Funny Place Names

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Funny Place Names

Post by Shelley » Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:52 pm

This was in the on-line New York Times today -- and I thought the folks in Flushing had it bad!
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Re: Funny Place Names

Post by PhilHunt » Sat Jan 24, 2009 12:22 pm

Thanks for that Shelley. My wife an I had a giggle over some of the names. ;)

In Italy, place names and surnames offer me no end of amusement. For example, my mother-in-law is called Mosconi which translates as 'big flies' or 'fat flies'.
There is an airport near Milano called 'Milano Malpensa'. Malpensa literally means 'Bad Thinking' or 'Thinking Badly'.
I always joke with my wife that it's a 'bad idea' to fly from that airport.
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Re: Funny Place Names

Post by violablue » Sun Jan 25, 2009 12:30 pm

Shelley, that was a very funny article in the paper. Oh my goodness, I got such a laugh out of it! I'm going to have to take a look around Los Angeles and see if I can find some of the funny place names. I'll get back to you with them after I do.

violablue
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Re: Funny Place Names

Post by Erik_Kowal » Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:35 am

My mother's street address has a postcode that ends in 'JT'.

When I was visiting her some years ago I overheard her spelling it out to a former colleague on the phone:

"... J for John and T for Thomas".

She realised straightaway what she had said, and we all had a good laugh.
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Re: Funny Place Names

Post by Ken Greenwald » Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:53 am

Erik, That one went over my head, but when I looked it up I found that john thomas is a U.K. expression, largely unfamiliar to those of us in the U.S. But now I can laugh!

ENCARTA

JOHN THOMAS (plural John Thomases) noun: U.K. and offensive term for penis (slang ) [Origin ?)
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OXFORD DICTIONARY OR SLANG

JOHN THOMAS(1879), John or john (1934): Male genitals [arbitrary use of a male name]
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CASSELL’S DICTIONARY OF SLANG

john thomas noun 1) [late 17th century and still in use] (also john thomson, Sir Thomas): The penis (cf. ‘abraham’). 2) A liveried servant. [? like the former the latter ‘stands’ in the presence of a lady]

j.t. noun [20th century]: The penis. [abbreviation for john thomas]
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OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY

John Thomas: (a) a generic name for a livery servant; (b) slang, the penis.

John [[1934]]: Abbreviation of John Thomas
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<1928 “So I wrote my novel, which I want to call John Thomas and Lady Jane. . . But that I have to submerge into a subtitle, and call it Lady Chatterley’s Lover .”—Letter to Witter Bynner, 13 March 1928, from D. H. Lawrence> [[John Thomas and Lady Jane, an earlier and his less explicit draft of Lady Chatterley, was published posthumously in 1972. Lawrence well knew the meaning of the British slang euphemism and is what he had Lady Chatterley call her gamekeeper's penis.]]

<1934 “Here [at public-school] his first linguistic experience will be with mumfordish and swear-words (e.g. . . . john ‘penis’. . .).”— Neuphilologische Mitteilungen, Vol. 35, page 130> [[from OED]]

<1948 “How often did the nurse find him with his old john lying limply?”—Cunninghams by D. Ballantyne, II. xvi. page 241> [[from OED]]

<1971 “sneakin’ around scriblin’ John Thomas on the wall?”—Bazza Pulls it Off by B. Humphries

<1972 “The grotesquely coy accounts of sex, during which Tony tells that his ‘John Thomas wa ‘up and raring to go.’”—Times Literary Sulpplement (London> [[from Oxford Dictionary of Slang by Jojn Ayto]]

<1972 “The tip of old John brushed against the inside of my thigh.”—Private View by C. Murry, I. page 33>

<1993 “For Men, The Unkindest Cut of All . . . Forget dreams about falling, showing up unprepared for an exam or losing your teeth. There is one nightmare that strikes fear in men that Satan himself could not make worse: The knife comes out of the dark, the razor slashes, the guillotine falls, and whooosh. No more penis. No more manhood. No fatherhood. John Thomas is gone.—Washington Post, 25 June> [[A rare appearance of the phrase in a U.S. newspaper. From the infamous Bobbit case – I still think they should have left in the lot where she threw it.]]

<2001 “ED affects about 18 per cent of men aged between 50 and 59 but, for obvious reasons, only a tiny percentage comes forward for treatment. . . . Luckily, medical miracles and John Thomas doctors mean that help is at hand, but it'll cost you.”—The Independent (London), 2 December>

<2003 (book review) “. . . a three-page essay on naming children, . . . warns that some first names ‘have acquired meanings of their own, . . . In his list of . . . names he includes: . . . Bill ('invoice'), Dotty (‘crazy, daft'), Hector ('pester'), . . . John Thomas (‘penis’), . . ? It is clearly sensible not to call your baby boy John Thomas, since it means ‘penis’ . . .”—The Spectator (London), 17 May>

<2007 (sports) “What about that poor geezer who cut off his own penis in a London restaurant? The things you have to do to catch the waiter's eye these days. I wonder if he left a tip? . . . Luckily he was rushed to St John Thomas' Hospital for emergency repairs, . . . Though there's no clear motive for the unkindest cut, rumours are he'd backed West Brom for promotion and Monday's defeat at Burnley was the final straw.”—The Mirror (London), 25 April>

