Author Topic: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.  (Read 13147 times)

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tango

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Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
« Reply #30 on: December 12, 2012, 04:13:08 PM »
North Yorkshire has a village called Appletreewick, pronounced of course "Aptrick".

CakeEater

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Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
« Reply #31 on: December 13, 2012, 06:58:27 AM »
My dad is actually quite an intelligent, well-read man. He had been eating Worcestershire sauce all his life, and calling it 'Whooster-sheer' which I believe is how it's actually pronounced in the UK. (Someone correct me if I'm wrong there.)

At some stage in my teen years, he must have looked closely at the bottle and realised that there was that 'cest' bit in the middle, and started calling it 'war-sest-er-sheer' and insisting that we all do the same. It wasn't until I was an adult and heard someone say the name of the city that I realised he had been right the first time.

Anniissa

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Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
« Reply #32 on: December 13, 2012, 07:23:23 AM »
My dad is actually quite an intelligent, well-read man. He had been eating Worcestershire sauce all his life, and calling it 'Whooster-sheer' which I believe is how it's actually pronounced in the UK. (Someone correct me if I'm wrong there.)


That's about right - the "cest" isn't pronounced as a separate syllable. Hence, Worcestershire is woostersher, Leicestershire is lestersher, Gloucestershire is glostersher. However, contrary to how De Niro pronounces it in Ronin, there are three syllables in Hereford (her-uh-fud NOT heer-fud).

cabbageweevil

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Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
« Reply #33 on: December 13, 2012, 12:26:11 PM »
And -- from a Briton -- just to compound the confusion, there is in the just-mentioned Gloucestershire, the small town of Cirencester.  Several alternative pronunications known for this one: "sister", "sisiter", and "syre-en-ses-ter" (accent on first syllable in each case). The last of the three is, I believe, the most generally in favour nowadays.

blue2000

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Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
« Reply #34 on: December 13, 2012, 06:03:17 PM »
And -- from a Briton -- just to compound the confusion, there is in the just-mentioned Gloucestershire, the small town of Cirencester.  Several alternative pronunications known for this one: "sister", "sisiter", and "syre-en-ses-ter" (accent on first syllable in each case). The last of the three is, I believe, the most generally in favour nowadays.

That... would confound me no end. if you follow the same rules as Gloucestershire (Glou-ster-shire) then Cirencester should be Syren-ster not sis-ter! ??? ??? ???

I think if I ever go to England, I'm going to have to make a cheat sheet of town names!
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Danika

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Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
« Reply #35 on: December 13, 2012, 10:00:07 PM »
My dad is actually quite an intelligent, well-read man. He had been eating Worcestershire sauce all his life, and calling it 'Whooster-sheer' which I believe is how it's actually pronounced in the UK. (Someone correct me if I'm wrong there.)


That's about right - the "cest" isn't pronounced as a separate syllable. Hence, Worcestershire is woostersher, Leicestershire is lestersher, Gloucestershire is glostersher. However, contrary to how De Niro pronounces it in Ronin, there are three syllables in Hereford (her-uh-fud NOT heer-fud).

And if you ever find yourself in Worcester, Massachusetts, it is pronounced wuss-ta.

pinklightbulb

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Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
« Reply #36 on: December 13, 2012, 10:41:22 PM »
I'm a Tasmanian as well Julian :)

Have you heard of Dismal Swamp or Detention? They are places in the North-West where I am.

snowdragon

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Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
« Reply #37 on: December 14, 2012, 12:42:35 AM »
There is a hamlet near us named Versailles, which is pronounced Ver-SALES.  Another hamlet nearby is named Napoli, pronounced Na-POLE-eye.

We have Chil ( pronounce CH-EYE-LIE) and Honeoye  ( Honey-EYE)

scotcat60

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Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
« Reply #38 on: December 14, 2012, 07:26:15 AM »
Mainland Australia also has some fabulous place names.  One of my favourites is on the Gold Coast hinterland, Wonglepong.  No idea what it means or where it came from, but it just sounds awesome.

I like Grong Grong and Woy Woy. Spike Milligan's Mum lived in Woy Woy, I believe.

There was a fascinating programme on TV a couple of nights ago where the presenter travelled on the  Gan. He stopped off at Quorn and Farina.

cabbageweevil

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Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
« Reply #39 on: December 14, 2012, 07:48:46 AM »
And -- from a Briton -- just to compound the confusion, there is in the just-mentioned Gloucestershire, the small town of Cirencester.  Several alternative pronunications known for this one: "sister", "sisiter", and "syre-en-ses-ter" (accent on first syllable in each case). The last of the three is, I believe, the most generally in favour nowadays.

That... would confound me no end. if you follow the same rules as Gloucestershire (Glou-ster-shire) then Cirencester should be Syren-ster not sis-ter! ??? ??? ???

I think if I ever go to England, I'm going to have to make a cheat sheet of town names!

Rule 1 of English place-name pronunciation is, for sure -- there are no rules !

Re cheat sheets: the humorist Paul Jennings tried to create one such -- in rhyme, to boot. Part of it, follows.

