Britain's rudest place names FEATURE
Feature article by BritEvents.
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Are you proud of the name of your hometown or does it leave you a little red-faced? The rest of the world has place names that may cause raised eyebrows - such as the coastal town of Dildo in Canada - but Britain has a wealth of rude place names that often go unnoticed. Here's a roundup of ten of the most indecent place names to be found in Britain today.
This holiday centre in the New Forest in Hampshire features 120 acres of woods and parkland. On ancient maps it was referred to as 'Sandyballas', which describes the dome-shaped sand and gravel outcrops nearby. The comedy panel show 'Have I Got News For You' made fun of the name by broadcasting the Sandy Balls promotional video to millions of viewers.
In the beautiful county of Dorset lies Shitterton, a tiny hamlet next to the village of Bere Regis. It ranked number nine in the book Rude Britain: The 100 Rudest Place Names in Britain, and its signs were stolen so many times by souvenir collectors, the local council stopped replacing them. Locals eventually contributed to the erection of a huge slab of Purbeck stone carved with the name they are all proud of. This new sign still remains.
Popular with families because of the excellent local school, Lickey End is a beauty spot nestled in the Lickey Hills in Worcestershire. With panoramic views, the hills attract walkers from all over the region. Residents of Lickey End have learned to live with visitors' sniggers and they're still very proud of the name.
Situated on the outskirts of the village of Little Lever, Nob End is now a site of special scientific interest. After the dumping of toxic waste during the nineteenth century, a unique landscape was created that now supports the life of some unusual plants. Many rare species of vegetation can be found here, including various types of orchid.
Pratts Bottom is a small village to the south of Orpington in Kent. Originally called 'Spratts Bottom' in 1773, the name eventually changed to its present form, meaning 'valley of a family called Pratt'. In the early nineteenth century, the village often encountered smugglers and highwaymen, as it used to be on the toll road from London to Hastings. Despite its name, Pratts Bottom remains a highly desirable place to live.
Located in Gloucestershire, one mile from Stow-on-the-Wold, Lower Swell is a picturesque English village with quaint Cotswold stone cottages and a village green. It was named 'Swell', meaning 'burning' or 'funeral pile', after the burnt remains of local nobility were found during the reconstruction of the church. Lower Swell also lies on the River Dikler and is home to the Golden Ball Inn.
Wetwang is a Yorkshire Wolds village, recorded in the Domesday Book as 'Wetuuangha'. Its name either means 'field for the trial of a legal action' or simply 'wet field'. The late Richard Whiteley was made the honorary Mayor of Wetwang, after joking about the village name during episodes of the game show Countdown.
The small settlement of Twatt is located in the Shetland Islands of Scotland. The hamlet's name comes from the ancient Norse definition, meaning 'small parcel of land'. It ranked number four in the book 'Rude Britain', but despite its vulgar sounding name, the place has a raw beauty with breathtaking views.
Penistone is listed in the Domesday Book, and can be dated back to 1066. It is a thriving market town near Barnsley in South Yorkshire, famous for its rugged Penistone sheep and proud farming community. Its name comes from the Old English 'tun', meaning 'farm' or 'village'.
This small village in Devon can be found on the western edge of Dartmoor. In Devonshire dialect 'crap' means 'crop', so it simply means 'crop of stones'. A few years ago, a TV advert featuring Vinnie Jones renowned for his bad language - used the village sign for comic effect.
Just five miles from Lickey End, this small hamlet is situated in the district of Bromsgrove in Worcestershire, set on the busy A491. With only the Bell Inn Pub and a few houses, there are fortunately only a small number of people who have the embarrassment of telling people where they live.
British place names are steeped in history. Considering the evolution of language, it's no wonder that some of them sound rude today. If you look into British street names, there are even more rude names to discover. Next time you have to tell someone where you live, spare a thought for the residents with a slightly embarrassing address.