Difference between revisions of "1759: British Map"

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Revision as of 16:03, 14 November 2016

British Map
West Norsussex is east of East Norwessex, but they're both far north of Middlesex and West Norwex.
Title text: West Norsussex is east of East Norwessex, but they're both far north of Middlesex and West Norwex.


Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Started the table, editing it now.
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

This comic is a joke similar to "How Americans see the world" showing how the average American has opinions on the world, often including jokes such as a lack of Africa, etc. This has been used before in 850: World According to Americans.

Many areas of the UK are most familiar to foreigners thanks to their depiction in various fantasy novels and TV series. This map labels some of these, as well as including many silly names that simply sound like real British towns to an American ear. A protractor is shown off the coast of the Mull of Kintyre in reference to the "Mull of Kintyre test" - the angle of the Mull defines the maximum allowed erectness for a man on British television.

Label on the map Explanation Actual location Notes
Helcaraxë The "Grinding Ice", an area of Middle-Earth. Like Helcaraxë, northern Scotland is cold, mountainous and in many areas inhospitable. The Grampian region
Blick Wick
Everdeen Katniss Everdeen is the heroine of The Hunger Games series of novels and films Aberdeen In colloquial Scots, its pronunciation is very similar to "Everdeen."
Highlands No joke Scottish Lowlands Maybe deliberate trolling - Scots have strong feelings about where the Highland-Lowland border is
Norther Sea Pun on the North Sea Sea of the Hebrides
Nothingham Pun on Nottingham Slightly further North
Loch Lomond No joke Loch Lomond is the largest lake in the UK, and the subject of a well-known traditional song. Referenced in the "beaming" (teleporter) bit in the movie Spaceballs.
Fjordham Fjords are glacial valleys. "-ham" is a common English placename suffix from Old English, related to the modern hamlet. There are several villages in England named Fordham. Near Oban on the Firth of Lorn The Scottish word "Firth" is related to "Fjord", although Lorn is not a fjord in the strict scientific sense - it was formed along the Great Glen Fault by tectonics, rather than glaciers
Glassdoor Glassdoor is a website where employees can review their employers Stirling Although it's shown near Stirling, the reference seems to be to Glasgow
GMT A reference to Greenwich Mean Time. Shown on the map near the London district of Greenwich through which the GMT meridian passes.
Eavestrough A dialectal word for rain gutter Edinburgh
Seasedge Procan's realm in Dungeons & Dragons Somewhere near the Scotland-England border
Chough A species of bird in the crow family The Scottish Borders
Meowth Meowth is a cat-like Pokémon Ayr
Glutenfree Gluten-free food lacks the protein gluten. This allows coeliac disease sufferers to enjoy it, but has also become a dietary fad in itself. Cairnryan, Dumfries and Galloway
Blighton A pun on Brighton The Scottish Borders The real Brighton is much further south, on the south coast.
Eyemouth Not a joke near Newcastle-upon-Tyne The real Eyemouth is further north, where "Seasedge" is marked on the map.
Earhand A pun on Eyemouth Carlisle
Hairskull A pun on Eyemouth Teesside
Belfast DeVoe Belfast, capital of Northern Ireland, mashed up with the rock band Bell Biv DeVoe Belfast
Lakebottom The Lake District. "-bottom" is a common placename across Northern England, and refers to a town in a valley. Lake District Below Lakebottom is a sketch of lake with yachts on it. This is Windermere, the largest lake in England, where many boating speed records were set.
Braintree Not a joke North Yorkshire The real Braintree is much further south, near where "Paulblart" is on the map.
Skinflower A pun on Braintree Yorkshire Dales
Bjork Björk is an Icelandic singer East Riding of Yorkshire The reference is presumably to York, although it's a bit too far east.
Weedle Weedle is a Pokémon, and also a word meaning "to obtain by trickery or persuasion" Forest of Bowland
Eeugh An expression of disgust Kingston-upon-Hull (generally just "Hull")
Crewneck A shirt with a simple round collar. Blackpool
Paisley No joke. It sounds funny to Americans because it's associated with paisley fabric, a Persian-style print invented in the town Burnley The real Paisley is in Scotland, near Glasgow.
Basil A herb, and one of the most famous British TV characters. Scunthorpe
Aidenn An apparent pun on the Scouse accent: h-dropping and th-fronting mean the common "hey, then" would be pronounced "ai denn". Merseyside
