Monday, April 11, 2005

Strange and Funny Names 1

I've been living here in the UK for quite awhile and even in the first few months I was struck by how strong the influence of language to their culture. It's no wonder that in such a small country, with everyone more or less speaking the same language, you can find a lot of different accents depending not just on the region but also on the socio-economic level they're in. In just one city alone, London for example, you find so many variations of the English accent. This language-centric trait is also reflected in their love of the written word which accounts for their rich literary heritage and their first-rate theatrical traditions. But for me, the most intriguing and interesting consequence would be the use in everyday colloquial terms. Often when travelling all over the country I would delight or laugh out loud at the strange and funny names I encounter.

With this post I hope to chronicle via pictures all the weird, bizzarre, or sometimes hilarious names not only here in UK but from all over the world. Mind you these are authentic and not at all 'photo enhanced'.

Let's start with something that even an NHS hospital tried to rename as a 'Spotted Richard':

As you would have guessed, Spotted Dick (or Spotted Dog) is not some man's private parts with a bad case of chicken pox. But a suet-based steamed dessert (pudding) with raisins (the spots) and served with custard.

Faggots are not some un-PC name for a maligned member of the society but meatballs made of pork liver, bread, and spices. Welsh in origin though I think some English counties would contest that.

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