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Toponyms from the British Isles

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August 08, 2010, 22:15
wordcrafter
Toponyms from the British Isles
Toponyms are place names, but for purposes of this work we are interested in place names that have become independent words. Numerous place-name words are simply used to denote kinds of wine, cheese or cloth (champagne, madeira, cheddar, calico), so we'll ignore those overflowing categories.

This week we'll look at toponyms from the British Isles. (I had hoped to do "Toponyms from Great Britain", but couldn't find quite enough and was forced to cross over the water to include Ireland. Unless anyone can provide another from Great Britain?)

bedlam – a scene of mass, mad uproar and confusion
[from colloquial pronunciation of London’s "Hospital of Saint Mary of Bethlehem", used as a lunatic asylum]
August 09, 2010, 23:35
wordcrafter
brummagem – being a cheap and showy imitation or sham
[Negatively using the name of the city of Birmingham, England. Some say the reference arose from the counterfeit coins made there in the 17th century. Over the centuries there are well over a hundred documented versions of the city name, and Brumagen is one of them.]
August 10, 2010, 01:05
BobHale
Not a usage you'll here around here!
Tantamount to racism if you ask me.

Harumph!


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.

My current blog.
Photographs to accompany Anyone Can DO It available from www.lulu.com
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August 10, 2010, 03:18
BobHale
But there is a usage of "brummagem" that might interest you.

The negative conotations which, acccording to Wikipedia anyway, have persisted in the US are rarely heard here now except that you do still quite often hear the phrase "Brummagem screwdriver" meaning "hammer" and impugning the abilities of the local craftsmen. The odd thing is that you here it most often used as self-mockery by those very craftsmen.

Incidentally, though I am defending the brummies here, it must be noted that to a Black Country lad like me it's considered an insult to be mistaken for a brummie.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.

My current blog.
Photographs to accompany Anyone Can DO It available from www.lulu.com
My photoblog The World Through A lens
August 10, 2010, 10:30
Geoff
quote:
"Brummagem screwdriver" meaning "hammer"

A lead version of which used to be supplied with British cars that used Dunlop wire wheels. Ahhh, the good old days...


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
August 12, 2010, 19:56
wordcrafter
claddagh – a ring with a raised design of two hands clasping a crowned heart, usually given as a token of love or friendship
[after Claddagh, a fishing village and suburb of Galway]
August 13, 2010, 18:45
wordcrafter
tattersall – a fabric with dark lines forming small, even checks on a light background; also, garments made from it
August 13, 2010, 19:08
Proofreader
I remember wearing such cloth. Or at least my mother used to say, "He tattersall his clothes."


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
August 13, 2010, 21:51
Kalleh
Is it the same etymology as tatter?
August 14, 2010, 07:26
zmježd
Is it the same etymology as tatter?

Tattersall is an eponym. It's from Richard Tatersall [1724–1795] an English race horse auctioneer. Not sure if it's related to tatter (I assume you mean the noun meaning a bit of cloth). That's from Old Norse. The family name is from the placename, Tattershall, in Lincolnshire. The first part is from the personal name, Tāthere. Off hand, I'd say there not related.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
August 14, 2010, 08:12
Geoff
quote:
Originally posted by Proofreader:
"He tattersall his clothes."

I'm sure you've read this, but if not, well, here goes - surely a relative of Proofreader's:

There was a young lady from Natchez
Whose clothes were in tatters and tatches
When asked of her plight
She replied with delight,
Sir, when I itches, I scrrrrrratchez!


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
August 14, 2010, 21:30
Kalleh
Ah, yes. I wasn't thinking. I just checked the OED and "tatter" has a Scandinavian origin from as far back as 1402. Wow.
August 15, 2010, 10:17
wordcrafter
Gotham: man of Gothamantique: a simpleton (in the sense of one given to impractical schemes)The proverberial Gotham (perhaps referring to the real village of that name) was known for the folly of its inhabitants. Here’s a sample tale of them: P.S. I neglected to tell you where “tattersall” comes from. It’s the traditional design of horse blankets, and it’s named after Tattersall's horse market (and gamblers’ haven), London, founded 1766 by auctioneer Richard Tattersall (1724-1795).
August 15, 2010, 13:52
Proofreader
quote:
man of Gotham – antique: a simpleton

You're calling Batman a simpleton?


