brom.


the Town Hall: We’re fans of the definite article. Midlander, there can be only one. cf ‘the ASDA’.