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Rudest Place Names

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1310755.  Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:08 pm Reply with quote

Bondee wrote:
suze wrote:
... from Old Polish pole, a field.

Would that have a similar background to ye olde imperial unit of measurement of the same name?

Sort of.

The rod, pole, or perch, which is 16 feet, was originally measured using long sticks ie rods or poles. The perch name for it is from Latin, from an ancient unit of measurement called the pertica which was equal to ten Roman feet.

The word pole for a long stick comes from the Latin palus = a long stick, and nothing to do with that word for a field.

Buuuut, a unit of land which is one pole square (1/160 of an acre) is also called a pole. You may think that this ought really to be called a "square pole", but it isn't. This unit of land is no longer used a great deal, but a few local authorities still state the sizes of allotments in poles.

One possible conclusion is that this unit of land is known as a pole because people are too lazy to say "square pole". But it seems rather unlikely that a unit of land called a pole would not be somehow connected to this old word pole for a field.

But if we start from the other end and assert that the field word did lend itself to the unit of area, we are asked to believe that it is just a coincidence that the length of a long stick (one pole) is the same word as the area that is this squared (one pole). That doesn't really seem very likely either, and the etymologists don't really know where they are missing a link.

1310889.  Sun Jan 20, 2019 8:15 am Reply with quote

Ta, suze. Now you've mentioned it, I remember being confused by the term "square pole" when my grandad made enquiries into getting an allotment 30-odd years ago. I thought it was how they marked out each allotment, with a square pole at each corner.

1324348.  Sat Jun 15, 2019 4:10 am Reply with quote

A little trip

1324367.  Sat Jun 15, 2019 11:31 am Reply with quote

Towards the end if that trip, there could be a slight diversion East to the Sussex village of Cocking

1324380.  Sat Jun 15, 2019 1:47 pm Reply with quote

I should have thought Cockermouth was well-known enough as the birthplace of William Wordsworth. And two other Cumbrian places mentioned before on QI: Little Cockup and Great Cockup.

1324381.  Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:00 pm Reply with quote

Didn't Denis Norden once present an edition of It'll Be Alright on the Night from Great Cockup?

1324499.  Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:36 am Reply with quote

I drive past Dick Place on my way to work most days.

1324545.  Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:16 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Does that mean Pole Land as in "land with lots of big long sticks in it", or Pole Land as in "land of Polish people", or Pole Land as in "land of fields"?

Poland is "land of fields", from Old Polish pole, a field.

The Pole Land (Poolland) dyke is a section of the West-Frisian Circular Dyke, with a total length of 126 km. Apparently people living in the township (actually a street, Poolland) with the same name, since 1680, earned a living as crew members of whalers. Probably whaling near the North Pole.

As such it being a land-locked dyke doesn't rule out a field, because the land to the north of this region of West-Frisia was fully reclaimed land in 1610. But there's no known link with Old Polish nor people from Poland.

"Whaling's" Road (Walingsweg) probably doesn't supports the whaling claim, because qaling apparently is an old Frisian word. So it's more likely that this means Shore Road (or Road of the Shore, due to the connecting Dutch "s") instead of "Whaling's" Road (Walvisvaartweg). In Dutch polders names often refer to history or geography of the old land.

1328279.  Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:26 am Reply with quote


1346146.  Thu Apr 16, 2020 2:46 am Reply with quote

Saw this and thought it might be of interest. It is, of course, a commercial link.......

Prof Wind Up Merchant
1346288.  Sat Apr 18, 2020 11:59 am Reply with quote

Fanny Hands Lane, Ludford, England

1366471.  Fri Nov 27, 2020 3:26 am Reply with quote

I'm sad to have to report a loss...

Fucking is coming to an end (link in German).

Edit: found a Guardian link too.

1366491.  Fri Nov 27, 2020 6:33 am Reply with quote

From the Grauniad link;

What's with the assumption that publicity is automatically a good thing? Millions of towns and villages across the world get by just fine without any noticeable publicity, why would this place be any dofferent?

1366547.  Fri Nov 27, 2020 12:44 pm Reply with quote

That got me wondering what was the most recent settlement in Britain to make a formal change of name.

Staines becoming Staines upon Thames (2012) doesn't really count, any more than does Newton in Cambridgeshire becoming Newton in the Isle (2016) to avoid confusion with assorted other Newta.

The best I can do at the moment is Puddletown in Dorset. In everyday usage it had been Puddletown for a century, but it was not until about 1957 and a lengthy debate at Dorset County Council that the parish council was permitted to change its legal name from Piddletown.

There is a tale, probably apocryphal, that the village asked Queen Victoria for permission to make that change in the 1840s. But Victoria was still young then, and she thought the Piddle thing was funny so she turned them down.

1388514.  Sun Aug 29, 2021 12:55 pm Reply with quote

Someone visiting some of the places in this thread


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