Yorkshire’s Dumbest Place Names & What They Mean – From Hoo Hole to Wigtwizzle
For every 10 ordinary sounding place names in Yorkshire, there is one special sounding place name.
Then there’s one in a thousand place names that seem odd, if not downright silly, and sometimes a little rude.
How about Hoo Hole, Land of Nod or Thornton-le-Beans? Tickle Cock Bridge and Ugglebarnby, anyone?
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The point is, these place names didn’t sound strange to the people who invented them: Celts, Saxons, Vikings, Normans, etc.
Indeed, their names have mutated over the millennia with local pronunciations and the evolution of language twisting them into barely recognizable forms.
So here are 20 of the dumbest place names and their often mundane original meanings.
You will need to bring your own alcohol if you want to have a drink in this hamlet, at the northern end of the Yorkshire Dales. The name Booze first appeared in 1473 as Bowehous. It comes from old english Boga hus, meaning “house by an arch or a curve”, which is probably a reference to the hill on which the hamlet sits.
This village of Swaledale is not named after a former resident whose stairs did not reach the attic. It derives from old English kraka (raven) and the nordic pot (pit). It refers to a crack in the limestone. Further up the Swale are the ruins of Crackpot Hall, which has the same etymology.
The name of this village on the western edge of the Dales means a ‘farm or dairy belonging to Gikel or Gichel“. The old English personal name Gikel is believed to have derived from the biblical name Judichael.
This name of this hamlet, above Mytholmroyd, means “a hollow in the spur of a hill,” according to Calderdale historian Malcolm Bull.
We could not find any information on the etymology of the name of this farm, at the top Hebden Bridge. It is sometimes spelled Horodiddle. If you know, let us know.
the Kirkby a bit of this village between Harrogate and Wetherby simply means “settlement by a church”. The Overblow bit derives from Oreblow, which refers to its past as a smelting iron.
Green Ginger Land
There are several theories on the origin of the nickname of this alley in the old town of Hull.
- This is where ginger was sold in the Middle Ages.
- It is a corruption of Juggle Lindegroen, member of the Dutch Lindegreen family who lived in Hull.
- It is a corruption of Landgrave granger, that is to say a path which approaches the house of the Landgrave family.
Land of Nod
This hamlet, near Market weight, is probably named after the place mentioned in Genesis 4: 16-18.
Long tongue scrog lane
Another case of an exciting place name with a lackluster meaning. According to the late local Huddersfield historian, Dr George Redmonds, scrog is a dialect word for “scrub” and the way, runs along a long field that looks like a tongue.
A strap in the old geographical sense is a long strip of land and this Holme Valley the village is the low (i.e. lower) strip of land below the village of Upperthong.
This South Yorkshire market town appears in the Domesday Book as Pengeston and Pangeston. It is believed to mean “farm on the hill”.
It has nothing to do with … well, you know what.
The name of this hamlet of Hambleton derives from Old Norse Sexhou, meaning “hill of Sekk” which was probably a Viking dude.
Beans were once grown around this village near Northallerton, formerly known as Thornton-en-Fabis which means the same in Latin. Common Thornton bit means a “farm with thorny bushes”.
That’s it. Sorry, it wasn’t more interesting.
Cock bridge tickling
It is not unknown that vulgar sounding names have vulgar origins, like the name of this underground passage in Castleford.
Word vs ***, originally meaning “a beak or a short pipe”, was already a foul word in the 17th century. And while the underpass, built in 1890, was not a red stain, it was a place where teens from the turn of the 20th century would meet members of the opposite sex.
Prude Wakefield The council renamed it Tittle Cott but the underground passage reverted to its original secular name following complaints from residents.
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Viking farmer Uglubarthr (‘Owl Beard’) had a bi (‘farm’) and this is where this village in the Esk Valley takes its name.
The name of this village, near Driffield, means either in Old Norse “wet field” or “field for trial of legal action”. We like the second suggestion better.
The shortest street in York City Center also has the silliest name.
Separated from portal bit meaning ‘street’, no one really knows the true origin of his name, although he was probably named jokingly.
One theory is that this is the 16th century slang for “What a street!” The other is that it means “neither one thing nor the other”, perhaps because of its extreme brevity.
It used to be called Whitnourwhatnourgate but that doesn’t really help either.
The name of this village of Ribblesdale is probably a derivation of Old English Wincel meaning ‘child’ and value meaning “closure”.
This name of this hamlet, near Sheffield, means “the land of Wicga at the confluence of two streams”. One stream was clearly not enough for the Anglo-Saxon Wicga Chap.
the toft bit means “mound” or “mound” in Old Norse. We’re not sure about the Willi, although that certainly isn’t rude.