Talk:Boston (disambiguation)

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Most commonly[edit]

I find it vaguely offensive that this article states: "Boston most commonly refers to the following city: * Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.". In an American context this may be true, but historically, Boston, Lincolnshire is at least as important as its younger namesake. If I knew how it should be expressed I would give these two towns equal billing on the disambiguation page.

It also puzzles me that "North Boston" and "South Boston" are listed on this page, but that "New Boston" is linked to a separate page. I believe the term "North Boston" also has a specific meaning in Massachusetts, so surely they have similar status. I don't know whether that is an argument for listing the "New Boston" examples here or creating a new page for "North Boston". Maybe it is neither, but it deerves remark. SMeeds 18:42, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

I agree Boston should point to this disambiguation page, and Boston, Lincolnshire should be the first entry. See Newark, which is structured in this way. How many people does it take to reach a concensus on this? TiffaF 07:20, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

I've been around on Wikipedia for a while, but I'm no expert, so I'll put out a question on Wikipedia:Village pump (policy) SMeeds 09:56, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

"At least as important?" No, it's not. You have no basis for such a statement, that a town with 35,000 people that most Americans have never heard of is "at least as important" as a city of over half a million that most Britons HAVE heard of. --Golbez 10:26, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Golbez, and I'm saying that as someone for whom the word "Boston" immediately brings to mind the place in Lincolnshire. I will slightly rearrange the disambiguation page, but there's no doubt in my mind that Boston needs to point to the US city. --ajn (talk) 10:46, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
I agree, as well. I did a Google search and only found 183 thousand hits for "Boston, Lincolnshire" vs. over 47 million hits for "Boston, Massachusetts". That's 257 times as many hits. Not even close. The only people for which the two cities will have equal significance are those living in the vicinity of Lincolnshire. StuRat 11:56, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
...or Massachusetts. Thank you ajn, I think that is a good solution (at least to start with). My suggestion was that Boston, Lincolnshire was historically at least as important as Boston, Massachusetts, nothing more (however people may have misread it), a statement which I suspect is difficult to either prove or disprove - the size of the town has little to do with it. Maybe I (we) should settle for the changes now made to the disambiguoation page, though TiffaF's suggestion seemed particularly even-handed - this is meant to be an international resource. SMeeds 14:12, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
I don't know anything about Boston, Lincolnshire, but the article doesn't suggest any historical importance at all. Most significant thing the town is known for, probably is that it gave its name to Boston. -- Eugène van der Pijll 15:43, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
It was one of England's busiest ports 7-800 years ago, and has been moderately important since. I love the place, but you're basically right - it's only known outside England because of the Pilgrim Fathers (who sailed from Boston to the Netherlands and from there to America several years later) and Boston, Mass. being named after it. It's a backwater now, but I think its priority and the history are significant enough for it to be given second billing on the disambiguation page. --ajn (talk) 15:59, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
I absolutely agree it should get second billing - but Boston should redir to the Mass city. --Golbez 17:26, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
That's all I was ever looking for. I'm ducking out now. Thanks for your help.
Incidentally, the Pilgrim Fathers, despite the memorial near Boston, didn't leave Boston for the Netherlands. They were imprisoned there, but their next attempt was from somewhere around Kingston upon Hull. However, more significantly, the followers of John Cotton left Boston and founded Boston, Massachusetts - many people from the older town becoming important citizens, including starting the school that became Harvard. SMeeds 08:38, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

I just Googled "Boston," on, and the first reference to Boston, England, didn't come up until the 256th result. Even on, only one of the first 50 results refer to the English city. The Boston, Mass., area has 6.1 million people; the Boston, England, area has less than 60,000. The Boston, Mass., area is home to Harvard and MIT; one of the world's largest concentrations of biotech companies; many important historical sites; the Massachusetts state government; and the Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins and Patriots (sort of). I'm sure Boston, England, is a wonderful place, but I can't imagine that anyone outside of the immediate vicinity is thinking of it when they say "Boston." No one complains that London directs to the city in England, even though London, Ontario, is a lot bigger than Boston, England. -- Mwalcoff 23:43, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

well that's a crap analogy because London, England is far bigger, the original and historically way more important than London, Ontario. Whereas Boston, Mass may be larger and in present-day more important, Boston, Lincolnshire was the first such named town and has historically more important. nobody is suggesting that the 'Boston' page should be redirected to the Lincolnshire page, but the Boston, Lincolnshire article should atleast have some prominence on the disambiguation page! there's some blatant american favouritsm on this page to simply adding a small note that the Boston in Lincolnshire was the first such named city. 13:00, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