<2008 “Any verbal reference to the lower half of the body or its functions was . . . considered bad education. In England, discreet allusion was [
] the rule: a prostitute was never a whore, but called an ‘academician,’ or a ‘cat’ if she was drunk; ‘glue’ meant venereal disease, a vulva was called ‘leather’ and ‘to be in his altitude’ was used of someone who was drunk. Female breasts were referred to as ‘globes’ or ‘hemispheres,’ or as a ‘milk-shop,’ a ‘feeding bottle’ or a ‘baby’s public house,’ which at least describes their nursing function. When John Thomas met Fanny, Mary Jane or Lady Jane, the penis had entered the vagina. To ‘urinate’ was to ‘plant a sweet pea,’ ‘shake hands with an old friend,’ or, more often, to ‘spend a penny.’”—Orgasm and the West by R. Muchembled, page 164> [[Note: The author attributes these expressions to the Victorian era (circa 1840-1900), but ‘spend a penny’ derives from coin-operated toilets and Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang dates this expression from the 1930s]]

(quotes from archived sources except as noted)

Note: I’m going to consolidate this discussion on john thomas with an older one on a similar topic and call it johnson / john thomas / john -- penis synonym .
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Ken – January 26, 2009
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Re: Funny Place Names

Post by trolley » Tue Jan 27, 2009 1:16 am

In Newfoundland, there is a "Dildo Island" I'm not sure of the thought process behind the name, but the town of Dildo has a Dildo Museum and each summer they celebrate "Historic Dildo Days". Sounds like a happening place. Still, you've gotta give the prize to Butt Hole Road. I wonder if that's the road less travelled, that I've heard so much about.
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Re: Funny Place Names

Post by Erik_Kowal » Tue Jan 27, 2009 3:23 am

I've heard it began with a fork in the wood.
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Re: Appropriately Funny Names

Post by violablue » Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:21 am

In the San Fernando Valley in Southern Calif. there are a number of Chinese Restaurants called "OK Chinese Food".

I found a street in West Hollwood called "Queen's Road"...[If this one needs explanation, just let me know and I'll add it in my next reply.]

My brother-in-law told me about this one -- it's not about a place but I think it fits into this discussion. The Chevy Nova apparently has not done well in Spanish-speaking countries due to the fact that in Spanish "no va" means "no go".
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Re: Funny Place Names

Post by Bobinwales » Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:15 am

Can I point out that Brits, certainly of my generation, would not think of butt being a name for a fundament? It’s just a word we would not use in that context. Water butt certainly, and I would think of a butt hole as being a hole where a water butt was placed, or possibly the bung hole.
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Re: Funny Place Names

Post by JANE DOErell » Tue Jan 27, 2009 6:12 pm

Several places in the US have names of streets like Staya Way and Getta Way, Keepa Way and Outatha Way. They start out as private names in unincorporated developments. I don't know if the city governments can change them when they incorporate the areas.
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Re: Funny Place Names

Post by Shelley » Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:47 am

Trolley, when you suggested Butt Hole Road might be the road less travelled, I wanted to say, "Don't go there, trolley". (Not that there's anything wrong with it!)

Bobinwales, is "butt" the word for "tap" then, where you're from -- as in "water tap" or the tap on a keg?

Jane DOErell I have never seen any "ways" called such, but I'll keep an eye out for them. How great!

In my old life there was an intersection in the neighborhood: the corner of Nixon Road and Bluett Road. Of course, it was only Nixon Bluett to us. I've also encountered an intersection way up in the northern tip of Manhattan: corner of Seaman and Cumming. Je ne fais pas la jeste!
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Re: Funny Place Names

Post by trolley » Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:18 am

I’m not sure that anyone wants this information, but here goes. Perhaps the name sounds funnier on this side of the water because the words have lost (or gained) a little something during the voyage. We don’t use the term butt hole to describe a thing, but rather an action. It’s …well, it’s, umm, it’s, oh bugger! I should have taken the high road.
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Re: Funny Place Names

Post by violablue » Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:41 am

Go ahead, just say it (or write it) -- a "butt hole" is often used the same as an "ass hole", to mean a really not nice person and/or the place where defecation occurs. (In several members of the animal kingdom it is the cloaca, but that's not really important.)

By the way, did anyone get that reference to "Queen's Road" in West Hollywood? Or is it just me who thinks that it's rather humerous to name a street "Queen's Road" in a citiy known for being a place where gay, lesbian and transgendered people live and play? (There's also a "King's Road", but that's not funny.) West Hollywood, California is well-known for its Halloween celebration and the yearly Gay Pride Parade, both of which close down the main street of West Hollywood for days.
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Re: Funny Place Names

Post by Tony Farg » Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:35 am

No, Shelley. The Butt is the keg.
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Re: Funny Place Names

Post by Bobinwales » Thu Jan 29, 2009 10:33 am

You wouldn't believe that there is a company called Water Butts Direct would you? I really should have guessed.
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