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Smoggie or Smoggy is a nickname given to people from the Middlesbrough area in Teesside, north east England, originating with visiting football supporters. It is a contraction of 'smog monster'.[1]


Originally, this was a term of abuse for supporters of Middlesbrough F.C. coined by their Sunderland A.F.C. counterparts. The name was meant to refer to the heavy air pollution once allegedly produced by the local petrochemical industry,[1][2] and from Dorman Long.[3] Though, at first, Smoggie was used as a pejorative term, it has become an example of reappropriation with many people now proudly calling themselves 'Smoggies'.[1][4]

Current usage[edit]

Though primarily directed at people from Middlesbrough, 'Smoggies' can also be applied to those from the surrounding urban area of Teesside.[5] The term was referred to by Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland MP, Tom Blenkinsop, in the House of Commons, and was recorded in Hansard, in July 2011.[6] Smoggies has occasional use as a nickname for Middlesbrough F.C..[7][6][8][4] During 31 May-12 July 2013 the Cleveland Art Society organised a major exhibition of the works of local artists entitled Smoggies Allowed in an Art Gallery.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c McKeown, Sarah (22 June 2009). "Ich bin ein Smoggy: reclaiming regional pride". Macmillan Dictionary Blog. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
  2. ^ Harley, Shaun (16 October 2007). "'I was made in Middlesbrough'". BBC News. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
  3. ^ "Dictionary of Middlesbrough and Teesside Accent Dialect and Slang". Love Middlesbrough - Middlesbrough Borough Council. 2012–14. Retrieved 5 July 2014.
  4. ^ a b Lawson, Helen (21 March 2013). "Janoaworramean? Frustrated Teesside mother pens 'Smoggie dictionary' with translations into Standard English to help others understand her". Daily Mail. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
  5. ^ "Geordie: A regional dialect of English". British Library. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
  6. ^ a b "Teesside MP uses the word "smoggie" in Parliament speech". Evening Gazette (Teesside). 11 July 2011. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
  7. ^ Hancox, Dan (10 September 2009). "How is Britain coping with the recession? - Middlesbrough - Smoggies steel themselves". New Statesman. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
  8. ^ "Maximo Park fear for footy teams". BBC News. 22 April 2009. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
  9. ^ "Exhibition showcases work of Teesside artists". Middlesbrough Borough Council. 1 June 2013. Retrieved 2 October 2013.