Starved for conversation with a friend of a friend I’d rather awkwardly been left to talk to while our mutual went to the bar the other Friday night, I decided to ask:
So, you know that thing you use to change the television channel? What do you call it?
Then came a reply I could never have predicted:
From that moment on it became my mission to find out what all my friends, colleagues and acquaintances called the remote.
I even kept a note in my iPhone.
But, after one respondent said ‘woozer’...
.... and another ‘the archie’...
… I reluctantly turned to google and discovered we apparently have 50 different names for the remote control in the UK.
According to a 2013 survey of 1,000 people by the critically acclaimed NetVouchercodes.co.uk these are the most-widely used names for the switcher:
The remote control
The black box
The hum dinger
What's more, there seems to be a legitimate north/south divide when it comes to what we call that thing which changes the channel.
From my huge pool of around 31 people - approximately 40 per cent of which were from north of Birmingham - those hailing from the south were more likely to say 'remote', and those from the north were dead set on the 'zapper'.
One friend called it the Dave, but I guess the less said about that the better.