So, why do we call it Gotham, anyway? (nypl.org)

English proverbs tell of a village called Gotham or Gottam, meaning “Goat’s Town” in old Anglo-Saxon. Folk tales of the Middle Ages make Gotham out to be the village of simple-minded fools, perhaps because the goat was considered a foolish animal. Some tales describe the denizens of Gotham as only playing the fool, a ruse used to avert the wrath of the sinister King John.