12 Funny London Street Names ...

Neecey

12 Funny London Street Names ...
12 Funny London Street Names ...

London has such a long and colorful history that it’s no wonder that some of the street names are as equally interesting. Many of the names are a product of the area they are in as are the districts of the city. Some of them have the ability to conjure up quite graphic connotations, such as Spitalfields which is where old plague hospital fields used to be in Victorian Britain. Some of them are also pretty blue! Here are 12 funny London street names.

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1

Gropecunt Lane

Excuse me for opening with such a name but you’ve got to admit as well as being a funny street name it tells you exactly what used to go on here. The C word was the most common word used for women’s naughty bits in the middle ages (along with Quim) so this really isn’t that an unusual name for a medieval red light district. Many towns in England had this as a street name although all of them have now been renamed – mainly to gropecount, grapecount, grape lane etc. The etymology of the word is the Norse word Kunta. There is also debate as to whether Cock Lane refers to the same purpose or whether it is because of cock fighting, a sport long since banned.

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Gropecunt Lane is a funny street name that was used in many towns in England during the Middle Ages. It is believed to have derived from the Norse word "Kunta". It is thought to have been a red light district, although there is some debate as to whether Cock Lane served a similar purpose or whether it was because of cock fighting, a sport that has since been banned. Gropecunt Lane has since been renamed to Gropecount, Grapecount, or Grape Lane. This street name is a reminder of the history of London and the unique culture of the city.

2

Knightrider Street

No, London hasn’t gone made and named a street after David Hasselhoff. This is the street that Knights would have ridden from the Tower of London.

3

Bollocks Terrace

This funny London Street name is found in the south western borough of Tooting. I couldn’t really find any reason for the name but Bollocks has been a British slang word for nonsense for centuries as well as referring to men’s dangly parts.

4

Shoot-up Hill/Shooter’s Hill

Shoot-up Hill is in Kilburn, north west London and Shooter’s Hill, south of the river in Greenwich. The latter reputedly gets its name from being a place of medieval archery practice. It’s likely therefore that the Kilburn street is the equivalent. Shoot-up Hill causes some jocularity with locals as it is an area where there are quite a large number of homeless hostels (associated with drug abuse).

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Shoot-up Hill and Shooter’s Hill are two of the funniest street names in London. The latter is located south of the River Thames in Greenwich and is believed to have derived its name from being a place of medieval archery practice. Similarly, Shoot-up Hill is located in Kilburn, north west London and is likely to have been named after the same practice.

The names of these streets often draw amusement from locals, as Shoot-up Hill is an area where there are a large number of homeless hostels, which are unfortunately associated with drug abuse. Despite this, the streets still remain a popular tourist attraction, as they are a reminder of London’s long and diverse history.

London is home to a number of other funny street names, such as Deadman’s Place in the City of London, which is thought to have derived its name from a long-forgotten graveyard. Similarly, there is Cock Lane in Smithfield, which is said to have been named after a brothel that was once located there.

5

Mount Pleasant

So, not particularly amusing in itself but when you learn of its history you’ll see why it was included in this list of funny London street names. Mount Pleasant was the site of one of the city’s largest cess pits. It was obviously named by someone with a sense of humor as was one of the street’s connecting lanes – Laystall Street which comes from Laying a stool into Mount Pleasant.

6

Black Boy Lane

Also found on this street is the Black Boy Pub. Both the street and pub are references to the African slave trade.

7

Ha-Ha Road

This very funny London street name doesn’t have any comedic reference but is a nod to a trench that is hidden from view. It’s more likely an indication of finding danger if you don’t tread carefully rather than the likelihood of being set up by clowns.

8

Little Britain

If only this street was named for the comedians David Walliams and Matt Lucas. (If you’ve never seen the Little Britain programme, you should). In actuality, it’s a street of bookshops and is mentioned in Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations.

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Little Britain is a British comedy sketch show created by David Walliams and Matt Lucas. It was broadcast on BBC One from 2003 to 2007. The show is known for its exaggerated caricatures of British people from all walks of life, as well as its catchphrases. It has also been adapted into a stage show, a radio series, and a feature film. The street mentioned in the text is located in London and is known for its numerous bookshops. Charles Dickens references the street in his novel, Great Expectations. The street has become a popular tourist destination due to its association with the Little Britain comedy show.

9

Bleeding Heart Yard

This funny London street name commemorated the murder of Lady Elizabeth Hatton 01/27/1626. She was found on the cobblestones with her heart still pumping blood from her torn body. This is thought to be an urban myth and etymologists believe a more likely derivation is that the street was actually named after the pub in nearby Charles Street. It was called The Bleeding Heart and had a sign that showed the heart of the Virgin Mary pierced by five swords.

10

St. Mary Axe

This used to be a whole ward in the city of London but now only the street remains bearing the name which derives from the combination of the church dedicated to the Virgin Mary and a neighboring tavern, which prominently displayed a sign with an axe image.

11

Lamb’s Conduit Street

William Lambe (a very wealthy philanthropist) built a conduit on the land around the area as a fresh supply of water and the street was named in his honor.

12

Pudding Lane

No list of funny London street names would be complete without the inclusion of the location where the Great Fire started in 1666. There are hundreds of streets named after food in London, including Pudding Lane’s near neighbour, Pie Corner. There’s also, Shoulder of Mutton Alley, Nutmeg Lane, Honeypot Lane and Sugar Loaf Walk to name but a few.

This exploration of the world of funny London street names could have gone on for a very long time; Pardon Street, Cyclops Mews, Hanging Sword Alley, Cripplegate, Elf Road, Petty France, Bird-in-bush Road, Eureka Road, Scout Approach, Crutched Friars, Aldermanbury Postern, Mount Ararat Road, Crooked Usage and Dog Kennel hill were all contenders.

Any funny street names where you live?

Top Photo Credit: ticking stripes

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