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  • March 04, 2015, 01:57:26 PM

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Author Topic: Funny Place Names in England  (Read 478 times)

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scansons

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Funny Place Names in England
« on: February 04, 2015, 01:23:04 PM »
There is this podcast I love called "No Such Thing as a Fish".  It is British.  I've noticed the presenters have this little tick, not unlike the Top Gear guys, who we also love in this house.  There are certain place names that seem to amuse them very much.  In context it never seems to me like the hosts are doing more than listing places.  To me it would be as if I read a list of place names (St. Louis, New York, and Bowling Green) and then everyone broke out laughing for no good reason.  Am I not getting the joke, because I don't live in England and have no hope of knowing where/what/ Dulwich and Chorlton-cum-Hardy are?  Or is it just that Chorlton-cum-Hardy is inherently funny to say?   Or is it something else?

Smulkin

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Re: Funny Place Names in England
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2015, 02:16:14 PM »
 I love comical place names. There are loads which make me laugh but which I have no idea of the location of and will probably never visit. If I were near enough to a favourite it might be worth going to see the actual road sign, but it's more likely that familiarity would make it less funny.

 I've heard similar lists of American place names, from Americans, though, so I think it's just a personal sense of humour variation than a 'British humour' thing. It fits the stereotypical 'eccentric and gently antiquated' type of amusement which is often thought to make up British comedy. (I can't comment on Top Gear because I cannot stand it.)
 Perhaps in Britain- not only England- you might find more potentially funny place-names in a smaller area, or they will have a certain flavour of silliness because of dialectal peculiarities/linguistic history. That could occur in any sufficiently-populated area, of course, but perhaps the mash-up of linguistic influences that named parts of Britain results in just the right mix of olde-fashioned oddity and words that sound like they mean something.

 Btw. I live near Horton-cum-Studley.

veryfluffy

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Re: Funny Place Names in England
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2015, 03:39:36 PM »
I crashed my bicycle in Horton-cum-Studley once. A very nice couple helped patch me up, made me a cup of tea and then took my friend and me and our bikes back to Oxford in their van.

My favourite place name is Nempnett Thrubwell, in Somerset.
   

scansons

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Re: Funny Place Names in England
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2015, 03:55:35 PM »
Okay,  so inherently funny to say then.  I just like to feel I'm in on the joke :)

I will say, I'm in the Midwestern United States.  We have a habit around here with place names that is a little weird.  We like to take the names of famous cities.  Slap the names on small towns in the middle of nowhere, and then mispronounce the name.  So...

Miami, Mo   pronounced My Hammy, Missouri. 

Versailles, Mo pronounced Ver Sales, Missouri.

My personal favorite:  Cairo, IL  pronounced Kay Row, Illinois.

And somehow Paris, IL pronounced like Paris France.  Nobody knows why.  :)


mechtilde

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Re: Funny Place Names in England
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2015, 03:56:35 PM »
We love funny placenames- whether they are funny in themselves, like Ugley (once home to the Ugley Women's Institute before they changed the name to Women's Institute Ugley branch...) to places which have funny associations like Cleethorpes.

I'm just north of Co Durham and they have some really odd placenames, including Pity Me, No Place, Quaking Houses, Burnt Houses and (for some odd reason) Quebec.
NE England

Thipu1

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Re: Funny Place Names in England
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2015, 10:14:21 PM »
One of my favorite place names in England is an archaeological site where a very early cart burial was discovered. 

It's rather hard to beat the place name of Wetwang Slack.

Elfmama

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Re: Funny Place Names in England
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2015, 10:57:50 PM »
My favorite is Nether Wallop. 
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Mel the Redcap

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Re: Funny Place Names in England
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2015, 05:06:38 AM »
Until I mentioned a particular sports team to a US friend, it never really clicked to me just how funny the suburb named "Manly" is. ::)
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Margo

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Re: Funny Place Names in England
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2015, 07:36:49 AM »
We love funny placenames- whether they are funny in themselves, like Ugley (once home to the Ugley Women's Institute before they changed the name to Women's Institute Ugley branch...) to places which have funny associations like Cleethorpes.

I'm just north of Co Durham and they have some really odd placenames, including Pity Me, No Place, Quaking Houses, Burnt Houses and (for some odd reason) Quebec.

There is also a village called 'Nasty' which is not far from Ugley. A gift to local headline writers who one got to write a wedding notice with the header "Ugley woman marries Nasty man" ..

Free Range Hippy Chick

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Re: Funny Place Names in England
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2015, 09:04:02 AM »
Mow Cop and Scholar Green...

Flanders and Swann and The Slow Train.

Lyrics here.

English1

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Re: Funny Place Names in England
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2015, 09:38:17 AM »
You also need to remember that anything slightly 'rude' makes us laugh as well. And that can often be why place names are funny.


cabbageweevil

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Re: Funny Place Names in England
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2015, 10:51:45 AM »
We love funny placenames- whether they are funny in themselves, like Ugley (once home to the Ugley Women's Institute before they changed the name to Women's Institute Ugley branch...) to places which have funny associations like Cleethorpes.

There is also a village called 'Nasty' which is not far from Ugley. A gift to local headline writers who one got to write a wedding notice with the header "Ugley woman marries Nasty man" ..

On this maybe-cheap-humour but hard-to-resist theme: there's a village in Kent called Loose, which changed the name of its Women's Institute, on the exact model of the abovementioned Ugley in Essex.

Gladly

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Re: Funny Place Names in England
« Reply #12 on: Yesterday at 11:29:04 AM »
There's a village a few miles from us (Wiltshire) called Horpit  ;D

And in the Cotswolds there is a sign post to Shrewley and Mouseley End.  I love that sign!

catwhiskers

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Re: Funny Place Names in England
« Reply #13 on: Yesterday at 06:06:55 PM »
There is a place called Pratt's Bottom in Kent. ;D

Bethczar

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Re: Funny Place Names in England
« Reply #14 on: Yesterday at 07:58:37 PM »
Mow Cop and Scholar Green...

Flanders and Swann and The Slow Train.

Lyrics here.
I love that song! I used to have a recording of it done by The King's Singers.