A Brand for London

London, innit?

Posted in Solutions? by Moving Brands on August 28, 2009

This idea started as a bit of a throw away comment in the studio, but when we started talking about more seriously we realised there might be something in it (no pun intended). For non-Brits, innit has become a ubiquitous term amongst London’s youth over the last 15 years or so. From humble London beginnings, it has spread out across the country.

For some people, ‘innit’ is just another tag question, a contraction of ‘isn’t it’. But kids in urban Britain are using ‘innit’ to cover a wider and wider range of situations (From the BBC).

For some, ‘innit’ is a nuisance, an indication of slipping standards in communication skills (there’s a great story about that here). But ‘innit’ is something that London can claim as its own. It’s something that unites a generation, crossing race and class. It also sets up a brand that’s a bit cheeky, with a bit of an attitude. Something which matches the mood of the city.

Building on ‘innit’, we’ve started to look at ‘in it’. As in, everything happens in London. You’re invited into London etc.
20090828_innit

 

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  1. Gerard said, on August 28, 2009 at 11:52 am

    this is a hilarious one here. got my fair share of innit. didn’t really pick up on it until some people at work just went back and forth “innit”, then throwing me into the mix confirming, “innit”. you never really know until you throw an outsider into the mix to pick up on the little things that make you unique.

    • Moving Brands said, on August 28, 2009 at 11:57 am

      Do you think this would make London unique?

      • Gerard said, on August 28, 2009 at 12:11 pm

        yeah, i think so. its something i picked up from living in london and something that i crack upon when discussing my time spent there. it’s something that, when i hear it on television, makes me think of london.

  2. London voices « A Brand for London said, on August 28, 2009 at 11:58 am

    [...] Posted in Solutions? by Moving Brands on August 28, 2009 Following on from our innit idea, how about representing different London voices through type? In it’s current form here, [...]

  3. Rojin said, on August 29, 2009 at 1:44 am

    I’ve got to say, “innit” is very similar to what Canadians say at the end of their speach. The classic “eh” is also something they ask to confirm their own beliefe in what they had just said. So I suppose if you use “innit” in the right context, it’s similar to saying “eh”. I think London is similar to Canada but very different at the same time. There are a lot of similarities that’s for sure, but they’re done in very different ways. Does that make any sense?

  4. Anis said, on August 29, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    I think the term “init” is inherently Lutonian and not from London it has only migrated to London in the last fifteen or so years, correct
    me I am wrong

    • Micropixie said, on September 15, 2009 at 9:22 pm

      Here’s a link to one theory of where “innit” (spelt with two Ns, not one btw) came from.

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/6122072.stm

      I could go for this… my mum says “innee” a cross between “innit” and “henné” (“isn’t it” Gujarati).

      Hmmn, but as for Luton being the place where “innit” was born, I’m not buying it. There was that ad campaign for Campari in the ’70s about Luton Airport with Lorraine Chase’s catchphrase “it’s nice ‘ere, innit”, and perhaps that’s why you think Innit hails from Luton?

      peas,
      Micropixie & the Innit Choir

  5. Say what said, on October 17, 2009 at 7:44 am

    First Nations (Canadian Indians) in British Columbia have been saying “innit” for the last three generations at least, for example:
    A says: he always shows up at dinner time.
    B says (ironicallly): Innet.
    there’s a word inet which means ‘say what’ in some of the First Nations’ languages around Vancouver. that’s probably where it came from.

  6. Susan said, on February 22, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    I am pretty certain that “innit” has been around a lot longer than 15 years in London. I remember saying it at primary school, in the school playground when I was about 8, which is about 32 years ago. I was not the sort to catch onto new words etc first, and I reckon it would have been knocking about some time before I heard of it. I think the person who suggested that the idea of”innit” being associated with Luton was probably due to the Lorraine Chase advert was very likely correct. I think rather than start it Lorraine was using a word that was well known in London,and the advert capitalised on her cockney identity to make campari seem posh!

  7. Karla said, on March 14, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    After seeing this over and over in Elizabeth George’s book (based in London) “What Happened before I killed her”, I now think it must be the London equivalent of the Canadian, Eh.


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