In 'The Voices of Britain' - I think that was the title (but I sold mine because though full of interesting research it was virtually unreadable, because the editors presumably thought that a meaningful transcription system would frighten off the general readership they were aiming for ) 'plimsoll' was one of the key words they looked at. I always called them 'plimsolls', but my eldest brother (13 years older, and privately educated*; also old enough to have done National Service - so with an environment totally different from mine) called them 'pumps'. That book identified half a dozen different words used in various place, but those two are the main ones.
PS* But at his schools they didn't have 'PE' (or even its more rigorous fore-runner PT [Physical Training]), but 'gym' (or even maybe the now archaic 'physical jerks', or the early 20th-cent. - even perhaps 19th-cent. - 'callisthenics'); so he wouldn't have said 'PE pumps'. They were just 'pumps'.
Last edited by BobK; 13-May-2011 at 12:29. Reason: Added PS