Ooh That Sounds Rude; Mapping British Innuendo

No-one can really define what being British is, though many have tried. One thing that lots of people do seem to agree on is that part of being British is a love for and an appreciation of the British sense of humour. This can be roughly and with a sweeping generalisation said to consist of equal parts of finding fun in everyday situations Peep Show), satire and parody (Have I Got News For You), social awkwardness (The Office), surrealism and nonsense (Monty Python) and innuendo (the Carry On films).

Focus on that trait of innuendo for a moment. Could you possibly combine the British fondness for innuendo with geography and put it on a map? It turns out you can. So I did. It may be vaguely NSFW but there’s real geographical data behind this.

Rude Places Map

Maybe it’s part of bring British, but an airport whose code is BUM is just … funny.

As a classic Web 2.0 style maps mashup, this is never going to win any awards for originality or innovativeness. But the source of each of these vaguely rude sounding names was from Yahoo’s WOE data set, before the data was released via the GeoPlanet API and (currently offline) GeoPlanet Data download. A list of real but amusing sounding place names, culled from GeoPlanet by one of the old Yahoo! Geo team, has been sitting in a file on one of my backup drives for too many years now. But given a geographic data set. Stamen’s wonderful Toner map tiles and a JavaScript maps API, in this case Leaflet, the temptation to make a map out of it all was just too strong.

Yes it’s a map, yes it’s geographical innuendo and yes, it’s very much part of the British sense of humour. If you’re British, try not to snigger too much; if you’re not British, just shake your head sadly and mutter “those crazy Brits”.

Written and posted from home (51.427051, -0.333344)

Written by Gary

A self-professed map addict, Gary has worked in the mapping and location space for over 20 years through a combination of luck and occasional good judgement. Gary is co-founder of Malstow Geospatial, which provides handmade, professional geospatial consulting. A Fellow of the RGS, he tweets about maps, writes about them...
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66 Comments

Gary

Looks like it depends on the zoom level; at some zoom levels it does look like the marker is south of the border but zoom in enough and it is actually north; plus the long/lat (49.2081809, -108.3895518) positions north of the border too.

ST

You missed out Fak-Fak, West Papua. We pronounce it fukfuk, since the A is a long letter in Bahasa Melayu and Indonesia.

ST

And on the subject of Fak-Fak, there’s also the Arfak Mountains in the Bird’s Head Peninsula of West Papua – there is much Faking there.

ST

Apropos nothing, the bus that runs west along the coast from Fak-Fak is the Fak-bus. It’s funny in hindsight.

A. Nuran

You got Intercourse, PA
How could you miss “Bird-in-Hand” and “Blue Ball”, also in Pennsylvania?

A. Nuran

Blue Ball
Degrees Minutes Seconds:
Latitude: 40-55’39” N
Longitude: 078-16’48” W
Decimal Degrees:
Latitude: 40.9275574
Longitude: -78.2800153

Bird-in-Hand
40.0387° N, 76.1822° W

And as a bonus Dildo, Newfoundland & Labrador
47.5644° N, 53.5492° W

Gordon

A surprising omission, How about “Breast” in north west France? Famous for its dockyards in the Second World War…..

Gary

I’ll add this, but it’s Brest, not Breast. Plus there’s also Brest-Litvosk in Belarus, Brest in Germany and apparently there’s 3 of them in Macedonia as well. I’ll add them all.

-Gary

Gordon Clyne

Brest- auto corrected on my phone – damn you technology taking the fun out of typing on a tiny keyboard. Sometimes we call my little hamlet WhoresBridge instead of Horsebridge…. Don’t know it that counts

Thoms

minor correction but Spread Eagle, NL is actually part of Dildo, NL…what are the odds?

Gary

Big Bone Lick State Park got added over the weekend; might need to clear your browser cache or do a forced page reload in case the back-end Javascript is being cached.

-Gary

mil sepic

In Ontario we’re blessed to with two wonderful towns you can add to that delightful map; first is Fawkham which has no polite pronunciation and Dorking which I’m sure is not the Dor of the king.

Sara

So many glorious place named in Australia… The Entrance, Rooty Hill, Delicate Knobby (NSW); Mt Buggery (Vic) ; Nancy’s Peak, Koolyanobbing, Iron Knob Well, Innaloo (WA) , Fanny Bay (NT). A search on http://www.ga.gov.au/place-names/ gives lat/long coordinates. You can use it to search anything, eg “Fanny” comes up with Fanny Lookout and Fannys Waterhole. Likewise “poo” reveals Poowong, Pooken Hole. It’s endless.

Gordon Clyne

How quaint. The Aussies were clearly taught by the Brits….. Who may have lived at Tollpuddle Ball, near Piddle, in Dorset, for all we know….!

Gary

Interestingly enough the NZ Herald article looks lifted straight from the Daily Mail, who in turn, got my name wrong and used my blog post text (which they managed to mis-spell) without attribution. Also, I didn’t “tell the Daily Mail”, they just lifted the contents of the blog post and republished.

-Gary

David

It does raise the point that you missed Whakapapa (in Maori the Wh is pronounced as F).

WGS84 39° 14′ 14.49″ S, 175° 33′ 25.06″ E

I can’t confirm it, thought – I can’t access the map (I’m guessing server traffic is a bit high since it went viral)

Steve Monk

Hi Gary,

Another one for you in Fingeringhoe in Essex. and I know it’s not technically spelt the way it should but i always thought Clitheroe in Lancashire was a bit rude 😉

Cheers

Darrin

Cocking in West Sussex is my favourite, I always manage to get the other half rolling her eyes as we drive through it, if you’ll pardon the pun.

kay

There is a Beaverton, OR on west side of Portland. Also, I believe there is also a Climax, CO

Gordon Clyne

On the theme of soreness, Over Wallop, Middle Wallop, Nether Wallop, in Hampshire uk…..

Alex

Gary, there a little town in Belarus called Slutsk. We had a great time driving through commenting on the local population.

Also Poon Hill in Nepal is a good un

Awesome work! Very amusing.

Christopher Cowell

You seem to have overlooked Kikatiti in northern Tanzania. You’re welcome.

Gary

Thank you everyone for your comments and contributions; the map should be up to date with all of your suggestions.

-Gary

Pedro

this is fantastic!

here’s a few more that hopefully will make the cut:

Effingham, NH
43°45′40″N 70°59′47″W

Belchertown, MA
42°16′37″N 72°24′05″W

Elephant Butte, NM
33°11′23″N 107°13′22″W

Log Lick, KY
37°51′29″N 84°1′37″W

cheers!
pedro

Maggie

My goodness, don’t forget Balls Head, Sydney. Every time I catch the North Shore train, I pass the little sign on one of the first stations across the harbour – “Alight here for Balls Head.” Never fail to giggle.

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