All of the followers of this website share one thing in common: we all support Everton. That's simple, isn't it. That name unites us all. Commonly heard ringing out from the creaking old stands of Goodison Park whenever the team gets a corner, it has spurred on many great sides down the years, changing the outcome of hundreds of matches...

"Everton, Everton, Everton!" That is thousands of people passionately shouting without realising that it is just three syllables, just one word, meaningless to the majority of the world. Despite the constant use in everyday life, I'm sure the majority of fans have never even thought about what it means or what many of the other terms associated with us are doing in Everton's lexicon. Where did they come from? What do they mean?

A simple search of Wikipedia gives you these answers but I'm certain its something that most have never done. Take our original name as an example, St Domingo's FC. Inspired by the Methodist Church that founded the club, this served as our title from 1878 to 1879 and has left a mark on Everton throughout their history.

Currently, another Toffees fan-page as well as Everton's own cosmetic range take their name from this church which in turn owes its origins to none other than Saint Dominic, a 12th century monk. Born in Spain and rumoured to have been involved in the Medieval Inquisition, a predecessor to the infamous Spanish Inquisition, the man is the patron saint of astronomers (remember this if partaking in an especially difficult pub quiz!).

He also gives his name to the Dominican Republic and its capital, Santo Domingo, the Spanish translation. Strangely, for our early team name, "saint" was Anglicised rather than written as "santo", whereas Dominic was used in its Spanish format. Don't ask me why!

Another example people may not have thought about very much is our very own Goodison Park. Almost 40,000 spectators visit the Grand Old Lady every fortnight yet barely any know of its derivation. Obviously, Goodison Road is adjacent to the stadium and provided the ground with a name. However, this street was called "Goodison" by the Walton Local Council who were given a sewage report of it by George Goodison, a local civil engineer, in 1882. As a result, part of our identity is indebted to Liverpool's 19th century sanitation system. Furthermore, the road and ground could easily be called Smith, Johnson, or any other common surname you could care to mention. How weird would that be?

Finally, the name 'Everton' itself is also easily explicable but not widely known. The "Ever" in our name comes from the Saxon word "eofor" meaning wild boar, and the "ton" equates to "town". Eofor is also coincidentally the name of a minor prince in JRR Tolkein's Lord of the Rings trilogy as well as a godly character in Beowulf, the oldest English poem. Evidently, when the small village of Everton was formed sometime in the 12th century, there must have been plenty of wild boars roaming the area.

Therefore, next time you're standing on the Gwladys Street (Gwladys means Princess in Welsh) when Everton have a corner, maybe you should think to yourself:

I am singing about wild boars in a stadium named after a sewage worker, in support of a team inspired by the patron saint of astronomy.

You learn something new everyday!

Share this article

Reader Comments (31)

Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer

Michael Kenrick
1 Posted 06/04/2015 at 16:38:58
Brilliant stuff, Sam.

The juxtaposition of wild pigs, a man whose business was a load of shite, and another bloke with his head in (or beyond) the clouds seems to sum everything right now!

Rahul Sreekumar
2 Posted 06/04/2015 at 16:42:02
Thanks Sam!

Being a relatively new fan and not being native to Liverpool (or England), it was a very interesting and informative read and I must thank you for it.

Patrick Murphy
3 Posted 06/04/2015 at 16:55:41
Sam - A good read and interesting stuff, if you or anyone else feels the need there are other interesting facts relating to events and the history of Everton the district. One of those 'facts' refers to Queen Victoria and Charles Dickens visiting the Toffee Shop but I don't think they were purchasing replica shirts or scarves.
Paul Ellam
4 Posted 06/04/2015 at 17:06:37
Good read, cheers!
David Greenwood
5 Posted 06/04/2015 at 22:16:43
Great read, Sam.
Eugene Ruane
6 Posted 06/04/2015 at 22:44:19
Paul Smith
7 Posted 06/04/2015 at 22:56:39
Well finished off. Fascinating!
Ray Robinson
8 Posted 06/04/2015 at 23:05:02
Great read! Don't know about the Gwladys Street but there's been plenty of wild bores at the Park End this season!
Nicholas Ryan
9 Posted 06/04/2015 at 23:05:58
What beautiful irony, given our current predicament, that we should be descended from the Spanish Inquisition!!
Trevor Lynes
10 Posted 07/04/2015 at 00:29:25
Great amount of knowledge and I found it very interesting.

Perhaps Ferguson was the last of the wild boars to roam our sacred turf.

