So why is Oxfordshire abbreviated to Oxon? The most Googled questions revealed

A look at the most frequently asked questions about Oxfordshire and surrounding counties on Google produced some amusing results.

By Damien Lucas
Wednesday, 13th May 2015, 3:04 pm
The most frequently searched questions on Google by county
The most frequently searched questions on Google by county

Using Google’s Autocomplete function with the search questions ‘Is’ and ‘Why’ we were able to see what the most searched questions were about each county.

Whether the results are a reflection on the actual counties or the people searching is up for debate. But we have tried to be helpful by answering some of the burning questions according to the Google searches.

In Oxfordshire, the most Googled search questions are ‘Why is Oxfordshire abbreviated to Oxon’ and ‘Is Oxfordshire going to get snow’.

So just why is Oxfordshire, which is home to four of the county’s biggest areas including Banbury (second), Bicester (fourth), Thame (ninth) and Chinnor (16th), abbreviated to Oxon?

The Oxon abbreviation has its origins in the fact the county, and particularly the city of Oxford, has major education and tourist industries.

The answer lies in the University of Oxford which is normally abbreviated Oxon, which is short for (Academia) Oxoniensis.

And why are so many people asking if Oxfordshire is going to get snow? Aside from paranoia or wilfulness over the weather forecasts we don’t really know why people want to know the answer to this particular question. It is not as if the county is prone to extremes of weather either way.

The coldest winter on record was 1962-3, with a mean temperature of -1.0°C. This was also the snowiest winter on record, with 67 days of snow cover. The coldest day on record was January 27 1776.

And more recently, on January 13 1982, the mercury failed to rise above -7.1°C. But as it is currently the middle of May we would sincerely hope Oxfordshire is not going to get snow.

What of some of Oxfordshire’s near neighbour counties? The Google Autocomplete search for other counties included:

‘Why is Buckinghamshire postcode HP’ and ‘Is Buckinghamshire posh’.

‘Is Bedford awful’ and ‘Why is Bedford not on Google maps’.

‘Why is Hertfordshire so expensive’ and ‘Is Hertfordshire a city’.

‘Is Leicestershire ok’ and ‘Why is Leicestershire associated with foxes’.

‘Why is Warwickshire associated with bears’ and ‘Is Warwickshire near Birmingham’.

‘Is Northamptonshire a good place to live’ and ‘Why is Northamptonshire called the rose of the shires’.

It could be worse, though. The most common search for Essex is ‘Why is Essex so bad’ while the capital city is ‘Why is London so crap’.