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English placenames

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mckeonj
128974.  Mon Dec 25, 2006 4:23 pm Reply with quote

Further to hoe, a careful google search yielded 36.5 Mhits:
http://tinyurl.com/y5r4he
Even only the first ten are worth a look.

 
samivel
128985.  Mon Dec 25, 2006 7:04 pm Reply with quote

Lumpo31 wrote:
Cornwall is an amazing place...passed through for altogether too long (due to an accident-related police diversion) a town named Woolfardisworthy, allegedly pronounced Woolsery...okay, so that's in Devon too...


There's actually two places in Devon called Woolfardisworthy - one is in the north of the county near Barnstaple (which I expect is the one you mention) and the other is between Tiverton and Crediton. My cousin used to run a farm near there.

 
Lumpo31
129001.  Tue Dec 26, 2006 2:52 am Reply with quote

mckeonj wrote:
/pun alert/
Westward Ho!
Very QI name, that.
The bang(!) is a modern addition. We are told that the town was named for a book by Charles Kingsley, called "Westward Ho!", but it is arse-about-face, Kingsley was punning on the pre-existent name. (see "Mourning Becomes Electra" as another punning title)
But it really is quite simple: Westward Ho, Plymouth Ho, and some others are all headlands, and get the Ho from the distinctive shape as seen from the sea. [picture required here]They are coastal navigation marks. The distinctive shape is that of the heel of a human foot, rendered as ho or hoe in another language (let us blame the Anglo Saxons again, they get the blame for everything else).
You want more? Then consider the humble 'Dutch Hoe' [picture]
The curved iron which joins the blade to the shaft has the distinctive 'heel' profile. And consider the 'Hoe Down' barndance style beloved of Country and Western nuts. It is a flat footed, heel down, stamping style, very different from the elegant, ball-of-the-foot style favoured in more civilised parts.
Had enough? Then I rest my case.
But I don't know why a disreputable man is called a heel
PS
I have found this:
a note on hoe in a line from 'Beowulf', which is Anglo-Saxon!
http://www.english.ox.ac.uk/coursepack/beowulf/notes/note3157a.html


Sheer brilliance! Very QI indeed and I'm glad I mentioned Westward Ho!

Thanks very, very much for all that!

Lisa

 
Lumpo31
129002.  Tue Dec 26, 2006 2:56 am Reply with quote

samivel wrote:

There's actually two places in Devon called Woolfardisworthy - one is in the north of the county near Barnstaple (which I expect is the one you mention) and the other is between Tiverton and Crediton. My cousin used to run a farm near there.


Ah, so 'tis! If I'd realised, I think I might have diverted via the other Woolfardisworthy (do they pronounce the one near Tiverton/Crediton as "Woolsery" as well?)...or maybe not. Yes, it is the one near Barnstaple to which I refer.

Lisa

 
samivel
129130.  Tue Dec 26, 2006 7:53 pm Reply with quote

Lumpo31 wrote:
(do they pronounce the one near Tiverton/Crediton as "Woolsery" as well?)



They do indeed.

 
Lumpo31
129163.  Wed Dec 27, 2006 12:58 am Reply with quote

samivel wrote:
Lumpo31 wrote:
(do they pronounce the one near Tiverton/Crediton as "Woolsery" as well?)



They do indeed.


Ah! Must be standard Devonian pronunciation then.

Quite incidentally, I asked my s-i-l this as we passed through Devon - is the Devonian Period named after the County? I suppose I could look it up...

Lisa

EDIT - it is indeed. I shall have to throw this back at my s-i-l who laughed in my face and "doubted it very much"!

Quote:
The Devonian is a geologic period of the Paleozoic era. It is named after Devon, England, where rocks from this period were first studied.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devonian

Oddly, the Wiki stuff is almost exactly what I said to s-i-l, apart from my mentioning of "The Jurassic Coast" to support my argument. And I erronously said something about dinosaurs first being found there, but you know what I mean.

Lisa

 
costean
129202.  Wed Dec 27, 2006 7:18 am Reply with quote

Lisa, you were absolutely right to mention The Jurassic Coast which stretches from East Devon to Dorset. The Jurassic Period was later than the Devonian Period but this stretch of coast is one of the finest sites in the world for for uncovering dinosaur fossils. It is impossible to say where the first dinosaur fossils were found; they were being uncovered for a long time without people knowing what they were. But the first remains to be identified as dinosaurs were from England and The Jurassic Coast was one of the sites where they were first discovered.


Last edited by costean on Wed Dec 27, 2006 4:42 pm; edited 1 time in total

 
Lumpo31
129210.  Wed Dec 27, 2006 8:27 am Reply with quote

costean wrote:
Lisa, you were absolutely right to mention The Jurassic Coast which stretches from East Devon to Dorset. The Jurassic Period was later than the Devonian Period but this stretch of coast is one of the finest sites in the world for for uncovering dinosaur fossils. It is impossible to say where the first dinosaur fossils were found; they were being uncovered for a long time without people knowing what thay were. But the first remains to be identified as dinosaurs were from England and The Jurassic Coast was one of the sites where they were first discovered.


Ta Costean - Yay! So I win! I *know* I know stuff, but it's hard to argue on such topics with s-i-l and her science degree.

I owe it all to UK documentaries (particularly those associated with the Open University, Coast et al) and reading everything I can get my cotton-pickers on.

That's it, I'm definitely signing up for some OU courses (or maybe do some of Oxford University's short courses that they keep tempting me with).

Lisa

 
ikkan
137338.  Mon Jan 22, 2007 12:12 am Reply with quote

I've actually done a Place Names study, based in the Lake District. It is fascinating stuff when you get into it!

