House sparrow nicknames

Do you have a local word for Passer domesticus, the House Sparrow? Where I grew up in the North East of England we called them Spuggies, I hear from a Shropshire lad that it’s a common nickname for this species in that part of the country too. They’re sometimes called spugs in Northern England too. In the South P. domesticus is known as a sparr, sparrer (or Cockney sparrar), spadger (Northern Ireland too), spadgick, and phip or philip. That latter is a bit weird.

In Scotland they’re often known as a spur or sprig (also Spriggies after a Mr Sprigg, apparently). One contact on twitter (hah!) said that his father who grew up in North Lanarkshire called them speugs, pronounced “spee-ugs”.

It’s very difficult to discern the etymology of these nicknames some sources cite spadger as originating in Leeds in the North rather than the South of England.

The same species is often called an English Sparrow in North America where its nicknames are commonly spatzie or spotsie, from the German Spatz. Australians might know the immigrant species as a Spag or Spoggie. And, perhaps less common Sprog or Sproggy and even spridgy or spudgy.

There are others: spyng, spurdie (from The Orkneys), chummy, craff, hoosie, row-dow, thatch sparrow, tile sparrow, and eave sparrow. (Cited here).

In Dutch, the species is known as a mus, or more specifically huismus, but that’s the official common name not a nickname. Spatz in German.

Author: 雷竞技官网

Award-winning freelance science writer, author of Deceived Wisdom. Sharp-shooting photographer and wannabe rockstar.