Monday, March 03, 2008

Thanks for that.

When I first took the simple city girl that is The Divine Miss P and dragged her down my luxurious country abode, ignoring the lamentations of London's menfolk, any of whom I could have taken in a fight btw, I quickly decided that the matter of Cornwall And Its Many Funny-Sounding Placenames would have to be dealt with really quite carefully.

Bad enough with Paul Pennyfeather, who can't go to Bristol without ringing me in high-pitched voice and squeaking 'Bristols! Tee hee hee!', and still regularly falls over trying to work out which local newspaper slogan sounds funniest: 'Pick Up A Cornishman', or 'Why Not Grope A Falmouth Packet' (I made the second one up).

So yesterday, when Miss P and I travelled deep into the heart of Cornwall to pick up a second-hand bed that by the way looks a lot girlier in RL than it did on the photo on ebay, my first thought was to make sure we passed neither Indian Queens (tee hee!) or Praze an Beeble (just silly). Neither did we go anywhere near Cornwall's highest geographical feature, a proto-mountain called Brown Willy.

We did, however, go past a place called 'Ventongimps', the derivation of which I don't really want to think about. Much mirth was caused, but there we are, I thought, that's about it. Cornwall has a number of rather odd place names, and we're through the worst of it. A certain acclimatization has taken place, and from now on, there is no village name silly, or rude, or just plain saucy enough to cause any reaction at all.

Four minutes later, we drive through a village called 'Cocks'.





UPDATE: for those asking about the interview thing with Agent Matt, he's been on holiday recently, and gave profuse apologies for not completing the thing before he went away. However he is now back, so I shall shout at him.

18 comments:

Oli said...

Let's not forget Green Bottom, which could be the 'specialist' remake of your very own series.

Boz said...

Fnar!

http://www.farfromdull.com/

(ahem. as a complete aside - now that February is dead and gone, is the interview with Agent Matt being shoe-horned into March, or has it vanished completely, because I'm reeeeally looking forward to it)

Taiga the Fox said...

Ah, I spent my childhood near a place called Bullsarse. Well...I was lucky enough not to live in the infamous Islands called Big Dick, Middle Dick and Small Dick, though.

Jayne said...

Jollys Bottom is my favourite (shades of Terry Pratchett). Closely followed by Puddle.

William said...

of course, if you live in falmouth, you're directly opposite Flushing and let's not forget its counterpart in toilet humour, Looe...

all the best cornish names come from around indian queens up in the cornish alps - my personal favourites are probably greensplat, and of course Bugle

Smat said...

Pratts Bottom makes me smile

Will said...

And Sticker, of course.

Here in Oxfordshire there's a place called Marsh Gibbon, which is pretty daft. Evrywhere else in the locale sounds like a 1950's British actor. Kingston Barnett? Anyway - Cornwall, much funnier.

Boz said...

Oh crap. Now I feel like a comment heckler. :-) Yey! How exciting though.

Caskared said...

We used to drive past Queen Camel on the way to my great aunt's and at the start of the journey there would be the wonders of Bishop's Itchington, Shuckburgh and Flecknoe that all sound like mild expletives, and near Nethercote and finally Weedon. Tee hee hee.

Jayne said...

PS My favourite graffiti ever (from Lincolnshire):

Signpost: To Mavis Enderby and Old Bolingbroke
Graffiti: the gift of a son

Boz said...

Yey! It's up. Am now stopping all mid-afternoon work to find out what's inside the mind of Agent Matt.

(brews up)

Rachel said...

Pennycomequick!

(its an area (and a pub) in Plymouth)

kaiki said...

jayne - i grew up in jollys bottom - near chacewater, isn't it ? it still makes me giggle childishly.
james - tee hee hee 'cocks' - i know it well, but last time i was down that way the parish council were in the process of trying to have it renamed because folks kept trying to steal the roadsigns. not sure if that is still the case, i hope not.
my friends and i recently devised a game whereby you had to put cornish placenames into a pornographic context (we were bored AND drunk) - "i took 'er up the mous'ole" had me falling off my chair laughing but i guess you had to be there.

Orb said...

"Pick up a Cornishman". Nice.

While researching for a film once I came across a reference to the US Army's much-loved WWII-era magazine, named "Yank". Rather marvellously, the cover of every single issue bore, in beautiful big white letters on a red background, the salutory title "YANK the Army weekly".

Sound basis for a stable and prepared fighting force, that policy.

Sorry - that was possibly a bit ruder than Cornwall.

Well, maybe not all of it. I'm sure Cornwall has some bits that are pretty damn rude.

I'll shut up now.

Anonymous said...

Whilst travelling in Western Australia (location of some international standard Stupid Place Names) I happened upon a sign for Useless Loop.

That kept me going for a good 4 weeks or so.

Closer to home, my parents' wedding anniversairy was celebrated in Lower Slaughter (by my parents, I hasten to add, not the townspeople).

Anonymous said...

While researching my family tree, I discovered that one of my great great grandmothers was born in Praze an Beeble. On the other hand another of my great great grandmothers was born in Witton Gilbert County Durham, so Cornwall hasn't cornered the market on silly place names.

Nugglymammoo

llewtrah said...

I found a site that listed rude placenames in the vicinity of one's postcode. Cock Clarks seems to be about it for this area. Aythorpe Roding used to be nicknamed Gaythorpe Roding cos that's where the gay pub was.

Rose said...

My favourite has always been the Yorkshire village we always passed en-route to somewhere in the Dales for a family holiday: Upper Ramsbottom.