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While there are several theories, the actual origin of the term remains uncertain.
The three competing theories are:
- Loiner could derive from the name Loidis (in use by the eighth century for the district around modern-day Leeds).
- Another explanation says that in the 19th century there were many yards and closes around Briggate whose back entrances were known as Low Ins or Loins, hence Loiner.
- A third theory is that, in the area of Briggate, locals referred to numerous nearby streets as 'loins' in the local accent, as a corruption of the word 'lanes'. People who gathered in these loins to gossip were therefore termed Loiners.