Friday, 15 November 2013

Cartography or Anatomy?

I love place names, and how you can almost read a history of the place within that name, if you know a little about words and older languages. Of course, many places in Britain have certain endings, such as '-ham', '-ton', or '-bourne'. The first of these two indicate a township, and the last the location of the settlement, a small river. Other place names refer to specific landmarks (such as windmills), events (Battle, for example), or even people (Birmingham originates from 'Beorma's hamlet'. Which still doesn't explain why the residents are known as 'Brummies').

I'm at a loss, though, to explain the name of the Oxfordshire town of Kingston Bagpuize. Oh, I've no doubt it's easily found out, but I think I would rather not, unless guaranteed it was not to be mundane (and yes, I am aware 'Kingston' is easily divined).

With that in mind, let us return to our little day out last Saturday for this week's final Gem.

Driving home, I am pleased to say that the weather was not nearly as bad as it had been. Wet and dark is not a good combination.* This meant that we were better able to enjoy our surroundings and take in details - such as this road sign.

Obviously, to me and Julie, this was easy entertainment, what with our propensity for wordplay - or mangling, as the case may be.

For the record, and I did say this to Julie after I managed to stop laughing, my first thought had been to change the second word to 'Borstal'.

As a little extra, here's a picture of a pub in Painters Forstal.

The Alma in Painters Forstal
I came across this while I was researching the place and found this picture quite amusing. I don't know if it's just me, but it looks like the builders of the pub got carried away and suddenly found they had crossed the kerb and were on the road... It's just me, isn't it... Oh well. See you next week!

* Stop giggling.