No snickering: That road sign means something else

Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 03:29 pm

No snickering: That road sign means something else
By Sarah Lyall
Friday, January 23, 2009

CRAPSTONE, England: When ordering things by telephone, Stewart Pearce
tends to take a proactive approach to the inevitable question "What is
your address?"

He lays it out straight, so there is no room for unpleasant
confusion. "I say, 'It's spelled "crap," as in crap,' " said Pearce,
61, who has lived in Crapstone, a one-shop country village in Devon
for decades.

Disappointingly, Pearce has so far been unable to parlay such delicate
encounters into material gain, as a neighbor once did.

"Crapstone," the neighbor said forthrightly, Pearce related, whereupon
the person on the other end of the telephone repeated it to his
co-workers and burst out laughing. "They said, 'Oh, we thought it
didn't really exist,' " Pearce said, "and then they gave him a free

In the scale of embarrassing place names, Crapstone ranks pretty
high. But Britain is full of them. Some are mostly amusing, like
Ugley, Essex; East Breast, in western Scotland; North Piddle, in
Worcestershire; and Spanker Lane, in Derbyshire.

Others evoke images that may conflict with residents' efforts to
appear dignified when, for example, applying for jobs.

These include Crotch Crescent, Oxford; Titty Ho, Northamptonshire;
Wetwang, East Yorkshire; Slutshole Lane, Norfolk; and Thong,
Kent. And, in a country that delights in lavatory humor, particularly
if the word "bottom" is involved, there is Pratts Bottom, in Kent,
doubly cursed because "prat" is slang for buffoon.

As for Penistone, a thriving South Yorkshire town, just stop that
sophomoric snickering.

"It's pronounced 'PENNIS-tun,' " Fiona Moran, manager of the Old
Vicarage Hotel in Penistone, said over the telephone, rather
sharply. When forced to spell her address for outsiders, she uses
misdirection, separating the tricky section into two blameless parts:
"p-e-n" pause "i-s-t-o-n-e."

Several months ago, Lewes District Council in East Sussex tried to
address the problem of inadvertent place-name titillation by saying
that "street names which could give offense" would no longer be
allowed on new roads.

"Avoid aesthetically unsuitable names," like Gaswork Road, the council
decreed. Also, avoid "names capable of deliberate misinterpretation,"
like Hoare Road, Typple Avenue, Quare Street and Corfe Close.

(What is wrong with Corfe Close, you might ask? The guidelines mention
the hypothetical residents of No. 4, with their unfortunate
hypothetical address, "4 Corfe Close." To find the naughty meaning,
you have to repeat the first two words rapidly many times, preferably
in the presence of your fifth-grade classmates.)

The council explained that it was only following national guidelines
and that it did not intend to change any existing lewd names.

Still, news of the revised policy raised an outcry.

"Sniggering at double entendres is a loved and time-honored tradition
in this country," Carol Midgley wrote in The Times of London. Ed
Hurst, a co-author, with Rob Bailey, of "Rude Britain" and "Rude UK,"
which list arguably offensive place names some so arguably offensive
that, unfortunately, they cannot be printed here said that many such
communities were established hundreds of years ago and that their
names were not rude at the time.

"Place names and street names are full of history and culture, and
it's only because language has evolved over the centuries that they've
wound up sounding rude," Hurst said in an interview.

Bailey, who grew up on Tumbledown Dick Road in Oxfordshire, and Hurst
got the idea for the books when they read about a couple who bought a
house on Butt Hole Road, in South Yorkshire.

The name most likely has to do with the spot's historic function as a
source of water, a water butt being a container for collecting
water. But it proved to be prohibitively hilarious.

"If they ordered a pizza, the pizza company wouldn't deliver it,
because they thought it was a made-up name," Hurst said. "People would
stand in front of the sign, pull down their trousers and take pictures
of each other's naked buttocks."

The couple moved away.

The people in Crapstone have not had similar problems, although their
sign is periodically stolen by word-loving merrymakers. And their
village became a stock joke a few years ago, when a television ad
featuring a prone-to-swearing soccer player named Vinnie Jones showed
Jones's car breaking down just under the Crapstone sign.

In the commercial, Jones tries to alert the towing company to his
location while covering the sign and trying not to say "crap" in front
of his young daughter.

The consensus in the village is that there is a perfectly innocent
reason for the name "Crapstone," though it is unclear what that
is. Theories put forth by various residents the other day included
"place of the rocks," "a kind of twisting of the original word,"
"something to do with the soil" and "something to do with Sir Francis
Drake," who lived nearby.

Jacqui Anderson, a doctor in Crapstone who used to live in a village
called Horrabridge, which has its own issues, said that she no longer
thought about the "crap" in "Crapstone."

Still, when strangers ask where she's from, she admitted, "I just say
I live near Plymouth."
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Type: Discussion • Score: 4 • Views: 4,533 • Replies: 7
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Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 03:37 pm
0 Replies
Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 03:49 pm

No Mumsbottom?

Where ya from? Mumsbottom.
0 Replies
Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 03:55 pm

hey, if it wasn't for the sign, you'd never get to the village of Dildo, Newfoundland

Dildo is a town on the southeastern Dildo Arm of Trinity Bay on the island of Newfoundland, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. It is about 100 kilometres west-northwest of St. John's. South Dildo is a neighbouring unincorporated community.
0 Replies
Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 03:59 pm
One tries to imagine what they have for sale at a Dildo yard sale.
Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 04:00 pm
. . . batteries not included . . .
OK, somebody had to say it.
0 Replies
Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 04:41 pm
It's for this reason that the sign for Hooker Street keeps being stolen.


It's named for the Civil War general. No lie.
0 Replies
Mr Stillwater
Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 05:05 pm
My manager expressed a desire to move to Scunthorpe. He is one seriously disturbed individual.....
0 Replies

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