I rather like the name 'Seldom Seen', a place I had been many years prior to my study. The structure of the name is rather different to most although I did recently find a second Seldom Seen near London!

It is always amazing to look at a name's etymology and try to decifer its original title. Even historical and geographical fact can be dug out of a name. Example: 'Keswick' translates as 'cheese farm'.

It is also fun when the modern realisation of a name is totally misleading about the original meaning. A great example of this is Haltwhistle in Northumbria. Linking ModE 'halt' and 'whistle', you probably want to make claims of railway connections. Learning that it is on the main East-West train line route seems to back you up, right? No. It actually means 'junction of two streams'. Old spellings are very important!!

Even similar names have different roots such as in 'Thirlmere' and 'Thirlspot'. Geographically very close though their names are from different roots and mean 'lake in the hollow' and 'giant's hole'.

Many names in the area are named for the local land forms, plants and animals as well as personal names.

I'll be back with more! But for now I'll leave with a couple of my favourites:

Ulcat Row: OE ule 'owl' + OE cot 'cottage' + ON vra 'corner' = Owl-Cottage corner.

and what about Manchester: its name means roman fort at the breast-shaped hill.

 
Hans Mof
140200.  Mon Jan 29, 2007 8:57 pm Reply with quote

Has the English placename already been covered?

England

England is named after the Angles a Germanic tribe that originated in Angeln (Anglia) in modern day Northern Germany and settled in England in the 5th and 6th century.

The name Angeln derives from 'ang' meaning hook or bend (cf. angling, angle; latin: angulus). This could refer to the Holstein Bay or the Schlei (a narow inlet of the Baltic Sea) which have the shape of a hook or a bend respectively and form the natural boundaries of Angeln.

Conclusion: Given the etymology we could refer to England as Land of hookers and benders.

At this point I want to stress that I'm a born-and-bred Angle myself.

 
Sand
140202.  Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:31 pm Reply with quote

This isn't a pronounciation question but as relevant to ask here as anywhere else I think. A quick look through all 12 pages of this thread and I've either missed it or it's not been mentioned yet so, what's the most commonly used place name in the UK? I heard once that it was "Sutton" and indeed, before my browser asked if I wanted to send Bill Gates an error message, I found all of these (didn't note the county on some, sorry):

Sutton Hoo
London Borough of Sutton
Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham
Sutton-in-the-Isle
Sutton Veny
Sutton, Cheshire
Sutton-Kersch, Liverpool
Sutton Valence, Kent
Long Sutton, Somerset
Sutton, Surrey
Sutton Common, Exeter
Sutton on Sea, Lincolnshire
Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire
Sutton, Derbyshire

There must be more I would think, especially when I ignored stately homes and parks in the list as I wasn't sure if these should also be included.

 
WordLover
143049.  Tue Feb 06, 2007 8:02 am Reply with quote

Sand wrote:
This isn't a pronounciation question but as relevant to ask here as anywhere else I think. A quick look through all 12 pages of this thread and I've either missed it or it's not been mentioned yet so, what's the most commonly used place name in the UK? I heard once that it was "Sutton" [...]
There must be more I would think,
Using a GenUKI list of names of places in England and Wales (sorry, Scots, but I took what I could find), I find 67 Suttons (either plain Sutton or a longer name which includes Sutton), but they are beaten by 96 Newtons.

There is the question of what constitutes a place name, if it counts even if it is part of a longer name. Some elements would give higher counts (e.g. St.), but I think that would be cheating. Ham on its own is a placename. If I may use that, then there are 1152 placenames in the GENUKI list that have Ham in them.

 
suze
143068.  Tue Feb 06, 2007 8:45 am Reply with quote

I imagine that the 1152 placenames including "Ham" are things like "Southampton" - in which case I'd also agree that such an approach doesn't give very interesting answers.

But if we restrict ourselves to whole words, any decision as to which elements to include has to be arbitrary. The exclusion of "St" is certainly entirely defensible, and I imagine you also excluded things like "North" and "Upper".

But Sutton is only a Saxon word meaning "south place" - so on that basis should it be allowed to count either? And while there are places starting with Norton, why are there fewer of them than there are Suttons? (The south place has to be south of something.)

 
WordLover
143106.  Tue Feb 06, 2007 9:57 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
I imagine that the 1152 placenames including "Ham" are things like "Southampton" - in which case I'd also agree that such an approach doesn't give very interesting answers.
Indeed.

suze wrote:
But if we restrict ourselves to whole words, any decision as to which elements to include has to be arbitrary. The exclusion of "St" is certainly entirely defensible, and I imagine you also excluded things like "North" and "Upper".
Indeed, and e.g. "Great", "Little".

suze wrote:
But Sutton is only a Saxon word meaning "south place" - so on that basis should it be allowed to count either? And while there are places starting with Norton, why are there fewer of them than there are Suttons? (The south place has to be south of something.)
Chance? I also found only 49 Westons and 21 Eastons.

Nortons and Suttons don't tend to occur in pairs. There are few examples of paired names, and even these are not the names of paired places, e.g. Norton Mandeville is NE of Ongar in Essex, and Sutton Mandeville is W of Salisbury and Wilton in Wiltshire.

 
Gaazy
143135.  Tue Feb 06, 2007 10:55 am Reply with quote

I'm still trying to find the exact crossroads Mrs Gaazy and I encountered on a B road somewhere in rural England showing:

Quote:
Charlton
Heston


I pored through a road atlas recently and couldn't find a single place where there are two villages of these names in close proximity and which therefore felicitously led to displaying the name of the hero of the NRA.

 

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