Gotham (gŏthˈəm) [key], name for New York City first used by Washington Irving and others in the Salmagundi Papers, with satirical reference to Gotham, England, where the wise men acted as fools in order to avoid paying for the king's upkeep. The name was later used by Bob Kane in Batman comic books, whose "Gotham City" was a veiled representation of New York City.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.