Meaning of CITY in English


The business and financial centre of London is called the City or the City of London . It covers an area in east central London north of the River Thames, between Blackfriars Bridge and Tower Bridge . It is only about one square mile (2.5 square kilometres) in size and is often referred to as the Square Mile .

Many financial institutions have their head offices in the City, including the Bank of England in Threadneedle Street, the London Stock Exchange in Old Broad Street and Lloyd’s of London in Lime Street. Many banks, insurance companies and stockbrokers (= companies that buy and sell shares for others) have been in the City many years. When journalists talk about ‘the City’ they are usually not referring to the place but to the people involved in business and commerce, as in: The City had been expecting poor results from the company. ( Compare Wall Street .)

In the City old and new buildings stand next to each other. The most famous older buildings include St Paul’s Cathedral , the Guildhall and the Mansion House , where the Lord Mayor of London lives. Tower 42, which is 600 feet (183 metres) high, and the Swiss Re Tower , nicknamed ‘the Gherkin’, are two of the City’s more recent landmarks. The Barbican Centre includes an art gallery, a theatre and a concert hall, and has flats/apartments built above it.

Few people live in the City and at night the population is about 7 000. During the day it rises to about half a million, as business people commute to the City by car, bus and train. In the past the traditional image of the City gent was of a businessman in a dark suit and bowler hat, carrying a briefcase and a newspaper or an umbrella. The expression She’s something in the City means ‘She has an important job with a bank or firm of stockbrokers’, and suggests wealth and high social status.


Oxford guide to British and American culture English vocabulary.      Руководство по британской и американской культуре, Оксфордский английский словарь.