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Thread: Funniest or strangest street names in your city

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    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Post Funniest or strangest street names in your city



    It is a very European thing to give fairly unique names to all the streets, even the tinest backalley of any city, town, village, hamlet or country road in the country. Americans don't bother and just give numbers to minor streets. In many Asian countries (e.g. Japan, Korea, Thailand, Indonesia), the authorities also only name major roads and avenues, and do not even have numbers for smaller ones. Chinese street names typically indicate their geographic location (East, West, etc.).

    Back to Europe after 5 years in Asia, I rediscover the delight of happening upon interesting street names while exploring towns and cities. In Brussels, many neighbourhoods have themes for the street names. For instance, around the EU Commission district, the streets have names with connections to Belgian history (Celts Avenue, Ambiorix Square, Clovis Boulevard, Charlemagne Boulevard, Philip the Good street, Maria-Theresa street, Joseph II street...) while in the EU Parliament district, the streets are named after towns on either side of the Eastern border of Belgium (Spa street, Arlon street, Trier street, Luxembourg street...).

    But that's a bit plain. The most interesting names are to be found in the historic centre.

    The first category of street names relates the way the city used to be organised in medieval times. We will find :

    - old job names (butchers' street, hatters' street, dyers' street, tanners' street, spur-makers' street, fishermen's street, jewelers' street, embroiderers' street, carpenters' street, crossbow-makers' street...)
    - market names (coal market, chicken market, herb market, cheese market...)
    - product names (butter street, stone street, pepper street, hop street, parsley street, olive street, wool street...)
    - old quay names (charcoal quay, bricks quay, hay quay, cut stones quay...)

    In the middle of all these regular street names are hidden some of the weirdest names I have ever seen. Here are a few that I remember (English translation in brackets):

    - Rue du chien marin (marine dog street)
    - Rue des boiteux (gimps street)
    - Rue du fossé aux loups (wolves ditch street)
    - Rue de la montagne aux herbes potagères (vegetable garden herbs' mountain street)
    - Rue du chien vert (green dog street)
    - Rue du jardin rompu (broken garden street)
    - Impasse de la fidélité (blind alley of fidelity - as long as it is not "the blind alley of infidelity" !)


    Does your city/town/village have strange or funny street names as well ? Please share them with us here.
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    The town I live has street names taken after the early settlers, lakes or mountains nearby, types of trees, the words used by the Native American tribes in the area, etc.

    -spruce, birch, balsam
    -lake flower, ampersand, cascade
    -kiwassa, algonquin, onchiota
    I know these are not really funny.

    There are funny names like "Chubb River" "Lake Tear of the Clouds" "Pokamoonshine Mountain" for other geographical elements.
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    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    I suppose that American cities do not really have funny names, as the funniest street names here predate the independence of the US. Until the 17th or 18th century, European cities had a city wall, in some cases with ditches around. So I suppose that a street names "wolves ditch street" today was indeed the ditch behind the city wall, and earned its name from the presence of marauding wolves. I do not have an explanation for the green dog, though.

    I could take a map a list all the themes in Brussels. There are also quarters with flower or plant names (probably the most common theme nationwide), bird names, hunting-related words, major European cities, country names, mid-20th centuries politicians (e.g. Franklin Roosevelt Avenue, Winston Churchill Avenue...), Belgian revolution-related names, etc. Most districts have no theme, though, and are a mixture of famous people, historical names and town names.

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    Regular Member ricecake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post

    I suppose that American cities do not really have funny names.


    Very few if any,typical American city down town streets are numerical as in 1st Street up to 50th-100th Street ( depends on what US city ).

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    Your Goddess is here Ma Cherie's Avatar
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    Well, I can't say that in America that our street names are funny or strange, but there are some unique names. These are the street names in my city that I find unique.
    The Paseo (I don't know the origin of this street name)
    Jurdaun (don't know the origin, either)
    There is a street called Shawnee Mission (and a city). Named after the Indian (errr Native American) tribe The Shawnee. The reason for this name was to "civilize" the Shawnee tribe, by a missionary, thus becoming the "Shawnee Mission." There is some more history behind that name.
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    Just about all of our street names are from the bible.

    Like:

    Joseph street
    Matt

    You get the idea. But it's not all over the place. Just the majority of it.

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    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    We have plenty of Christian street or square names in Europe. In traditionally Catholic countries like Belgium, it is mostly saints' names.

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    I think there is a pig street somewhere in town; my husband was making fun of it, by making the pig noise when we had been there...

    In Australia there is a street called Singapore street, and there are many streets named after aboriginal names some of them sound a bit peculiar to my earscha-hac

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    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minty View Post
    In Australia there is a street called Singapore street
    Brussels has dozens of streets named after countries, and hundreds named after cities. It's funny because in some areas the street names are all after British cities (e.g. Birmingham street, Liverpool street, Manchester street, Glasgow street, London street...).

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    Off the top of my head I can't think of any actually funny street names in my city, although I'm sure there are a few! I've also come across some amusing names on mailout lists - but again, they have gone out of my memory. I do know someone who lives at a place called Help Out Mill, though!

    Some local street names that stick in my mind are:
    Sparkenhoe Street - I just like the spikyness of it and the fact that it makes me think of sparklers.
    Conduit Street
    Asquith Boulevard - it sounds squidgy (XD)... although I call it "Detonation Boulevard" for some reason.
    Gallowtree Gate
    Holy Bones
    Every Street
    Cheapside
    Friday Street
    Gas Street
    Short Street
    Blackbird Road
    Corporation Road
    Kashmir Road
    Blue Gates Road
    Birds Nest Avenue


    Estates or areas are often "themed", an example being an area where the streets are named after poets - Lord Byron Street, Wordsworth Street, Pope Street etc.

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    Regular Member misa.j's Avatar
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    Well, I laughed so hard when I saw "Grave Street" with "Dead End" sign right below it in Northampton Massachusetts.

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    Regular Member ricecake's Avatar
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    We have a street named Los Banos,it literally means " the baths " in Spanish.

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    In Brussels there is a very funny metro stop - hankar...it's funny because in albanian it means literally something lude and obscene

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    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duo View Post
    In Brussels there is a very funny metro stop - hankar...it's funny because in albanian it means literally something lude and obscene
    For me it sounds like hangar (less funny, I know, but still strange for a metro station).

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    ^ Talking of funny names for metro stations, I love some of the names for London underground stations. Some of my favourites are:
    Golders Green
    Shepherd's Bush
    Hammersmith
    Burnt Oak
    Paddington
    Cockfosters
    Elephant & Castle
    Mudchute
    Pudding Mill Lane
    Wimbledon
    Piccadilly Circus
    Swiss Cottage
    Tooting Broadway
    Seven Sisters
    Oval

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