Mighty Red Pen

February 2, 2009

Take a right on Main, a left on Butt Hole

Filed under: Overseen,Wordsworthy — mighty red pen @ 5:09 pm
Tags: ,

Hat tip to Gopher for directing MRP’s attention to this article in The New York Times, “No Snickering: That Road Sign Means Something Else.”

butt-hole-road1

It’s a exploration of place names in the U.K. that might inspire some gigglesnorts but aren’t meant to be as dirty as they sound:

In the scale of embarrassing place names, Crapstone ranks pretty high. But Britain is full of them. Some are mostly amusing, like Ugley, Essex; East Breast, in western Scotland; North Piddle, in Worcestershire; and Spanker Lane, in Derbyshire.

Others evoke images that may conflict with residents’ efforts to appear dignified when, for example, applying for jobs.

These include Crotch Crescent, Oxford; Titty Ho, Northamptonshire; Wetwang, East Yorkshire; Slutshole Lane, Norfolk; and Thong, Kent. And, in a country that delights in lavatory humor, particularly if the word “bottom” is involved, there is Pratts Bottom, in Kent, doubly cursed because “prat” is slang for buffoon.

As for Penistone, a thriving South Yorkshire town, just stop that sophomoric snickering.

The article goes into some detail about the embarrassment experienced by those who dwell in towns or near streets with these names. Here’s what I’m not totally clear about, though: Why, oh, why communities don’t take it upon themselves to change the names that cause them so much grief? But maybe it’s not my place to judge.

Anyone out there know of any place names that fit this bill, let’s hear it!

3 Comments »

  1. Well, the article swiped my former local favorite, Crotch Crescent in Oxford. Another favorite–not vulgar, just silly–is Jethro Tull Lane (named after the agriculturist, not the band). But I can’t imagine people in the UK changing a place-name just become its connotations have become embarrassing, vulgar, or even obscene in modern vernacular. That doesn’t displace X hundred years of established usage/tradition. Kind of like the guys outside Buckingham Palace–they’re carrying modern, loaded weapons in their hands, while wearing bearskin hats 2 feet tall and weighing 15 lbs.

    Comment by Nancy a.k.a. Roving Lemon — February 2, 2009 @ 7:43 pm | Reply

  2. That’s about what I expected for an explanation, which is fine by me; just means more funnies for us.

    Comment by mighty red pen — February 3, 2009 @ 8:09 pm | Reply

  3. I once knew someone who lived near Broadbottom in Derbyshire. 😀

    Comment by Scathach — February 10, 2009 @ 9:37 am | Reply


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