I find it rude that when I type Boston I didn't get either the general search or Boston Massachussetts. I had to go to Massachussetts and click on Boston there. I was redirected to some small town in europe in linconshire. That's not right! There are other Bostons out there. I never heard of the other boston was deeply offended it didn't direct to Boston in the USA. If there are other bostons then it should go to a disambiguation page! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:33, 13 December 2006

Actually, Boston redirects to Boston, Massachusetts, which I personally find to be a problem, though I understand there has been previous discussion on the matter and it was presumably decided by some Ameri-centric group that this is the way it should be; why anything with a disambig can't point to the disambig I don't understand. Mwalcoff, when I typed "boston" into Google it came up with Boston Borough Council - Home at 11th position - hardly 256th, and not bad at all considering the huge number of multi-nationals based in its daughter city. SMeeds 12:30, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

  • I'm sorry but the city Boston, Massachusetts is far more well known and holds a deeper historical context. It is well known, it is not favoritism towards Americans, it is doing what is proper. Last time I checked, he didn't do this London. The English need to relax and realize that this page should lead to the American city since it is far more well known. Willie Stark 20:01, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
Sorry Willie Stark, this is a dead topic. Boston currently, and correctly in my view, goes to Boston (disambiguation). That surely can't offend or upset anyone. I didn't even make the change. SMeeds 01:24, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
      • The people whom are most disturbed/annoyed are the readers, whom seem to have not been acounted for. Willie Stark 01:29, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Size or (relative) importance should not dictate where the redirect goes. In my opinion there is enough debate to justify pointing Boston to this disambiguation page, instead of to the supposed most important place with that name. Lenzar 12:06, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

WP policy is pretty clear. The criterion is not size or importance or age, but what the "well known primary meaning" is, "much more used than any other". I think it's pretty clear that in North America, the primary meaning is Boston, Massachusetts, so I checked some non-US sources. On the BBC site, of the first 10 search results for "Boston", 5 were for Mass., 2 were Boston Castle (in Yorks, not Lincs), and 2 were for Lincs. On The Times' site, 6 were for Mass., 2 were for companies (Boston Beer and Credit Suisse First Boston -- both related to Mass.), and 3 were for Lincs. On [site:au Boston] (.au Australian Web sites), 5 were for Mass., and 5 were for names of entities (Boston Marriage, Boston Globe, Boston Marks Group Ltd., Boston Legal -- three related to Mass.); none had anything to do with Lincs. So I think the evidence is quite clear that *even in the UK* (outside Lincs, presumably), Boston's "primary meaning" is Boston, Massachusetts. I haven't checked other non-UK, non-Commonwealth sources, but I'm quite sure that "Boston" in Moscow or Rio de Janeiro or Tokyo or Cairo also refers to Boston, Mass. --Macrakis 16:56, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Since I started this discussion all that time ago, I feel I ought to come back in and state my view. Since the remarks of Willie Stark above, and the fact that someone changed the Boston redrect from Boston (disambiguation) to Boston, Massachusetts, I have placed a signpost to this disambiguation page on Boston, Massachusetts. I am now perfectly happy wherever the Boston redirect points (within reason). While looking at the Talk:Boston, Massachusetts page, I was a little concerned that a discussion had been going on there about renaming the Boston, Massachusetts as "Boston" - concerned because it had not been mentioned here (where there would no doubt be many interested parties). I am pleased nevertheless that the discussion has obviously concluded without concensus. The only matter that remains is that the Boston redirect is probably going to continue swinging from Boston (disambiguation) to Boston, Massachusetts and back again (not that I will do it), but I believe the signpost is appropriate immunisation for me from caring. Although there is obviously some degree of pride involved here, my main motivation is that people are not led to believe that there is only one historically significant place in the world called Boston. SMeeds 18:33, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Redirect FYI[edit]