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
August 15, 2010, 17:12
Geoff
quote:
Originally posted by Proofreader:
quote:
man of Gotham – antique: a simpleton

You're calling Batman a simpleton?

Nah, it was Farmer Hoggett in the movie, "Babe." He Got ham.http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112431/


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
August 16, 2010, 11:04
wordcrafter
Today’s two words pair well together.

donnybrook – an uproar; a free-for-all; a brawl
[after Donnybrook fair, held annually in Donnybrook, a Dublin suburb noted for its annual fair and for its brawls]

rugby – a form of [European] football, that differs from soccer in freedom to carry the ball, block with the hands and arms, and tackle; characterized by continuous action
[after Rugby, public school where the game was played, in the city of Rugby, England]
August 16, 2010, 11:38
RodW
I grew up in Donnybrook, a suburb on the now-fashionable South-East side of Dublin. I feel compelled to defend its reputation by mentioning that the notorious Donnybrook Fairs were held annually from the 13th Century to the mid-1800's, when it was shut down for the public drunkenness, brawling and general licentiousness that gave rise to the surviving toponym. These are all vices with which the current residents of Donnybrook, and those of my youth, are complete strangers :-)
August 16, 2010, 11:46
RodW
While I'm here, I should add a comment about Rugby...

I grew up hearing a saying that "Football (i.e. Soccer) is a gentlemen's game played by hooligans, and Rugby is a hooligans' game played by gentlemen."

There's an entertaining note on the origin of this saying at http://jottingsonrugby.com/201...igans-and-gentlemen/
August 16, 2010, 15:35
BobHale
Excellent link Rod.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.

My current blog.
Photographs to accompany Anyone Can DO It available from www.lulu.com
My photoblog The World Through A lens
August 16, 2010, 20:13
Kalleh
Welcome, Rod! We love newbies. Pull up a chair and stay awhile...
August 17, 2010, 01:05
arnie
My own home town (or rather, village) also had an annual fair. It was known as the Horn Fair (no sniggering at the back, there!) and was suppressed in 1874 for the same reasons. It wasn't so notorious as Donnybrook, but it did attract the censure of Daniel Defoe in the 1720s.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
September 19, 2010, 20:02
Geoff
Not currently a toponym, but when I was in my youth I lived for a while in Southern La-La-land, a.k.a. California, near the town of Camarillo, which was then known for having a large mental hospital, Camarillo State Hospital. (Yeah, very original, that) When it was decided to free the inmates, wait for them to commit crimes, and re-incarcerate them in prisons, Camarillo State Hospital was turned into a branch of the California university system. It took some time before saying that you were in Camarillo State to not sound a bit odd.


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
September 20, 2010, 05:26
zmježd
a large mental hospital

Wherefore these euphemistic phrases? Was't not a gigantic loony bin?


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
September 20, 2010, 05:50
Proofreader
A mentally-challenged health facility


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
September 20, 2010, 18:50
Geoff
The whole of La-La Land is a gigantic loony bin, with only a few sane sorts there to keep track of the inmates. For evidence ask Gray Davis. Big Grin


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
September 20, 2010, 19:02
Proofreader
The local state government announced today that plans were being implemented to completely fence in the State Capitol and rename it Disneyland North.


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
September 21, 2010, 06:35
BobHale
quote:
Originally posted by Geoff:
The whole of La-La Land is a gigantic loony bin, with only a few sane sorts there to keep track of the inmates. For evidence ask Gray Davis. Big Grin


Who is Grade-A Vis?


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.

My current blog.
Photographs to accompany Anyone Can DO It available from www.lulu.com
My photoblog The World Through A lens
September 21, 2010, 07:40
zmježd
Who is Grade-A Vis?

He (link) was a governor of California back before der Gubanator (link) triumphed.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.