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Saturday, 25 October 2008

Don't laugh, someone lives there

The Genealogue published an interesting post yesterday about the origin of the name of the Christmas Mountains in the US. The ironic thing about the theories is that one sounds quite reasonable, the other like the opening scenes of a horror film, but the latter is most likely to be true!

Here in the UK, we too have unusually named places. I grew up not far from the Worcestershire village of Wyre Piddle, which sounds awfully painful. However, the name actually comes from the nearby stream. Over in Gloucestershire, you can find the villages of Upper Slaughter and Lower Slaughter. As you can see from the photos on the page I linked to, they are chocolate box pretty, and don't look as though they could be the scene of a massacre. They weren't. The name probably comes from an Old English word, slohtre which means inferior - possibly a reference to boggy land.

I now live in Yorkshire, and the Tykes are not immune to funny names either. They have a Blubberhouses - there are several suggestions for the origins of that name. I thought it may be connected with whaling because of it's proximity to Whitby, but apparently not. There is also a Spacey Houses - I can't find anything about how the village got it's name. Perhaps it was founded by Kevin. If you know, do leave a comment.

If you are wondering about the name of an English town or village, try this site.

So what about your part of the world? Why not share your strange, interesting, funny or downright odd place names.

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