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Google Maps

43 Charmingly Odd British Town Names

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Google Maps

During a drive through Great Britain, the brilliant Lyza Danger Gardner noticed something odd about the little towns: their names. While many of them were pedestrian, some stuck out as suggestive, bizarre, or just a bit off. Presented with minimal comment, here are 43 of my favorites from a list she maintains.

1. Upton Snodsbury

It's in Worcestershire, near North Piddle.

2. Pucklechurch

In lovely South Gloucestershire.

3. Barton in the Beans

It exists.

4. Curry Mallet

Right at a crossroads in Somerset.

5. Droop

The Droop in Dorset, U.K. should not be confused with Droop, W.V., U.S.A.

6. Throop

In Dorchester, near Affpuddle.

7. Plumpton

In East Sussex, not too far from Ditchling.

8. Lickfold

In Lodsworth.

9. Warninglid

In West Sussex.

10. Nomansland

There are actually two Nomanslands in the U.K.: one in Wiltshire and another in Devon. See also: No Man's Land Fort.

11. Uploders

In Dorset, along the River Asker.

12. Matching Tye

In Essex. Sadly, there is (are) no Matching Trousers.

13. Nether Wallop

In Hampshire, a real kick in the pants.

14. Poling

In West Sussex, just south of Crossbush.

15. Patching

Also in West Sussex, quite near Poling.

16. Climping

Another West Sussex gem.

17. Didling

My kingdom for an additional "d" in West Sussex.

(If you must know, there is a Diddling Way in Florida.)

18. Crudwell

In Wiltshire. Note that there is also a West Crudwell, and beyond that, Chedglow.

19. Puddletown

An adorably-named spot in Dorset, near our next three spots....

20. Tolpuddle

A village just east of....

21. Affpuddle

Another village, also just east of....

22. Briantspuddle

Ah, Briantspuddle. Just down the road from Throop.

23. Westward Ho!

In Devon! On the coast!

24. Upper Bucklebury

In West Berkshire, south of Bucklebury proper.

25. Mudford Sock

In Somerset, west of Hummer.

26. New Invention

In West Midlands.

27. Picklescott

In Shropshire, northeast of Ratlinghope.

28. Marsh Gibbon

In Buckinghamshire.

29. Blubberhouses

In North Yorkshire.

30. Mamble

In Worcestershire.

31. Tedstone Wafre

In Herefordshire, and with the alternate spelling "Tedstone Wafer."

32. Hose

In Leicestershire.

33. Hoby

Also in Leicestershire.

34. Shoby

Another Leicestershire favorite, a short jaunt from Saxelbye.

35. Thrumpton

In Nottinghamshire.

36. Bitchfield

In Lincolnshire, southwest of Humby and Great Humby.

37. Over Peover

In Cheshire East. To the east? Peover Heath. To the south? Badgerbank.

38. Wetwood

In Stafford.

39. Wetwang

In Yorkshire, due east of Uncleby.

40. Papplewick

In Nottingham.

41. Bishop's Ichington

In Warwickshire.

42. Queen Camel

In Somerset, southeast of Compton Pauncefoot.

43. Great Snoring

In Fakenham, Norfolk. Yes, really.

Now I say good day to you all, and we shall discuss this naughtiness after a nice nap.

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The Funniest Word in the English Language? 'Booty,' According to New Survey
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Some words, regardless of their meaning, are simply more chuckle-worthy than others. To determine which expressions in the English language are truly the most comical, Smithsonian reports that psychologists at the University of Warwick in the UK conducted a survey in which they asked people to rate the “humor value” of a sampling of chosen words. They recently published their findings in the journal Behavior Research Methods.

The researchers selected nearly 5000 words, and then used Amazon’s online crowdsourcing tool Mechanical Turk to ask more than 800 individuals to rank the humor value of 211 randomly chosen words from the list, on a scale from 1 (humorless) to 5 (humorous). Likely not surprising to anyone with younger siblings, the funniest word ended up being “booty,” with an average ranking of 4.32. In descending order, the remaining top 12 words—which all received a score of 3.9 or higher—were “tit,” “booby,” “hooter,” “nitwit,” “twit,” “waddle,” “tinkle,” “bebop,” “egghead,” “ass,” and “twerp.”

Why these words are so funny remains fuzzy. But when they analyzed their findings according to age and gender, the researchers did find that sexually suggestive words like “orgy” and “bondage” tended to tickle the funny bones of men, as did the words “birthmark,” “brand,” “chauffeur,” “doze,” “buzzard,” “czar,” “weld,” “prod,” “corn,” and “raccoon.”

Meanwhile, women tended to laugh at the words “giggle,” “beast,” “circus,” “grand,” “juju,” “humbug,” “slicker,” “sweat,” “ennui,” “holder,” “momma,” and “sod.” As for people under the age of 32, they were amused by “goatee,” “joint,” and “gangster,” while older participants liked “squint,” “jingle,” “burlesque,” and “pong.” Across the board, all parties were least amused by words like “rape,” “torture,” and “torment.”

Although humor is complex and dependent on elements like syntax and delivery, the study's researchers say that breaking comedy down to single-word units could demystify its essence.

“The research initially came about as a result of our curiosity,” said Tomas Engelthaler, the study’s lead author, in a press release. “We were wondering if certain words are perceived as funnier, even when read on their own. It turns out that indeed is the case. Humor is an everyday aspects of our lives and we hope this publicly available dataset allows future researchers to better understand its foundations.”

[h/t Smithsonian]

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Chris Weeks // Staff // Getty Images
Watch the Original Spinal Tap Short Film
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Chris Weeks // Staff // Getty Images

Spinal Tap formed in 1979, five years before the classic film This is Spinal Tap premiered. They performed on TV and began developing their personas as idiotic heavy metal monsters.

When the band, along with director Rob Reiner, went to pitch their mockumentary to production companies, nobody "got it." It wasn't clear what an unscripted comedy pseudo-documentary would feel like. So Reiner asked for the screenplay fee—$60,000—to be paid up front as a budget for a short proof-of-concept film.

That skimpy budget went a very long way, allowing the group to produce The Last Tour, a 20-minute Spinal Tap film exploring some of the plot (and many of the songs) that appeared in the later film This is Spinal Tap. There's a surprising amount of concert footage, as various bits that were repeated in Tap (some interview clips were even used in Tap unaltered).

The Last Tour is delightful because it shows a well-developed idea being implemented on the cheap. The wigs are terrible, the sound is spotty, but the vision is spot-on. The characters and the core story of the group (including a string of dead drummers) is already in place, and we get to see the guys improvise together. Tune in (and be aware there's plenty of salty language here):

(Note: Around 4:38 in the clip above, we see Ed Begley, Jr. as original drummer John "Stumpy" Pepys in the "Gimme Some Money" video. Stumpy died in a gardening accident, of course.)


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