Toponymy - The Study of Unusual Place Names
The study of unusual place names is called Toponymy. Have you ever lived in a place with a strange name? What happens is that everyone who lives there becomes oblivious of the name's amusing connotation.
Another common occurrence is that people in the area refer to the place with a strange pronunciation. For example, I stayed for a while in charming village in Cornwall called Mousehole. Did the people who live nearby pronounce it Mouse Hole? No, they refer to it as 'Mousle', the aitch is silent.
Here are Will and Guy's favourite examples of toponymy, we hope that at least one makes you smile:
Will and Guy's Top Ten Selection of Funny Place Names May Make You Laugh.....or at least smile.
The tourist trap in this town 15 miles north west of Ann Arbor
Would you believe such a funny story? Will and Guy are fascinated with the fact that these two places are linking their townships.
Boring, in Oregon, was named so after William H Boring a former Union soldier and resident in the area. Dull, on the other hand, is a small Scottish village and was possibly named after the Gaelic word for meadow or perhaps snare - the true derivation remains unknown.
In order to improve tourism the two places have arranged to pair up. They each could benefit by the sale of road signs, souvenirs and memorabilia.
Play a Game of Twinning Towns, For Example
Romeo in Michigan, USA with Joliet in Illinois, USA [Juliet].
Or, worse: Harrisburg PA, USA, with Chernobyl, Ukraine!
A Special Mention of Ugley, Essex UK
There is village called Ugley in Essex, furthermore they have an Ugley Women's Institute. ** We have also heard reports of an Ugley Landfill site!
** Yes there is, they're in the Essex Federation of Women's Institute! I used to live nearby.
The village also has a newspaper, Ugley Village Magazine Indeed, the Ugley Friendship Club meets there. Thanks to Hannu Ylioja for the extra information on this toponym.
Update, A.N. reports there is an Ugley Landfill Site. He points out the derivation of the word / village is from the Saxon description of Ugga's Meadow.
It took us a while to find 'No Place', people reported it existed then Stephen Scullion of Gateshead pointed the way to this hamlet near Stanley. The nearest towns are Consett, Chester-le Street and Durham itself. The name 'No Place' seems rather modern, that is 20th century. As usual, there are several theories for the origin of No Place, but our favourite is that none of the local parishes wished to own this collection of houses.
Here is a Sister of Toponymy - Aptonym (A name aptly suited to its owner)
In Newark Nottinghamshire, there is a country road called: BIBLE THUMPERS LANE!
Kindly sent by Joy.
Toponymy in France
France's funniest village names
The weekend of July 6th -7th 2013 saw the annual convention of the unique 'Association des Communes de France aux Noms Burlesque et Chantants', (French villages and communes with funny names). Here's a selection of some of the towns and villages who are proud members.
Their first official meeting was held in Minjocèbos ("eat an onion" in Occitan , a hamlet of Saint-Lys ) in 2003. The location of this year's annual get together was Vinsobres or "sober wine" in the Drôme department of south east France.
Bouzillé -a quaint village in the Maine et Loire department of western France has the same sound as "bousiller" the French verb which means "to cock up" or "screw up".
Corps-Nud – meaning Naked Body, often inspires visitors to this Brittany village to strip off to have their photo taken right next to the sign.
Monteton - The Village of "My Nipple" is in the Lot et Garonne department of south western France.
Saint Barbant - If there ever was a patron saint of boredom he or she would probably have come from the village of Saint Barbant (Saint Boring) in the Haute-Vienne department of central western France
Trécon - The village of "Very stupid" or "Big idiot" (Tres con, as it is written normally) is a charming little place in the Marne department of north west France, but perhaps not one to have your picture taken next to the sign.
Arnac La Poste - "Fraudulent post office", or "Post office scam", whichever ever way you prefer. The key is 'arnac' which is pronounced the same as the French word 'arnaque' which means "scam" or "con". The village stands half way between Paris and Toulouse in Limousin.
Coubisou - The beautifully village of Coubisou is situated in the Aveyron region of southern France and literally means "neck kiss", whether that's because it's what the locals demand when you turn up is unsure.
If you like this page then please share it with your friends
See more humorous names: