Over to Denmark and the centrally located town of Middelfart that never fails to create quite the giggle with road-trippers often going well and truly out of their way to pose with the sign. Not that the Middelfart region isn’t worth a visit in its own right as it is home to some really charming historical attractions and an equally charming 14,000 or so residents.
Back in England and to an example that has retained its name unless the “embarrassment” of Conisbrough, the hugely popular and historical holiday center of Sandy Balls can be found in Hampshire, owing its name to the time of Henry VIII.
Perhaps the history of the name is the reason for its continuation… not that I remain bitter about the South Yorkshire example of course.
Twatt is the name of a small, remote village found in Scotland. More specifically the Shetland Islands. The actual name itself derives from a historical Norse term which translates as “small parcel of land”; which is a thousand times more charming than its current meaning when used in slang English terms. Indeed, the settlement of Twatt is listed as the fourth rudest name to be found anywhere in Britain – the remaining three you will have to find elsewhere as they are too near the bone to list here. And for your information, there is also another Twatt in Orkney…
The entries are indeed coming thick and fast from the UK, with our number-2 being the considerably less rude though entirely more bizarre Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate – which is the smallest street in the city of York and is perhaps one of the most charming too. Not that its merit matters here of course as all we are interested in is the ridiculous name, which according to an official translation provided on the road itself states that the handle originates from “Whitnourwhatnourgate” which in turn translates as “What a street”.
Others contest this however and adamantly state the correct translation is closer to “Neither one thing nor the other”.
Taumata whakatangihanga koauau o Tamatea turi pukaka piki maunga horo nuku pokai whenua ki tana tahu
If you have even made an attempt to read our final entry correctly then Kudos to you. As for all those who suspected that the charming town of Llanfair-pwllgwyngyll-gogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch in Wales carried an impressive and frankly terrifying mouthful of a name, tremble at the might of Taumata-whakatangihanga-koauau-o-tamatea-turi-pukaka-piki-maunga-horo-nuku-pokai-whenua-ki-tana-tahu.
This modest hill of 305 meters with a less-than-modest moniker can be found in Southern New Zealand and takes the title of, by far, the longest name using the English alphabet today.
Needless to say, the name is usually abbreviated to Taumata, even by those living in the locality. For those looking for meaning, the term is said to translate as “The summit where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, the climber of mountains, the land-swallower who traveled about, played his nose flute to his loved one.”
Unimpressed? Well, there is always the alternative 105 letter name for the same place of Taumata-whakatangihanga-koauau-o-Tamatea-haumai-tawhiti-ure-haea-turi-pukaka-piki-maunga-horo-nuku-pokai-whenua-ki-tana-tahu, which in this instance translates to “The hill of the flute playing by Tamatea — who was blown hither from afar, had a slit penis, grazed his knees climbing mountains, fell on the earth, and encircled the land — to his beloved”.
Just rolls of the tongue beautifully, doesn’t it?
Do You Know Of Any Funny Place Names?
Please, let us know in the comments below and make sure you include as much information and references as possible. We’re constantly looking for new additions to this list. It can get weirder than this, can’t it?