Author Topic: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.  (Read 15706 times)

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Thipu1

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Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
« Reply #45 on: December 16, 2012, 10:25:34 AM »
Cabbage weevil's post reminded me that publishers often insert fictional places in maps.

  The idea is that, if the map is pirated and published elsewhere without permission, the places that don't exist establish the copyright. 

Julian

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Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
« Reply #46 on: December 16, 2012, 03:00:45 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.

Sure have!!  Haven't been to either, but I have a mental picture of Dismal Swamp like something out of a Scooby Doo cartoon, lol!

Iris

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Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
« Reply #47 on: December 16, 2012, 03:37:36 PM »
I used to live in Biloela, Australia. Funny hearing people trying to pronounce it. The locals say 'Bill-o-wheel-a', but you would never be able to guess that from the spelling.

Then you would be familiar with the town of Banana. Great name. I used to have family there.

My all time favourite naughty sounding place name is Watanobbi on the Central Coast of NSW. It won the "most unfortunate place name in Australia" competition.

Lots of other great names in this article if you are interested
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cabbageweevil

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Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
« Reply #48 on: December 16, 2012, 03:40:27 PM »
Cabbage weevil's post reminded me that publishers often insert fictional places in maps.

  The idea is that, if the map is pirated and published elsewhere without permission, the places that don't exist establish the copyright.

There's an interesting thread about matters of this kind -- including "copyright traps" on maps, per the process which you describe, which ultimately became real places -- on the Fortean Times discussion forum.

Log on to www.forteantimes.com.forum/index/php    ;under "Specialist Topics" there, click on sub-forum "Urban Legends / Folklore". Page 1 of this sub-forum: about seven items down, thread "Places that don't exist".

Included there, is the strange tale of the supposed Sandy Island -- allegedly several hundred miles east of Australia, and measuring fifteen miles by three. It was recently found that this "island", which has featured on maps for quite a long time, actually doesn't exist. Discussion is generated thereby, as to whether it was a copyright trap gone wrong; or pure human error; or whether at the island's alleged discovery in the 1870s, it was a sandbar then existing, but subsequently covered by the sea; or something else?

Deliberate distortion of, and putting wrong info on, maps for the use of the public happened rather a lot in the former Soviet Union; this being done at the behest of the authorities, to thwart would-be spies. It was maddening for local citizens and (blameless) foreigners, who were just seeking to get to where they wanted to go. As regards the USSR, one feels that the kindest possible verdict is "they were a funny lot".

CakeEater

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Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
« Reply #49 on: December 16, 2012, 03:40:51 PM »
I used to live in Biloela, Australia. Funny hearing people trying to pronounce it. The locals say 'Bill-o-wheel-a', but you would never be able to guess that from the spelling.

Then you would be familiar with the town of Banana. Great name. I used to have family there.

My all time favourite naughty sounding place name is Watanobbi on the Central Coast of NSW. It won the "most unfortunate place name in Australia" competition.

Lots of other great names in this article if you are interested

Definitely! I've driven through Banana on a number of occasions.

WithoutIssue

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Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
« Reply #50 on: December 16, 2012, 04:09:57 PM »
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?
Yes Waikikamukau is fictional, sort of a placeholder name for a small town out the back of beyond.
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oz diva

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Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
« Reply #51 on: December 17, 2012, 06:17:22 AM »
I used to live in Biloela, Australia. Funny hearing people trying to pronounce it. The locals say 'Bill-o-wheel-a', but you would never be able to guess that from the spelling.

Then you would be familiar with the town of Banana. Great name. I used to have family there.

My all time favourite naughty sounding place name is Watanobbi on the Central Coast of NSW. It won the "most unfortunate place name in Australia" competition.

Lots of other great names in this article if you are interested
And then there's Yorkey's Knob in Cairns.

I've always had a soft spot for Mt Buggery and Mt Disappointment.

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Thipu1

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Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
« Reply #52 on: December 17, 2012, 09:23:58 AM »
Once, while motoring in Vermont, we passed the 'Fort Despair Bed and Breakfast'.  we had to wonder if they got much business.

cabbageweevil

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Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
« Reply #53 on: December 17, 2012, 02:33:58 PM »
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?
Yes Waikikamukau is fictional, sort of a placeholder name for a small town out the back of beyond.
Sounds like a parallel with Germany’s “Krähwinkel”;  and “Hotzeplotz” and “Eytschischok” in Yiddish – fictitious names symbolising the general picture re those milieus, of a remote, dozy, benighted back-end-of-nowhere settlement.

CakeEater

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Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
« Reply #54 on: December 17, 2012, 04:26:22 PM »
Near where I grew up was a school called Humpybong.

Thipu1

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Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
« Reply #55 on: December 18, 2012, 09:33:19 AM »
In the late 19th and early 20th century USA, 'Siwash' and 'Podunk' were used to represent small, uninteresting communities.  'Siwash College' was the ultimate put-down for an educational institution. 

'Podunk' is still used that way.  A late 20th century version is 'Upper Cupcake'. 

JonGirl

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Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
« Reply #56 on: December 19, 2012, 08:24:01 AM »
In the late 19th and early 20th century USA, 'Siwash' and 'Podunk' were used to represent small, uninteresting communities.   'Siwash College' was the ultimate put-down for an educational institution. 

'Podunk' is still used that way.  A late 20th century version is 'Upper Cupcake'.


In our part of the world, rural areas are refered to as "the sticks" or "one horse towns"
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Thipu1

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Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
« Reply #57 on: December 19, 2012, 09:35:12 AM »
One-horse towns, sticks, boondocks (that one comes from the Viet Nam years, I believe), back of beyond.  They're all out there.  However, Siwash and Podunk are a little more specific. 

We have the opposite of Sandy Island here in NY.  Fire Island did not exist before the hurricane in the 1930s that came straight up the coast and made first landfall on Long Island. 

All these discussions are fascinating.   

Luci

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Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
« Reply #58 on: December 19, 2012, 10:49:05 AM »
boondocks (that one comes from the Viet Nam years, I believe) 

'Boondocks' has been used all of my life, but I was surprised to see that is really is so recent.

From AnswerBag, but I found similar information on other sites:

The expression was introduced to English by American military personnel serving in the Philippines during the early years of the 20th century. It derives from the Tagalog word "bundok", meaning "mountain".

Read more: What is the origin of the term "boondocks"? | Answerbag http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/799287#ixzz2FVrxTgmP

One said 1945, but if it is from the Philippines it could be far earlier. My grandfather was an agricultural advisor there in the early 1900s, so I know we (US) had a presence there.  (I don't know how reliable AnswerBag is - better than AskYahoo, I hope!)

Julian

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Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
« Reply #59 on: December 19, 2012, 10:30:34 PM »
In the late 19th and early 20th century USA, 'Siwash' and 'Podunk' were used to represent small, uninteresting communities.   'Siwash College' was the ultimate put-down for an educational institution. 

'Podunk' is still used that way.  A late 20th century version is 'Upper Cupcake'.


In our part of the world, rural areas are refered to as "the sticks" or "one horse towns"

Or the other side of the black stump. 

I think I went through an area called Black Stump once.