Just a note, I've created an RFD to discuss where Boston should point. No sense in just discussing this on the disambiguation page. --Bobblehead 18:43, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Requested move 2007[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was do not move, per the discussion below. Dekimasuよ! 23:50, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Boston (disambiguation)Boston — The city in Lincolnshire has significant importance, enough to distinguish it from the city in Massachusetts —Reginmund 00:36, 24 June 2007 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's naming conventions.
  • Support - Just because something gets more hits on Google, doesn't mean it is more popular. "Nirvana" gets more hits for the band but it doesn't redirect to the band. Same case with iron maiden vs. the band and Franz Ferdinand vs. the band. Plus, most people in the U.K. are better aware of Boston, Lincolnshire than Boston, Massachusetts. "Boston" should at least be disambiguated.
  • Oppose per the previous discussion. Boston is currently disambiguated, just not at the base name. -- JHunterJ 12:34, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose Boston, Lincolnshire has a population of 35,124. Boston, MA has a population of nearly 600,000 within the city limits and the Boston metropolitan area has 4.4 million. London, Ontario has a population over 400,000. Shall we make London a disambiguation page?--agr 12:55, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose In modern times, a search for "Boston" is more than likely to be for the U.S. city. Per primary topic disambiguation, the unqualified term can be used for the primary topic. --Polaron | Talk 13:58, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose This has been discussed before, and should stay as the US city, as per all of the reasons stated above. --CapitalR 14:28, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose per agr. AJD 15:26, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Wicked-Strong Oppose dumbest proposal I've ever heard. Black Harry (Highlights|Contribs) 16:39, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose --Belg4mit 21:22, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Comment. For what it is worth, Boston, Massachusetts is now at that place, and Boston redirects there. This is only, despite the nationalist rhetoric of the nominator, a proposal to make Boston the dab page. However, there was a discussion, less than three months ago, with consensus to leave Boston redirecting to the American city; evidence that English usage is to use unmodified Boston for the Lincolnshire town would be welcome Septentrionalis PMAnderson 23:32, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose it's quite enough with the link to the disambiguationpage on top of the page. I don't think anyone has to read very much in the article before she realizes she is reading about the "wrong" Boston, if in fact she was looking for some other entity by this name. -*Ulla* 02:53, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Current situation, with Boston redirected to Boston, Massachusetts and a dab header there to Boston (disambiguation), is both correct and the result of at least one previous consensus. Nothing seems to have changed since the previous discussion. Andrewa 09:45, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose: Stipulating that the entire population of the UK thinks of Boston, Lincs, first, I rather doubt the remaining billion-plus English speakers of the world do.  Ravenswing  12:57, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose per most of the above. Georgia guy 17:55, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose no need to move already established. `'Miikka 19:19, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose Seems clean as it is. Kukini hablame aqui 19:46, 26 June 2007 (UTC)


Any additional comments:

1. The reason London isn't disambiguated is because it is the original city with that name and generally know all around the world to be in England. 2. Just because something is more popular on Google, doesn't mean it should be more popular here. If you searched Nirvana or Franz Ferdinand, the most common results are the bands, although Wikipedia doesn't redirect to the bands. Reginmund 18:13, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

