Friday, March 04, 2011

Gotham: The City of Simple-Minded Fools

When hearing NY described as Gotham City, Batman of course comes to mind.  Commissioner Gordon was in charge of fighting crime in Gotham City, a vague rendition of New York City.  Turns out the nickname was given to New York by writer Washington Irving over 200 years ago.  The word Gotham dates to 1600's England. 

According to Carmen Nigro's blog post at the NY Public Library,  "English proverbs tell of a village called Gotham or Gottam, meaning “Goat’s Town” in old Anglo-Saxon.  Folk tales of the Middle Ages make Gotham out to be the village of simple-minded fools, perhaps because the goat was considered a foolish animal."  I guess if the shoe fits.

Gotham City sure had it's cast of characters: The Penguin, Catwoman, Mr Freeze and The Riddler to name a few.  None were able to take down the Cape Crusaders or destroy Gotham City.   I guess that still holds true, whether you call it Gotham, New York or The Big Apple, it's not going anywhere (despite the NY Daily News Headline from 1977:  Ford To New York:  Drop Dead). 

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