Amusing place names
April 2, 2003 5:04 AM   Subscribe

Genuine UK Place names (via Ring Burn stream, Wet Wang village, Brown Willy hill, Tongue of Gangsta ... .and my personal favourite, Booby Dingle.
posted by MintSauce (41 comments total)
There's a number of villages around called "Twatt".

But my current favourite is a little village in dorset I went through a couple of weeks ago - "Ryme Intrinseca".
posted by BigCalm at 5:15 AM on April 2, 2003

There's Stiffkey (pron. 'storkey') in Norfolk, which once had a scandalous rector.

Wetwang is famous for its chariot.
posted by plep at 5:28 AM on April 2, 2003

When I used to drive up to my Grandfather's, we used to pass a village somewhere in Staffordshire called 'Little Willey'.

Oh, how we chortled. Then I saw the funny side, etc...
posted by tapeguy at 5:31 AM on April 2, 2003

I was born in a small market town called penistone. If that counts. Oh - And when we were kids (OK, OK - Last week), we'd snigger whenever we heard anybody talking about Clitheroe and how difficult it was to find.

I feel dirty telling you that.
Guess I should get back to work.
posted by seanyboy at 5:52 AM on April 2, 2003

Old Sodbury is always good for a chuckle. Then theres Nasty in Essex, close to Ugley, source of the famous local paper headline "Nasty Man weds Ugley Woman"
posted by grahamwell at 5:55 AM on April 2, 2003

Not forgetting the Piddle Valley and Scratchy Bottom, both also in Dorset. And if we can extend this to Ireland, I'm afraid to say I still giggle like a schoolboy when I see Muff on a map...
posted by jontyjago at 5:58 AM on April 2, 2003

South-central Pennsylvania, USA (Amish country, mind you) is proud home to Blue Balls, Bird-in-Hand, and Intercourse.
posted by The Michael The at 5:58 AM on April 2, 2003

There's a Slack Bottom near Hebden Bridge.
Then there's Widdleplop Farm (possibly NSFW).
posted by asok at 6:26 AM on April 2, 2003

my 2 cents: there's a tiny village called Boobyglass in Ireland. Helped relieve the tension during a massive fight over whose fault it was that we were hopelessly lost.
posted by kev23f at 6:28 AM on April 2, 2003

No mention of Lilley Bottom or Nether Wallop yet? Oh well. I won't mention them if you don't...

Worried about the poor types who giggle about clitheroe when it's pronounced Klith-Er-O... Although when I only saw it written down it did worry me...

[twine, who used to date a girl who lived in a place near clitheroe which was much harder to find... ahem.]
posted by twine42 at 6:29 AM on April 2, 2003

I grew up near Running Knob and Thumping Dick Hollows not too far from Soddy-Daisy in the Tennessee hills, then moved just down the road from Frog Level, Alabama, the state which contains the towns of Intercourse, Conception and Nativity within the same county, not to mention the town of Slap-Out.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:43 AM on April 2, 2003

If you lived in some of these places, your chances of being taken seriously must be radically reduced...think about the consequences of always having to respond with "Fartown" or "Upper Dicker" as your residence in job interviews and the like. Your life could devolve into one puerile joke after another. (not that my life isn't one puerile joke after another, but still...)
posted by madamjujujive at 6:46 AM on April 2, 2003

I have problems being taken seriously just telling people I grew up in Tennessee and Alabama, much less Soddy-Daisy!
posted by Pollomacho at 6:49 AM on April 2, 2003

There's Wire Piddle (Worcs.) too, Bunny in Nottinghamshire –– with the the classic sign 'You are now entering Bunny, please drive carefully' –– Diss in Norfolk & Warninglid near Brighton. In Wales there is, well, nearly everywhere, but Mold & Wrexham are funny if you're not used to hearing them. As is Machynlleth, home to the Centre for Alternative Technology, but only when you hear it spoken ;-)

The best is in Germany however...Fukshitvankerbals, near Dresden.

[In the US, Woonsocket, SD will always have a special place in my heart...]
posted by i_cola at 6:55 AM on April 2, 2003

Booby Dingle. Baby Dangler?
posted by tomharpel at 7:33 AM on April 2, 2003

I was going to mention Wyre Piddle too! (BTW, my spelling is correct.)

What's funny about Wrexham, he asked innocently?
posted by salmacis at 7:45 AM on April 2, 2003

Right here in Good ol' Kentucky: Big Bone Lick State Park.
posted by drinkcoffee at 7:49 AM on April 2, 2003

Dike Access Road, Longview, WA
posted by vito90 at 8:19 AM on April 2, 2003

Ponder, Texas. When you get close to Ponder, there's a sign that says "Ponder - 1 mi", which I always thought was good advice.
posted by RylandDotNet at 8:24 AM on April 2, 2003

Great thread, providing much-needed relief. But I call bullshit on Fukshitvankerbals. No way that's a German town name, and it gets 0 Google hits.
posted by languagehat at 8:26 AM on April 2, 2003 has a pretty exhaustive list of amusing place names [via].
posted by tomsk at 8:26 AM on April 2, 2003

Beaver Lick, Knob Lick, Red Bush, Gays Creek, Fisty, and Dykes (Kentucky, USA), Lickey End (West Midlands, UK), Lord Berkeley's Knob (Sutherland, Scotland), Smackass Gap (North Carolina, USA), and Horton Cum Studley (Oxfordshire, England) are my favorites from this dribbleglass list. Great thread, mintsauce - much fun.

