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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Funny Signs in England

What if you had to live in a town called Crapstone? or Pratts Bottom? OR, worse yet, Penistone? What if you lived on Butt Hole Road? How would you answer the question of, "What's your address"? Would you blush as the words left your lips? Mumble it out and hope the listener understood? Wish with all your might that you lived somewhere else but proudly proclaim the name? Well, in England they seem to have a wealth of such town names and luridly funny street names, as well as a healthy mix of opinions. But, being that I am centered around the sign industry, it is the actual signs themselves that leave me breathless with mirth.

Though the residents have varied and tactful responses to Sarah Lyall, a reporter with The New York Times, I can only imagine (and cringe at) their embarrassment. Had it been I that was questioned, I would have quickly slunk off to a hidden corner and remained there till I was sure all had gone home. However, it appears that, despite any embarrassment, residents of such towns enjoy the humorous aspect and the double entendres of the names. I suppose it makes more sense if you picture a pub in England where the old timers sit around drinking a beer or two while reminiscing about good old days in Spanker Lane or Wetwang. How pleasantly quaint! Just the thought causes my lips to quirk in a smile.

The fact is, no matter how you envision such obtuse and politically incorrect verbiage, you have to admit that it certainly gives people something to talk about! What better way to spend the day than taking a hike down Butt Hole Road, Fanny Avenue, Willey Lane, Titty Ho or Asshouse Lane with a few of your closest friends? Or spending the day taking in the sites of Crapstone? Come on now... you know you want to laugh... go ahead... we won't tell!

For more information on lurid and politically incorrect street names and towns, Ed Hurst, a co-author with Rob Bailey, of “Rude Britain: The 100 Rudest Place Names in Britain” and “Rude UK: 100 Newly Exposed British Back Passages, Streets, and Towns,” gives you more than you could possibly imagine. In "Rude Britain", Rob Bailey and Ed Hurst take readers on a delightful stroll up Lickers Lane to Honey Knob Hill, peek into Beaver Close and enjoy a well-deserved sit down in the delightful Dorset hamlet of Shitterton. Then, after a year touring around the bestselling "Rude World", Rob and Ed have decided to return to dear old Blighty. The result is a triumphant homecoming tour that has uncovered 100 more delightfully rude British place names to treasure, from the hidden charms of Slack Bottom and Fanny Street to an unforgettable glimpse of Cocking. Filled with photographs of actual road signs and the fascinating etymological origins of every featured place name, this delightfully rude book is laugh-out-loud funny though the authors are keen to stress that it is all perfectly innocent (, 2008).


Further information on this story can be found in The New York Times By SARAH LYALL. Published: January 22, 2009 .

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