Inhabitants of the city are referred to as "Glaswegians" or, informally, as "Weegies". Glasgow is also known for the Glasgow patter, a distinct dialect of the Scots language that is noted for being difficult to understand by those from outside the city.
Glasgow grew from a small rural settlement on the River Clyde to become the largest seaport in Scotland, and tenth largest by tonnage in Britain. Expanding from the medievalbishopric and royal burgh, and the later establishment of the University of Glasgow in the fifteenth century, it became a major centre of the Scottish Enlightenment in the eighteenth century. From the eighteenth century onwards, the city also grew as one of Great Britain's main hubs of transatlantic trade with North America and the West Indies.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Glasgow's population grew rapidly, reaching a peak of 1,127,825 people in 1938. Comprehensive urban renewal projects in the 1960s resulted in large-scale relocation of people to designated new towns, such as Cumbernauld, Livingston, East Kilbride and peripheral suburbs, followed by successive boundary changes. This process reduced the population of the City of Glasgow council area to an estimated 615,070, with 1,209,143 people living in the Greater Glasgow urban area. The wider metropolitan area is home to over 1,800,000 people, equating to around 33% of Scotland's population. The city has one of the highest densities of any locality in Scotland at 4,023/km2.
Today, Glasgow has a diverse architectural scene, one of the key factors leading visitors to the city. From the city centre sprawling with grand Victorian buildings, to the many glass and metal edifices in the International Financial Services District to the serpentine terraces of blonde and red sandstone in the fashionable west end and the imposing mansions which make up Pollokshields, on the south side. The banks of the River Clyde are also dotted with a plethora of futuristic-looking buildings which include Glasgow Science Centre, the SSE Hydro and the SEC Armadillo.
The origin of the name 'Glasgow' is disputed. The name is most likely Cumbric, with a first element being glas, meaning "grey-green, grey-blue", and the second *cöü, "hollow" (c.f. Welshglas-cau), giving a meaning of "green-hollow" or "(dear) green place". The settlement probably had an earlier Cumbric name, Cathures; the modern name appears for the first time in the Gaelic period (1116), as Glasgu. It is also recorded that the King of Strathclyde, Rhydderch Hael, welcomed Saint Kentigern (also known as Saint Mungo), and procured his consecration as bishop about 540. For some thirteen years Kentigern laboured in the region, building his church at the Molendinar Burn where Glasgow Cathedral now stands, and making many converts. A large community developed around him and became known as Glasgu (often glossed as "the dear Green" or "dear green place").