Sunday, 29 January 2012

an English drawbridge over the moat

Writing about Oxford Street and Oxford Road instigated my brain to think about the ever so many names the English language provides for road names. Let's see how many I can dig up within 5 minutes time:

alley, approach, arcade, avenue,
bank, boulevard, brow, buildings,
causeway, chase, circus, close, corner, cottages, court, crescent, croft,
embankment, end, esplanade,
gardens, garth, gate, green, grove,
heights, hill,
lane, lawn, link,
mead, mews, mount,
parade, park, passage, pavement, place, promenade,
rise, road, row,
side, square, street,
vale, view, villas,
walk, wall, way,
yard, ...

As said - there must be a lot more.

Next question: Why do the English need so many of them?
George Mikes (Hungarian-born, pronounced /ˈmɪkeʃ/) wrote in How to be an Alien: "You must understand that an English town is a vast conspiracy to mislead foreigners". It could well have been a Tschörman writing this because the latter likes and values 'order'. Tschörman houses hef house numbers, and neither ze street names nor ze house numbers are camouflaged as they are in England. A camouflage par excellence consists in giving a house an individual name such as Park Cottage, Midford Castle, Meadow View, Squirrels Leap, Cricket House, Evesham Manor,South Pavilion, Old Friars, Moushill Manor, etc. - but don't forget to check with the local authorities and the Royal Mail Address Maintenance Unit if you plan to individualise your house.

credit: BBC
Giving streets and houses fancy names and concealing house numbers is the modern substitute for moats and drawbridges, isn't it?


  1. Petr,

    Please add "ope" to your list. As far as I know, it is used mainly in Cornwall. It is a covered alleyway. There is one in Penzance called Harvey's Ope.

    On "gate" please wait with bated breath for a posting in my blog...

  2. Has anyone out there noticed that some of the house names are real and the mansions/castles/palaces so named are owned by British celebs? You needn't contact MI5 to find this out.