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What's in a name?
Author: TriSec    Date: 12/03/2011 13:01:20

Greetings from that area of the United States named after Wampanoag Chief Massasoit!

We're going to take a look at some weird and wonderful names around our neck of the woods today. Here's another one for you...has anyone heard of the somewhat obscure Anglican abbot Botwulf of Thorney? He is, after all, the patron saint of travelers and farming. After he was canonized, he became "Saint Botolph", and maybe you've heard of the town named after him. (St. Botolph's Town....say it fast enough and you'll see.)

Gotta love those crafty Pilgrims and other early settlers. If you leave behind everything you ever knew and sail 3,000 miles across the sea to uncharted new worlds, the first thing you're going to do is name the place after the place you just left, right? Look at a map of Eastern Massachusetts, and a map of Southern England and you'll see what I mean.

Of course, we have our own indigenous names, too. My hometown of Saugus is a native word that means "great" or "extended", as it was a small part of the much larger extended towns of Swampscott, Nahant, and Lynn. We've named things after people too....I used to live in Revere, and somewhere out west is the wondrous hamlet of "Belchertown", named after a local resident. But of course, we've got the mother of all indigenous names...perhaps you've heard of Lake Webster in south-central Massachusetts?

Or maybe you know it better by the original name of Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg?

You knew that eventually I'd have a point, right? Yesterday I heard the most unintentionally hilarious story ever on the BBC. It seems that a woman from the Irish village of Effin is having a problem with Facebook.

A VILLAGE called Effin has been banned from Facebook — because its name is considered offensive.
Residents of the Irish parish have found they cannot register it as their place of birth on the social networking site.

The name is automatically censored by Facebook, just like more traditional four-letter expletives.

Ann Marie Kennedy, who was born in the County Limerick village, has launched a campaign to get it recognised by the site.

But when she tried to create a group called "Please get my hometown Effin recognised", it was also rejected.

She said: "It came back with an error message saying 'offensive'.

"I would like to be able to put Effin on my profile page and so would many other Effin people around the world to proudly say that they are from Effin, County Limerick, but it won't recognise that.

During the interview yesterday, the woman in question went on to note "I was born in the Effin village....I went to the Effin school, and I played in the Effin band". The presenter was a bit bemused, and I will state for the record that coffee shooting out of your nose and onto the keyboard hurts.

I'm not certain that we have any equivalent here in the United States...although my state has town of Ware (Where are you from? Ware. That's what I'm asking you!) and just over the border to the north is Effingham, New Hampshire, which was evidently named after an unfortunate kitchen incident one Easter Sunday (You let the effing dog jump on the counter and chew on the EffingHAM?????)

But then again, I wonder what the residents of Fucking, Austria are making of all this?

9 comments (Latest Comment: 12/04/2011 16:23:38 by BobR)
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