I Bid Snottingham

As you may know, Nottingham used to be called Snottingham but they changed the name. Lots of places used to have rude names; the latest one to change is Fucking in Austria – probably pronounced ‘foo-king’ – where they got fed up with tourists taking selfies with the road signs.

But we don’t need to descend to that level; there are some delightful place names in Britain. Without having to travel too far I can visit Frisby on the Wreake, Osgathorpe, Sinope, Sheepy Magna and Barton in the Beans. Then there are the unpronounceable places, such as Cogenhoe (Cook-no) and Bozeat (Bodgit) in Northants. Cornwall boasts some even better villages, such as Zennor (where D H Lawrence once holed up), Bosporthennis and Cripplesease (there must be a history behind that last one.) And let us not forget Wetwang which Douglas Adams immortalised in The Meaning of Liff as ‘a moist penis.’

But I began with Nottingham because it is associated with snot, firstly because of the original name and secondly because of the advert where a man bunged up with cold asks for a ‘secodd glass returd to Dottighab.’ I think the advert is for Tunes, those square menthol sweets that were a nastier version of Spangles; anyway, he pops one in his mouth and magically his nostrils clear allowing him to intone: ‘A second class return to Nottingham please.’

I don’t know if Tunes still exist but even if they did I wouldn’t bother because they never had that effect on me. With a cold such as the one inhabiting my sinuses at the moment I generally take ginger tea with turmeric or honey and lemon, plus echinacea – except that we’re out of echinacea at the moment, so I’m having to take hypericum. Not to mention sitting around and groaning a lot. The groaning is very important.

Hopefully I’ll be better tomorrow.

Kirk out

5 thoughts on “I Bid Snottingham

  1. It’s not that we’re out of Echinacea. I just don’t trust it and prefer to use other anti-virals.

    Leominster, Towcester, Sevenoaks (but nobody pronounces that “correctly” these days), Beauchamp, Belvoir and Zouch! I wonder which area’s the counterintuitive pronunciation concentrationest?

  2. During high school, my friend there went on holiday to Phuket, Thailand. We found that amusing, at least the way we pronounced it.

  3. Some place names in Norfolk confused me when I moved here. The town of Wymondham is known as ‘Wyndum’. When I used to say ‘Why-mond-ham’, it made people laugh. Also Happisburgh, on the coast. This is known to locals as ‘Hazeborough’, for some reason. My version of ‘Happy’s-borough’ brought raised eyebrows.
    You can still buy Tunes. they are sugar free now.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. I knew about Wymondham but not Happisburgh. The East Coast is traditionally the first holiday choice for people in Leicestershire. During the July fortnight you could meet half of Leicester in Cromer

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