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What's in a Name? Plenty, Apparently!

Updated on October 18, 2011

Go to Puerto Vallarta is my advice!

Blackpool in summer:  Beach anyone!?
Blackpool in summer: Beach anyone!?

"Fickleshole." Why did I marry you!!

During my early morning musings today, my fevered mind settled on the subject of names of population centers and whether they had any effect on the residents.

The persons who prompted this inner debate, were Ola Jordan and her husband, James Jordan, who are currently cutting the light fantastic with two celebrities (damn the word) on Simply Come Dancing in the UK. I noticed that James was British and born in Gillingham in Kent.

I happen to know Gillingham from being stationed close in Chatham during my navy service many moons ago and a more drab and dull place takes some locating. I wondered that if Gillingham had been called, say, San Francisco, it would have been a better, more interesting and attractive town. I thought perhaps it might.

I then thought of other British cities and how their names reflected the misery and despair, along with better days, that was their story up until 2011.

Liverpool, for example. If you're suffering with depression and want to graduate to suicidal, go stay for a week in Liverpool during a British winter. I mean, the very name Liverpool conjures up an image of “a malodorous puddle of stagnant fluid reposing deep inside an organ of a decaying corpse.”

Then there’s the fair city of Hull. “A hulk of a beached trawler abandoned on an icy beach.”

How about Stoke on Trent. “An insatiable coal-hole devouring more than we can give.”

If Liverpool wasn’t enough, go stay in Britain’s top resort, yes, Blackpool. Do you need any help finding an image for that!

Britain’s fishing industry is nearly dead these days; do you think the name of its centre helped its demise...Grimsby. “Ay, lad, things is real grim around here these days.” I bet they were.

The industrial north of the UK is full of cities with names guaranteed to make the residents feel dour every day, if the economy wasn’t enough.

The old textile city of Lancashire, Blackburn. Never mind a name that might have made people feel up beat and cheerful, like Grand Rapids in the USA, for example. No, here you will be dead and black when you’ve burned to death!

Bolton, another monumental disaster a bit further south. “Yes, mate, bolt while you have the chance!”

How about Shudderfield! OK, it’s really Huddersfield, but you get the point I’m sure.

Then there’s Pakistan North, Leeds...just add a “B” Bleeds, like the poor folk stuck there these days.

There’s always Wakefield, a few mile further north. One and all are ready for your funeral here!

Fancy another resort? How about the fair town on Scarborough on the East coast of Yorkshire; you will wear the scars of much time here for the rest of your days.

With unemployment as it is in the North (in some places, 50% on welfare), let’s kid ourselves by moving to Workington, actually a better town than the name suggests on the Solway Firth - but still no work there.

Even moving to London in the South-East you have to be careful of your address. “Hounslow,” so are the residents. “Barking,” unhappy canines and crazed residents again (barking-mad).

“Staines,” on the walls, the town-hall, everywhere.

I love this one...“Fickleshole,” That b---h! It’s divorce this time!

“Leighton Buzzard,” and they’re looking for you to drop!

North again: “Sutton Coldfield,” good place for tent camping.

Or “Coalville,” They all live in mine shafts.

If you’re obese, you might consider a move to “Nuneaton,” (no people, they all died of starvation), or for religious bulldust, how about “Kidderminster,” “You really thought I could get you to Heaven! Ha!”

I could go on for ever listing Britain’s sadly named townships and cities. If you were planning a trip here, would you get excited about the names of any of the above?

On the other hand, Britain has many zany and charmingly named villages, especially in the Cotswolds. They are for another hub.


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    • profile image

      diogenes 6 years ago

      Hi Naomi: Thanks for dropping by and the encouragement...Bob

    • profile image

      diogenes 6 years ago

      Hi Naomi: Thanks for dropping by and the encouragement...Bob

    • Naomi's Banner profile image

      Naomi's Banner 6 years ago from United States

      I have always been curious where the towns got their names and why. What a steely peice of work you have here. I love that photo. did you take it? Would make a beauty of a watercolor pic. Keep writing your style is so interesting.

    • akune profile image

      akune 6 years ago from Surrey, England, United Kingdom

      You are such a scream.

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 6 years ago from Arizona

      Bob, great hub with dark humor to the names of accuracy in some cases, enjoyed it and thought f some American city name that reflect their state of existence, peace dust

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

      Oh you do like to make enemies. Don't complain when you get run out of town lol

    • profile image

      diogenes 6 years ago

      Thanks tillsontitan. I should have done more but you know how it is...I only felt very lukewarm about the hub...Bob

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 6 years ago from New York

      Really enjoyable short trip! Knowing the names is one thing but reading them in your context is another. Can't wait till the next hub. Voted up and funny.

    • profile image

      diogenes 6 years ago

      Hi carcro: Yeah, fun doing these hubs when you can't think of anything serious to write about...Bob

    • carcro profile image

      Paul Cronin 6 years ago from Winnipeg

      HaHaHa, that's real good! I love when names of places can be linked to things we don't like!

    • profile image

      diogenes 6 years ago

      Hola preciosa: Como extrano a Mexico! Rx

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      Lady_Tenaz 6 years ago

      This was great my friend. Never knew what half of those places meant, and now I think I won't forget. Thanks for sharing.

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      Sunnie Day 6 years ago

      I have no idea, We are near Ft Hood..always been near military installations...Love the diversity..

    • profile image

      diogenes 6 years ago

      Thanks guys. I heard Paris Texas is the red-neck capital, or used to be...Bob

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      Sunnie Day 6 years ago

      Interesting Bob, Names of towns always intrigue me, wondering how they came about.....I always laugh when someone says,

      "oh yes I am going to Paris"

      " Really? wonderful, I love France"..

      "Oh not France, I am going to Paris, Texas!" lol

    • PETER LUMETTA profile image

      PETER LUMETTA 6 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

      A nice, short, trip through the English countryside and a reminder on why we call places what we do, Thanks Bob,