Kentucky, you've got some 'splainin' to do!
posted by iconomy at 8:50 AM on April 2, 2003

wow, Bald Knob is nothing next to some of these. Brown Willy? Cockermouth? Twathats?

Geography is so dirty.
posted by Foosnark at 8:55 AM on April 2, 2003

Not dirty, but speaking in volumes, there's a town somewhere in Southeast Texas called Cut-and-Shoot.
posted by Ufez Jones at 9:03 AM on April 2, 2003

Reminiscent of the Douglas Adams / John Lloyd books The Meaning of Liff (which some reprobate has transcribed here) and The Deeper Meaning of Liff, in which odd place names are given meanings for which there needed to be words. Um. Or something.

A favorite: LINDISFARNE (adj.) Descriptive of the pleasant smell of an empty biscuit tin.
posted by Kafkaesque at 9:24 AM on April 2, 2003

Mmmm, I'd love to live in Gutterpool.
posted by me3dia at 9:29 AM on April 2, 2003

Welcome to Dildo, Newfoundland, sitting pretty on Dildo Island.
posted by Newbornstranger at 9:38 AM on April 2, 2003

Hmm, Lord Berkeley's Knob reminds me of Yorkey's Knob (sp?) in Queensland...

Upper Dicker in Sussex has its depressive twin, Lower Dicker.
posted by plep at 9:59 AM on April 2, 2003

My cousin used to live in Pity Me, just outside Durham.

Such a joy-filled place.
posted by influx at 10:38 AM on April 2, 2003

Between Durham and Greensboro, North Carolina there used to be a big billboard for some church or another. The important thing is that the church's address was on Booger Swamp Road.

There's also a Booger Mountain up in the Appalachians.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:01 AM on April 2, 2003

Hungry Mother State Park - funny name, touching story.
posted by rainbaby at 11:14 AM on April 2, 2003

I went to visit a friend in hospital yesterday. He was looking poorly, so to cheer him up I read him the railway timetable. All the way from Gravesend to Bury St Edmunds.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 11:28 AM on April 2, 2003

I've always had a particular affection for Upper and Lower Snoring.

[Grain of salt warning:]
Bill Bryson has a great list of unusual American place names in his Made in America. Here are a few of the best:

Zook Spur, IO
Bug, KY
Bugscuffle, TN
Bugtussle and Lick Skillet, TX
Rabbit Shuffle, NC
Mudsock, OH
Bald Friar, MD
Lick Fork, Unthanks, and Tizzle Flats, VA*
Humptulips and Shittim Gulch, WA
Superior Bottom, WV

*I'm from Virginia and I've never heard of these, so who knows.
posted by hippugeek at 12:21 PM on April 2, 2003

i went to Clowne School from the age of 11 until i was 16.
imagine the hilarity that ensued when i told everyone at university! oh, the fun never ended.

- what was you uniform like?
- we had to wear big floppy shoes and brightly coloured wigs.
- did you have a schoolbus?
- yes, but the doors kept falling off and the wheels weren't balanced properly.
- what was PE like?
- we had to practice throwing buckets of glitter over each other. and the running track had banana skins all over it.
- ha ha ha.

take a moment to visit the Knowhere Guide to Clowne. i can confirm that it's not all fun, squirty cream and red noses.
posted by nylon at 1:28 PM on April 2, 2003

plep, i would argue that wetwang is more famous for its mayor
posted by nylon at 1:52 PM on April 2, 2003

I always liked Slaughter Beach, Delaware, myself.
posted by jennyb at 2:09 PM on April 2, 2003

languagehat: ya got me ;-)

The scary thing about living in the UK is that a lot of the names don't sound that strange until an outsider points 'em out.

BTW, the best place name in the known universe is 'Bishop's Tachbrook'.

Not funny or silly but just sounds right...

Kaf: If you ever get the chance, go to Lindesfarne...its a great visit. The mead is good too...
posted by i_cola at 2:27 PM on April 2, 2003

I've walked between Upper Slaughter and Lower Slaughter in the Cotswolds.

But this is my favorite.
posted by Vidiot at 3:40 PM on April 2, 2003

In Western Australia we have

Humpty Doo
posted by Civa at 11:14 PM on April 2, 2003

Hippugeek - from memory, the list given in Bryson's book you quote were names once given to places - I think he says that most, if not all, have changed over time which is why you may not recognise them.

Not forgetting the Teton mountains, so named by French explorers for their resemblance to a large pair of tits...
posted by jontyjago at 12:30 AM on April 3, 2003

Excellent town name not too far from here: George. Yes, the town is named George, Washington.

There's always Hell, Michigan, which is something of a classic.
posted by kindall at 12:41 AM on April 3, 2003

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