5

If someone asks me where my hometown is, what should I say?

I live in a country which is not my birth country. I was born in different country.

So which one should I consider as my hometown? The place where I live or the place where I was born?

  • 3
    There is no hard and fast rule. You may have been born in place A, spent your childhood in place B, married and raised a family in place C. It's as much a question of where you feel "anchored" as it is a matter of some specific criteria. – Hot Licks Nov 23 at 1:43
  • I begin (in a different language, pardon the crummy translation) with "do you mean currently or the birthplace?". – Oleg Lobachev Nov 23 at 15:19
9

Generally speaking "hometown" tends to refer to the place you were born and raised in rather than where you currently live; however that may depend on where you are geographically at the time you say it!

  • If you were at university in London and you said "my hometown is Liverpool", it would be understood that you normally live in Liverpool but you are temporarily residing in a different place for your education.
  • If you were permanently living in London and said "my hometown is Liverpool" it would be understood that you were born and raised in Liverpool but now live in London.
  • If you were visiting London and said "my hometown is Liverpool" it would be understood that you normally live in Liverpool, not necessarily that you were born there.

To clarify what I mean by "born and raised" - it is entirely possible for someone to be born in one place but mainly raised in another - for example, if your parents lived in Liverpool at the time of your birth but your mother suddenly went into early labour whilst visiting London, you might end up being born in a London hospital with 'London' as the place of birth marked on your birth certificate (in the UK at least), yet you may never spend any of your childhood there. In those or similar circumstances, your "hometown" is where you were raised, and your place of birth is largely irrelevant to this.

  • I think ‘hometown’ was traditionally an American term. (Chambers gives only ‘home town’ or ‘home-town’, and both the British Macmillan and the Apple Mac dictionary give the two-word form as primary. The single-word form just looks wrong to me, except as an adjective.) Perhaps the usage makes more sense there. So it's interesting that the first two answers give English examples! – gidds Nov 23 at 14:06
6

Generally, "hometown" would refer to the place where one was born and raised - "hometown" has a kind of "home is where the heart is" feel to it - although in this kind of conversation there'd often be some clarification, some kind of:

Well, I live in London, but originally I'm from Cambridge.

This would be the case especially if the expression was more vague than "hometown", and was more like:

Where are you from?

  • Specifying both not only avoids ambiguity, but also promotes conversation by providing a more complete answer and more talking points. – NotThatGuy Nov 23 at 13:31
1

It's not a requirement to be born in a town for it to be your hometown, despite all the carefulness around that criterion in the discussion.

Simplest way... hometown is where you "grew up" - i.e. where did you and your family spend the majority of your age 5 - 18?

If it's more complicated than that... well you explain in conversation. But for most people it's easy to point at 1 town/area that they and their family lived when they were roughly age 5 - 18.

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