Monday, August 13, 2007

Jolly, his Bottom, and a pile of un-interesting rocks

(so don't drop off the end)

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Have I mentioned before that I love names? Place names and people names, their origins and histories can have me glued to a book, or a web page for hours.

A friend lives at Jolly's Bottom. I have often wondered who Jolly was, and why his bum became a very pretty farm. Skinner and his Bottom End are just a couple of miles up the road and it drives me mad that I can't find out why these Bottom's are where they are. Cornwall, probably like most counties, is soaked with odd names and many Cornish place names are all tied up with the original (extremely confusing) Cornish language.

I live near a hill called Carn Brea. Carn means 'rock' and Brea means 'pile' - imaginative lot those ancestors. The Cornish didn't appear to name places after their founders, or any significant local person as many English towns do. Marazion (an interesting seaside town) means 'Thursday market' and Zennor(wild and beautiful) means 'dwelling at the entrance to an isolated place' and we probably shouldn't ask about Prospididnick.

Other names that tickle my fancy are Shoppa, Joppa, Portwinkle, Perranuthnoe (try saying that when you're pissed) and Cripplesease. Names here are born in Celtic roots, bastardised and modernised leaving some weird and wonderful one house towns called Nowhere, Nine Maidens and the very peculiar Botusflemyng.

I suppose if I was going to choose a place to live it should be Crows an Wra (pronounced Crouse n' Raa) which simply means 'Witches Crossing'.

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22 comments:

The Moon Topples said...

Well, as a denizen of Chicago (which translates roughly as "the smell of onions") I am in no position to judge anyone's place-names.

Nonetheless, downstate Illinois contains Normal and Oblong, among others. Oblong, for its part, claims right on the sign entering the town that it is the only Oblong in the world.

Minx said...

Why stop at Oblong (answers on a postcard, and don't tell me they make nice chocolate) when you could have a whole county of Square's, Hexagon's and Equilateral Triangle's?

Onion Town? Interesting.....

Roberta said...

LOL! In our travels over this state we once passed a place called "El Poca Inn" It was run down and obviously not a place one would want to spend the ENTIRE night. Dan and I were howling for miles. The boys didn't get the joke.

Well, El Poka Inn might say it all.

pundy said...

There's a little village near Pundy Mansions called Tough. It can't be easy living there.

Verilion said...

I can't think of anything amusing to say about place names at the mo, but if I do I'll be sure to pop back. Meanwhile I've given you a little pressie, very similar and weight and size to that which you have been given by Vanilla, but oh so fitting!

Kat said...

My little town has Buzzards Glory and Possum Hollow. Where the Amish live there's a town called Charm and one called Stout. I love names too.

Minx said...

I wish someone would just give me the chance to name a town, or I knew where to get a degree in Village Naming.

I am sure I would have a flair for it....

Numptyville

St Dust in Hoover

Fag End

Not-quite-the-bottom-of-the-barrel-as-villages-go-ville.

My list could be endless.....

mutleythedog said...

What superb names... the Celts are still there of course, just mostly invisible to the human eye...

mutleythedog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cailleach said...

Same here in Ireland, Cnoc, means hill and any name with Kil or Kill in it refers to the church, or is it the other way around.
Ahascragh in Galway is one that makes tourists go 'what?'
In pronouncing it, it sounds like a bad sneeze or cough. Don't know exactly what it means, probably a ford or bridge over a nearby river of the Scragh bit.
Names are the bit that give you power, knowing a name and it's provenance really gets me going.
Hi to Mr Onion Town.

Newmania said...

I have sat on Brown Willy which is in Cornwall and looked over the magnificent Moor .We were on holiday near Bude often going to Rock. Rough Tor is near Brown Willy which seems strangely exciting.

Moving swiftly on to the single entendre

Orrgasm Near Fakenham ?

John said...

MT's right about Chicago. It's a native American phrase--Illinois, I believe, but I could be wrong--that translates literally as "field of stinking onions." Of course, now that the lakefront marshlands have been drained and replaced with Lakeshore Drive, aka "the golden mile," it just smells like money.

john.g. said...

Near Dorchester, there is a PIDDLE, and nearby if you're bursting there's PUDDLETOWN, and I live in LEIRE (leer) if you want to watch!

BTW, bloggers nicked my blog! Bodged up one in place.

john.g. said...

Shit, just noticed CRIPPLESEASE, yippee, I need to relax, where is it?

L.M.Noonan said...

Here in Oz, we either have names that made the convicts feel more at home-like Newcastle,Surrey Hills, St Kilda, Sunbury, Stockton and Kew; or indigenous names that tourists have fun with like Gnowangerup,Nhulunbuy,Ngaanyatjarraku, Maribyrnong,Etamunbanie.

My favourites are: Cockabutta,Wongo,Nogoa,Bogan,Cudgegong ,Moonie, Myponga, You Yangs,Dipperu,Barmah, Bongo, Etoo and finally Watanobbi.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

*GASP* Look Minx! You DID bring the Moon out! Maht's been gone too long.

Uh... yah. Your names are pretty funny, Minx, but Noonan's got us all beat, I think.

We have a cripple creek here in Colorado, and my sis lives near Bald Knob in Arkansas. Swear to pete. Bald Knob.

Who in their right mind... oh wait. It's Arkansas. Wonder what the history is on that.... (wicked grin)...


Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Minx said...

Oh wow, those are all wicked.

The naughty Wordcarver has sent me a link to some of the worlds rude places. You Merkans have no shame!

Rude places


Finally, Newmania, we have something in common! I too have sat atop Brown Willy.

John G, Cripplesease is about ten miles from me and is sat between Trink and Belters Hill.

Rudeness aside, my favourite local places are Comfort and Peace (nice pub there).

Cailleach said...

Is this one of these things that one must simply do when one is in Cornwall? Where is Brown Willy? I want to sit there too!

c.s. said...

oh you would love names here in my country: Pasir Ris, Potong Pasir, Toa Payoh, Ang Mo Kio, Jalan Hari Raya, Sembawang, Yishun, Tampines, Woodlands, Geylang, Jurong, Tuas, Tanjong Pagar, Leng Kee, Bedok, Pipit, Tech Ghee, Ngee Ann, etc.

take your pick.

Minx said...

Brown Willy is on Bodmin Moor. This wild and desolate place is Du Maurier country and home of Jamaica Inn (great food and a haunted bedroom). Brown Willy is not that spectacular, if you can see it all. The moor is often covered in a low mist and some miserable looking sheep.

I'll take Sembawang, CS, it sort of rolls off the tongue.

Lizzie said...

There is a place near Malvern called Wyre Piddle. Off the A49 to Shrewsbury is a village called Cheny Longville, which slips off the tongue lightly, so I'd like to live there. Shelsley Beauchamp in Worcerstersire is another name I like to roll around my mouth, so I'd like to live there , too!

Minx said...

There are various 'Piddles' in Dorset - say no more.