Jay Harris
11 Posted 07/04/2015 at 05:26:05
Brilliant stuff Sam,

The only thing is we are still seeing the Spanish pie in the sky philosophy and a load of shite is still emanating from Goodison Road.

Eric Myles
12 Posted 07/04/2015 at 06:34:41
I thought the 'ton' reference was to a hill, rather than a town.

So pig's hill (Everon Brow?)

Derek Thomas
13 Posted 07/04/2015 at 06:58:35
No body expected The Spanish Inquisition.
Chris Williamson
14 Posted 07/04/2015 at 08:19:26
Eric, you may be thinking of "don" meaning "hill" – as in Swindon (Swine hill) – the lavatory bowl of a town near me.

Everton and Swindon = uncomfortably close etymology for somebody who's had to live in that soul-less pig hill for 20 years while supporting the magnificent blues for around 35...

Matt Traynor
15 Posted 07/04/2015 at 08:17:51
Patrick (#3) "Queen Victoria and Charles Dickens visiting the Toffee Shop but I don't think they were purchasing replica shirts or scarves."

Actually, Vicky was heard to mutter "þàra ídelnessa bastards æt Kitbag béo butan bearns clàþas edgrówung" as she left.

Loosely (very) translated as "Those useless bastards at Kitbag are out of kids sizes again".

David Midgley
16 Posted 07/04/2015 at 08:25:24
Good read, Sam. Coincidentally there has been a lot of crap seen by Goodison Road this season.

Patrick (#3), Apparently when they were in the shop they could only buy Man Utd, Arsenal or Chelski shirts.

Ron Sear
17 Posted 07/04/2015 at 08:42:46
A thread only possible on ToffeeWeb. What next – the ontological argument for the existence of Everton?
Eric Myles
18 Posted 07/04/2015 at 08:47:02
Must have gotten it from here:

My reference for eofor is A History of Britain - the Saxons and the Normans by Tim Wood (obviously an Evertonian). "Ton" is Anglo-Saxon for hill or farm, so Everton may have originally been a pig-farm on the hill!

Derek Thomas
19 Posted 07/04/2015 at 11:04:05
Even the 'Flying Pig' was better than Howard is now.
Tony Abrahams
20 Posted 07/04/2015 at 12:43:49
Good Sam, funny.
Sam Day
21 Posted 07/04/2015 at 19:32:42
I never realised there was another page on this website with a similar purpose #18. However, I interpreted "ton" as farming community rather than just hill or farm. Thanks for the comments everyone!
Jamie Crowley
22 Posted 07/04/2015 at 21:46:03
Dear God,

We play like a bunch of wild boars, and it usually all ends in shite.
Please Lord, let us aspire to the heavenly heights our Patron Saint attends to.


John Gee
23 Posted 07/04/2015 at 19:41:19
Sam, op, fantastic article. Very interesting. I think if you did that research another 89 times you'd have one of those slow burner hits on kindle. A real pleasure to read.

Any new stadium we may build will probably have a naming rights tie in. I wonder if, in a hundred years time, someone will point out that the Cadbury Park was once...

David Hallwood
24 Posted 08/04/2015 at 00:30:59
I'm disapointed with the article TBH Sam. only because I misread the heading as The Entomology Of Everton, and I thought it was going to be a thread on agents.
Harold Matthews
25 Posted 08/04/2015 at 01:46:34
Yes, after a spell of tilting at windmills, we've ended up on the rack, I suppose it was all written in the stars.
Eddie Dunn
26 Posted 08/04/2015 at 08:57:30
Great stuff, Sam, would the board sanction putting the wild boar into the next club crest design, or would we have to make do with the prettier but equally dangerous, Catalan Bore?

Incidentally the Catalan word for boar is "verro", e-verro-ton.

Eivind Nyhus
28 Posted 08/04/2015 at 17:32:01
Fantastic read!
Tony Draper
29 Posted 08/04/2015 at 21:11:21
The name 'Everton' and its roots are clearly justified and ancient.
Our nickname is genuine and not conveniently manufactured.

Our Chilean Family of Evertonians also have nicknames which echo our own..........

Los oro y cielo (The gold and sky)
Ruleteros (Roulette players)
Los del Cerro (The Ones from the Hill)

"The Ones From The Hill" ! ... Was it just me that had hairs stood up when I read that?

Mike Childs
30 Posted 09/04/2015 at 13:40:50
Very enjoyable; thanks, Sam.
Jay Wood
31 Posted 09/04/2015 at 14:10:24
Top stuff, Sam! A wonderful read. Thanks!

Add Your Comments

In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.

» Log in now

Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.

About these ads

© ToffeeWeb