New Word I Learned: Conurbation

Lots of people are linking to this essay about American and British humour by actor and Sean of the Dead co-creator Simon Pegg. The essay’s quite enjoyable, and I recommend it. I’d like to read a Canadian response to it by Rick Mercer or Catherine O’Hara or the like.

Regardless, there’s a term in the essay which I didn’t know: ‘conurbates’. Here’s the usage:

As the global village conurbates, however, our emotional habits are shifting. We are easing towards a slight liberation from our national inhibitions – although hopefully not losing them completely. Our uptightness is, after all, a huge part of our charm.

Here’s what has to say on the subject:

con·ur·ba·tion –noun
an extensive urban area resulting from the expansion of several cities or towns so that they coalesce but usually retain their separate identities.

That makes sense–‘con’ being ‘with’ or ‘togther’ and ‘urb’ refering to ‘city’. It was the word of the day on back in 2000, and that entry includes some more examples of its usage.


  1. Here’s another one for you

    “Vasectomy Housing” referring to condos or houses too small for children, but priced out of the reach of younger people fresh out of college. I think it was coined by some senator out of New Jersey lamenting the dearth of affordable housing.


  2. OOPS! I goofed. The guy was a state senator from Mass. The whole vasectomy housing scheme was cooked up as a way to avoid building and running expensive schools. Easier on the tax base that way.

    Pretty Bogus.

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