  1. The reason Boston isn't disambiguated (at the base name) is because it has a primary meaning.
  2. Just because something is more popular on Google doesn't mean it can't be the primary meaning. If you searched Rolling Stones, the most common results are for the band, and Wikipedia redirects to the band.
  3. Just because something is the original name-holder doesn't automatically make it the primary meaning, nor does it automatically preclude something else from being the primary meaning. Dell, for instance, gets the primary article over Dell (landform). -- JHunterJ 20:42, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
-I never said it should direct to the original Boston but to a disambiguation page. Reginmund 21:05, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
... and if there were no primary topic it would. But since the primary topic for "Boston" is the city in Mass., that's where the base name goes (redirects). See Wikipedia:Disambiguation#Primary topic -- JHunterJ 21:11, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
There are also other primary beanings that aren't on the main page of the title (e.g. The Big Clock vs. the film. The film is undoubtedly better-known than the novel but the primary article is about the novel. Reginmund 21:13, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
Then you want to propose that The Big Clock (film) be moved to The Big Clock, which has nothing to do with Boston -- JHunterJ 21:21, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
People in Texas are aware of Paris, TX. Does not mean Paris should change? I'm sure the folks in Lincolnshire have nothing else to worry about, but seriously: Which city has contributed more to world history? I should hope your countrymen are still aware of the tea party, massacre, etc. Nevermind the great number of contributions the MA city has made or fostered since the revolution. There is not nearly as much amibguity in saying just "Boston" as their is in "Salem," and therefore nothing should change. --Belg4mit 21:22, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
No beause that Paris was named after the original Paris. In this case, it is the other way around. I feel like I am repeating myself. I also would keep The Big Clock Where it is. Reginmund 22:44, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
That's because what you're saying is not the way we do things. What matters is what speakers of all varieties of English mean by Boston. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 23:39, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
The order things "appeared" does not matter, nor was that at all the point. The selection of Paris, TX was to refute your idea that a podunk town ought to have some higher priority than the world-class city of the same name. Other than yourself, can you provide any instances where when people are looking for something by name they always mean the first thing ever to bear that name? Yes, you claim you only want Boston to be the disambiguation page, but putting Boston, UK on the same footing as Boston, MA is giving it higher priority. That is our point. One can still get to Lincolnshire if Massachusetts was not where one meant to go, but in all probability it was. --Belg4mit 23:53, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


Here are some more that supposedly exist, but don't seem to have entries yet:

And the spanish apparently know of more. --Belg4mit 04:20, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

"First" Boston[edit]

Which "Boston" came first does not need to be paraded about on the page. It isn't relevant to the disambiguation process, and it isn't even mentioned in the Boston, Lincolnshire article. Please stop adding it in. —ScouterSig 20:40, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

The user seems to be back as and is intent on having his own way. Would someone please explain that "firstness" is not a qualification of "most-importantness?" It's a disambiguation page, intended for the most common forms. —ScouterSig 23:32, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

A solution?[edit]

'Boston, Boston, Boston, Thou has naught to boast on - A grand sluice, a mighty steeple, A proud, conceited, ignorant people: and a coast which souls are lost on!'

'Proud' seems to be the key word here, and I'm proud to see that some of my fellow British Bostonians have been sticking up for the old place. However, despite Boston's historical importance, there's no doubt that Boston, Mass., is the more famous of the two. I've expanded the first sentence, which is now a touch on the long side for a disambiguation page, but which - I hope - now acknowledges both the origin of the name (in Lincolnshire) and its most well-known use (in Massachusetts). I know I'm late to this argument, but what do people think? It seems like a simple, good-faith way of handling the whole thing.Bedesboy 20:33, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

I appreciate your gesture, but (there's always a "but," isn't there?) I believe that such a long opening is unnecessary. The fact that the US Boston is named after the UK Boston is found in both History of Boston, Massachusetts and [Boston, Massachusetts]], and even the Boston, Lincolnshire page. —ScouterSig 22:45, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
Fair enough: *I* know that South Lincolnshire is the heartland of civilisation and gives birth to the world's most attractive and intelligent sons and daughters, but I'm not going to go against the consensus ;) Bedesboy 20:03, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Bedesboy! I come from Louth, which is near Grimsby, which is, in turn, near Boston, and Boston does have some rather large significance compared to the Massacheaut one (hope a spelt it right). It has to be noted that, without the Lincolnshire Boston, the American Boston wouldn't be named as it is, and it probably won't have as much significance in America as it has. Brock (talk) 20:30, 7 April 2008 (UTC) 21:29, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Other Boston names in Canada[edit]

I don't have the time or inclination to list them all here, or add them, as for now they'd mostly be redlinks; but search here for "Boston" and a bunch of other placenames will come up, including a ridge, some bays, and there are actually three Bostons in Ontario, plus Boston Mills, Ontario.Skookum1 (talk) 17:16, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Requested move 2010[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Not moved. As there's no contentious debate here I'm going ahead and closing this per WP:SNOW (non-admin closure). DC TC 19:48, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

Boston (disambiguation)Boston — Per privious nomination, the town in Lincolnshire gives it's name to the American Boston, so is just as notable if not more notable. I would even go as far to say Boston, Lincolnshire should be the prime topic Crouch, Swale talk to me My contribs favourite 15:24, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

