This might seem like a really obscure question, but it's somewhat significant, because whether the city in Northern Ireland is called "Derry" or "Londonderry" is a contentious political issue.

I re-read Stephen King's It recently, and there's a mention of Derry being named after the city of Derry in Ireland. However, I have a memory of reading it the first time, in my teens (over 25 years ago) where the same sentence said it was named after Londonderry. As I said it's an obscure thing to remember, but I noticed it at the time because of the aforementioned political implication.

Is there an old edition of the book which calls it (i.e. the Irish city, not the Maine one) "Londonderry" or is it my faulty memory? And if I'm right, what was the reason behind the change?


1 Answer 1


The Internet Archive has three editions of It, spanning more than 30 years:

All three have the same text, namely:


My home town. Named after the county of the same name in Ireland.

Accordingly, I suggest that you correctly remembered that the name was politically controversial, but mis-remembered the exact text.

Note also that the narrator says that the town in Maine is named after the county in Ireland, not the city, as claimed in the post. This shows how easy it is to make this kind of minor mistake.

  • 1
    "of the same name" is a good way to avoid the controversy.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Apr 21, 2020 at 14:02
  • I used to live there. Locals would avoid the controversy by calling it "stroke city" to someone whose political allegiance you were uncertain of. London/Derry.
    – Matt Thrower
    Apr 21, 2020 at 16:06
  • Eesh, my memory is that bad? Perhaps I interpreted "of the same name" to mean Derry and somehow misremembered the older edition - I have to go back and find the newer one I read now again...
    – komodosp
    Apr 22, 2020 at 8:25

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