Home counties


Home counties

"Home counties" is an informal phrase used to designate the group of counties that border or surround London, England. The term originated in the late nineteenth century, and is probably derived from the Home Circuit of the itinerant Assize Court. [Alan Everitt, "Country, County and Town: Patterns of Regional Evolution in England" in "Transactions of the Royal Historical Society", Vol. 29, (1979), pp. 79-108] The home counties have no official definition but are usually understood as coinciding with the London commuter belt or the London Metropolitan Area, i.e., where people can work in London without living in the city and travel home each evening. The home counties are sometimes also called London and the South East.

Social and political connotations

The term 'home counties' is occasionally used to describe the social and moral attitudes and physical attributes of the prosperous and frequently conservative (both culturally and in terms of support for the Conservative Party, for which south eastern England is a stronghold) people who are thought to abound in them, for example in the phrase 'home counties accent'.

The home counties

There is no official definition of the "home counties". However, the term has been used in legislation and the administration of the armed forces during the twentieth century as follows:
* 1908: The Home Counties Division of the Territorial Force comprised units recruiting in Middlesex, Kent, Surrey and Sussex.
* 1920: The London and Home Counties Electricity District consisted of the counties of London and Middlesex; and parts of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent and Surrey.
*1924: The London and Home Counties Traffic Advisory Committee, covering the London Traffic Area: London, Middlesex, and parts of Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent and Surrey.
*1926: The Home Counties (Music and Dancing) Licensing Act regulated activities in all parts of Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent and Surrey within 20 miles of the City of London or City of Westminster.
*1938: Green Belt (London and Home Counties) Act limited development in parts of Middlesex, Kent, Buckinghamshire, Surrey, Essex, Berkshire and Hertfordshire.
*1948: The Home Counties Brigade was formed to administer the infantry regiments of the City and County of London, Kent, Middlesex, Surrey and Sussex.

See also

* London commuter belt
* Thames Valley
* Metro-land

References


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Home Counties — certain counties adjacent to or near London, namely Essex, Kent, Surrey, and, sometimes, Hertfordshire and Sussex * * * n [pl] (in Britain) the counties around London. People living in the Home Counties are generally regarded as being relatively… …   Universalium

  • Home Counties — certain counties adjacent to or near London, namely Essex, Kent, Surrey, and, sometimes, Hertfordshire and Sussex …   English World dictionary

  • Home Counties — Home Coun|ties [ ,houm kauntiz ] adjective used for describing attitudes or qualities that are thought to be typical of conservative middle class English people: her Home Counties accent …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Home Counties — noun the English counties surrounding London into which Greater London has expanded • Regions: ↑United Kingdom, ↑UK, ↑U.K., ↑Britain, ↑United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, ↑Great Britain • Instance Hypernyms: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Home Counties — also home counties N PROPER PLURAL: the N The Home Counties are the counties which surround London. ...a shy, self employed computer salesman from the Home Counties. ...Home Counties villages …   English dictionary

  • Home Counties — Les Home Counties sont les des comtés anglais autour de Londres. Elle remonte à l ancienne cour d assises itinérante qui suivait le Home circuit des comtés les plus proches de Londres, ou de Westminster, où la cour avait son siège plus ou moins… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Home Counties — UK [ˌhəʊm ˈkaʊntɪz] / US [ˌhoʊm ˈkaʊntɪz] adjective used for describing attitudes or qualities that are thought to be typical of conservative middle class English people her Home Counties accent • Etymology: The Home Counties are the areas around …   English dictionary

  • home counties — see Home Counties …   English dictionary

  • Home Counties — Home Coun|ties the counties around London …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Home Counties — noun All the English counties surrounding London …   Wiktionary


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