Slang Toponyms in Early Twentieth Century Helsinki
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In this article, we analyse spatial slang coinages by boys and young men from Sörnäinen, a bilingual working-class neighbourhood in early twentieth century Helsinki (1900–1939). During this period, Helsinki slang developed into a unique slang spoken among the working class of both Finnish and Swedish language backgrounds in their densely occupied quarters. In their childhood, male juveniles of Sörnäinen used many place-referring slang words in both appellative (classifying) and proprial (identifying) functions. When the same males got older and began to move more widely in different kinds of social settings across Helsinki, the use of these kinds of double-functional nouns decreased in favour of slang names derived from the city’s official nomenclature. The primary research material of the article covers a set of interviews made between the 1920s and the 1980s.