  • Strongly oppose. We've been through this before—see "Requested move 2007" section above—and the result was Do not move. No evidence has been presented by the present proponent to suggest that the picture has changed. Hertz1888 (talk) 15:43, 27 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Absolute 100% oppose. The city in Massachusetts is the primary meaning. Moving this page will imply that there are at least 2 primary meanings. Georgia guy (talk) 16:05, 27 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Proposed or discussed in one form or another and thoroughly rejected above and at Talk:Boston, Lincolnshire and at Talk:Boston. olderwiser 16:22, 27 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:PRECISION. A small town in Lincolnshire is not substantially more notable than a major city in the USA and can scarcely be the WP:PRIMARYTOPIC considering all the other notable Bostons. I'm surprised by the idea that notability descends with the inheritance of names - does this mean that most Bruces on Wikipedia, including Robert the Bruce, are less important than the little village of Brix? :-) bobrayner (talk) 17:08, 27 November 2010 (UTC)
    If you would like to be precise about populations, 58,300 is much smaller than 4,522,858. The Boston in Lincolnshire looks pretty small to me. bobrayner (talk) 05:15, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. By the reasoning of this proposal, a more notable topic being named after a less notable topic makes the less notable topic more notable. That's absurd. Boston, Lincolnshire does get a few thousand (less than 10,000) views per month, but Boston gets over 200,000. "I would even go as far to say Boston, Lincolnshire should be the prime topic... outrageous. This proposal exemplifies in the extreme the anti-US systematic bias in Wikipedia. This one is so extreme, however, apparently there is no support. We can be thankful for that. --Born2cycle (talk) 20:07, 27 November 2010 (UTC)
    Do you have evidence of this bias? If so it should probably be reported somewhere. Right here, all I see is a big stack of Opposes. bobrayner (talk) 05:16, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
    What I think Cycle is referring to is movereqs at Lincoln, Dover, Plymouth and elsewhere where primary topic guidelines have been ignored and and British editors have been disproportionately vocal, sometimes to the point of POV pushing. Is that about right, Cycle? Purplebackpack89 05:21, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
    Aha. Well, I disagree with the person who raised this movereq and will not fight their battles for them (though after so many opposes there's no need to put the boot in), but that editor claims never to have heard of the Boston in the USA, and they have also done much the same movereq (with the same reasoning) to a large Australian settlement that shares a name with a smaller British settlement, and another in Canada, so I doubt this is motivated by "Anti-american" sentiment (they seem to do a lot of work on British towns, which might suggest what direction they're coming from). The reasons given for the move are not intrinsically anti-american imho, and I have no reason to believe that this is some Balkan politics article where people give reason A for a move whilst secretly and passionately nurturing motive B. In other news, Ermelo points to a settlement in the Netherlands rather than a larger settlement in South Africa which got its name the same way Boston did, but I wouldn't consider that a sign of deep-seated anti-South-African bias. Sometimes disagreements about naming policy are just disagreements about naming policy. Can't we all just get along? :-) bobrayner (talk) 18:58, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Very strong oppose: Boston, Mass is clearly the primary topic by the ways we measure primary topic around here. Is this a reaction to the Plymouth and Dover move proposals? Purplebackpack89 04:12, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment: Shouldn't this be a move-multi? And shouldn't the nominator have notified Boston of this move? Purplebackpack89 04:16, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment Why don't you get Plymouth fixed first? There's actually data there showing disputed primarity, while you haven't provided any here. (talk) 05:23, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Support-I was brought up in Edwardstone, just like John Winthrop, the founder of Boston in America and I know Suffolk like the back of my hand, and I'd never hered of Boston in America, but I did know there was a large town in Lincolnshire, surly that sais something Crouch, Swale Talk to me My Contributions My article My favorite article My favorite redirect 07:29, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
Crouch, you can't support a movereq you yourself started. That's voting twice. Purplebackpack89 17:01, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose; under this reasoning, Barack Obama, Sr. should be moved to Barack Obama. Powers T 19:07, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose Kind of rediculous. Clearly the primary topic is Boston, Mass. Around the world if you say Boston, more than likely they mean that one. Except maybe people near the other small ones. -DJSasso (talk) 19:36, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.