...Tourists, attention ! Nor forthwith assume
You say as spelt each little town, like Frome.
The Welsh have funny names your tongue to twist with
Like Penmaenmawr and Gwlch and Aberystwyth:
That you expect. But when in England, how
Dare any tourist ask the way to Slough,
Who yesterday put someone in a huff
By thinking "brow" homophonous with Brough?
Though Glyndebourne opera for the cultured few is,
How can they get there but by way of Lewes?
Under the Sussex Downs, where snug they both lie
Are many other gems -- for instance, Hoathly.
What lord of maps, what orthographic jouster
Grapples with Bicester and its sicester Towcester*,
And never gets in something like a panic
If blank stares greet him when he asks for Alnwick,
Nor ends by thinking people downright spooky
Who make a place spelt Stiffkey rhyme with Newquay?
Tourists, you needn't be alarmed unduly
By England's treatment of a word like Beaulieu.
These Norman names (or Saxon ones, like Wrotham)
Unlettered men have modified to suit 'em,
And pundits long since gave up trying to teach 'em
How you should really say a name like Beauchamp.
Our names and views hold unexpected joy:-
Views English-Channel seaward, as at Fowey;
Views over sands, or rocky views and pebbly;
Pastoral views, near inland towns like Weobley;
East Anglian views, with churches old and mossy,
Each as unique as disyllabic Costessy*...

*A rhyming guide has the flaw that it can't cater for alternative pronunciations. Some people pronounce the T-place not like "Touster" as per the verse, but "Toaster", or "Tosseter"; and the C-place is alternatively pronounced "Cozzy".




WithoutIssue

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Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
« Reply #40 on: December 15, 2012, 04:01:18 PM »
I understand that there’s a place in New Zealand, the length of whose name makes both the Massachusetts lake and the Welsh village, look brief and terse by comparison; but I’ll leave the details of same, to New Zealand participants on the board.

Ah you mean Taumata­whakatangihanga­koauau­o­tamatea­turi­pukakapiki­maunga­horo­nuku­pokai­whenua­kitanatahu

Most of he amusement in place names here stems from the pronunciation of "wh" as an F sound in Maori words and there are many place names (and other words) which start with whaka... the letter A is said as in car but said quickly whaka words do sound rude to unaccustomed ears. One such example is a popular ski field Whakapapa

We also have odd names in English too like a hill called Bob's Knob (and the roadside rest spot there is called Bob's Knob Lookout - always sounds like an hilarious warning to me)
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Dazi

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Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
« Reply #41 on: December 15, 2012, 08:01:56 PM »
I sent out a letter once to a street called  "Acclaim at Lionspaw"
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Lady Snowdon

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Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
« Reply #42 on: December 15, 2012, 08:24:59 PM »
I've always been amused by Cripple Creek, Colorado, and Niwot, Colorado.  There's a Savage, Minnesota (the water tower says something like "the Ports of Savage" on it, which just makes me giggle).  My dad used to work in a town named Nunn, Colorado.  That water tower had the phrase "Watch Nunn Grow!" on it.  :P  Minneapolis has the lyrically named Minnehaha Falls Park.  There's also Wayzata, Minnesota, which I still can't pronounce correctly, despite having lived here for 13 years.  A very good private academy in St. Paul is named Cretin-Durham, and is near Cretin Ave.  Yes, they do pronounce it cree-ton and I can't say it with a straight face.   >:D 

Danika

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Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
« Reply #43 on: December 16, 2012, 12:43:26 AM »
I never thought about the origin of the name Cripple Creek. I grew up hearing it. Many of my ancestors came to Colorado during the gold rush and lived in Cripple Creek although no one in my family has lived in that city for nearly 100 years now.

This website says this about the origin of the name: "It is said a cattleman was building a shelter close to a nearby creek assisted by a helper. The helper accidentally discharged a gun, wounding another man in the foot. The excitement and confusion frightened a calf, which broke its leg jumping over the creek. The calf was crippled causing the rancher to refer to the creek as 'Cripple Creek.'"

cabbageweevil

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Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
« Reply #44 on: December 16, 2012, 08:51:57 AM »
I understand that there’s a place in New Zealand, the length of whose name makes both the Massachusetts lake and the Welsh village, look brief and terse by comparison; but I’ll leave the details of same, to New Zealand participants on the board.

Ah you mean Taumata­whakatangihanga­koauau­o­tamatea­turi­pukakapiki­maunga­horo­nuku­pokai­whenua­kitanatahu

That's the one ! Definitely "a name to conjure with".

The village in Wales is called generally in conversation by those who live thereabouts, "Llanfair P.G.". I presume there's a similar abbreviation used for Taumata-etc.; in situations of wanting to buy a bus ticket to the place, or such things.

Quote
Most of he amusement in place names here stems from the pronunciation of "wh" as an F sound in Maori words and there are many place names (and other words) which start with whaka... the letter A is said as in car but said quickly whaka words do sound rude to unaccustomed ears. One such example is a popular ski field Whakapapa

We also have odd names in English too like a hill called Bob's Knob (and the roadside rest spot there is called Bob's Knob Lookout - always sounds like an hilarious warning to me)

If I have things rightly, the New Zealand town of Waikikamoukau does not actually exist; it was invented to gently take the mickey out of NZ place names?