Hillfolk Hillfolk is an RPG game. "-hill" (referring to, well, a hill) and "-folk" (referring to a tribe or culture) are common in British placenames Manchester Manchester's name does in fact reference hills: it means "castle on the breast-shaped hill"
Waterdown To "water something down" is to weaken it. "-down" is common in British placenames and refers to chalk hills. Near Grimsby
Dubstep Dubstep is a genre of electronic music with a heavy bass line. Dublin Dublin is the only non-UK settlement in the map, and one of two on the island of Ireland.
Borough-upon-Mappe By being recorded here, this is literally a borough upon a map. The "-upon-" is a common element of placenames for towns on rivers, although there's no River Mappe. Lincolnshire Wolds
Fhqwhgads "Fhqwhgads" is a joke from the Homestar Runner internet cartoon. Crewe This is near to the Welsh border; Welsh names often look like a mish-mash of consonants to English speakers.
Cadbury Cadbury is a British chocolate company Near Boston, Lincolnshire Cadbury actually built a town for its workers... but it's called Bournville. There are several towns called "Cadbury" in the UK (where the Cadbury family presumably got its name), but none are near here.
Cabinetry The art of making cabinets. Near Oswestry
The Shire The Shire is home to the Hobbits in Middle-Earth Midlands Tolkien drew inspiration for the Shire from the West Midlands, although Tolkien was from the southern part of the Midlands (roughly where Dampshire is on the map)
Landmouth Literal description The Wash
Brandon Not a joke The Fens There are several Brandons in the UK, none on the banks of the Wash. The area shown is borderline-uninhabitable, as it is marshland and lies mostly below sea-level. Only a few farms and isolated hamlets exist here.
Hamwich A ham sandwich. Both "-ham" and "-wich" are common generic placenames. Norwich
West Norsussex Mash-up of Sussex ("South Saxons") with the obsolete Wessex ("West Saxons") and never extant Norsex ("North Saxons") Midlands
Redsox The Boston Red Sox are a baseball team The Fens This is not far from the British Boston
Keebler The Keebler Elves advertise cookies in the US Thetford Forest
Bloughshire Most British counties have "-shire" in their name. Originally it meant they were administered by a sheriff. However, it is rare in Wales. Powys
Lionsgate A film studio Leicester
Kingsbottom Another "-bottom". A possible reference to King's Landing, the capital of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. Suffolk Coast
Aberforth Aberforth Dumbledore is Albus Dumbledore's brother in the Harry Potter series. "Aber-" and "-forth" both indicate a "river mouth". "Aber-" is widespread in Wales. Aberystwyth
South Norwessex Another mash-up of Sussex ("South Saxons") with the obsolete Wessex ("West Saxons") and never extant Norsex ("North Saxons") Birmingham
Dryford Would refer to a river crossing without water. "-ford" is a common placename element. Shropshire Hills
Frampton There are many Framptons in the UK. It means "town on the river Frome" - and there are also several River Fromes. The name is famous thanks to rock musician Peter Frampton Bury St Edmunds
Cambridge No joke Cambridge Cambridge and Oxford, the two most prestigious university towns, are correctly marked. Together, they form Oxbridge
Kingsfriend Possibly a joke about the royal patronage given to certain towns - for instance, Bognor Regis and Royal Wootton Bassett Near the England-Wales border
Cair Paravel Cair Paravel is the castle where the ruler of Narnia lives in the Narnia series. Dedham Vale
Camelot Camelot was (in legend) King Arthur's court. Near the England-Wales border The King Arthur myth did in fact originate in the Welsh culture. However, most sites associated with Camelot, such as Winchester, Glastonbury and Cadbury Castle, are in England.
Nothingham A pun on Nottingham. Near Northampton
Cumberbatch A surname, best known as that of actor Benedict Cumberbatch. Harlow
Dampshire A pun on the county of Hampshire. Generically a joking reference to any county, particularly of the West Country, to imply it is particularly prone to rain. Gloucestershire
The CW An American TV channel. Pembrokeshire
Whaling The practice of hunting whales. May be a reference to other -ing towns like Reading. Merthyr Tydfil
Paulblart Paul Blart: Mall Cop is a 2009 comedy film starring Kevin James Near Chelmsford
Oxford No joke Oxford See Cambridge
Moorhen The moorhen is a waterfowl. Gower Peninsula Possibly punning on nearby Swansea.
Cardigan No joke - it seems funny to Americans because of the knitted sweater invented there Newport, Wales The actual Cardigan is on the west coast. The name may be punning on the city of Cardiff, capital of Wales, which is further south-west.
BBC Channel 4 A composite of Channel 4 and the BBC (UK TV operators) confusing the meaning of TV channel with a geographic channel. Bristol Channel
Efrafa Efrafa is a rabbit warren in the story Watership Down. Chidden
Cambridge No joke Cambridge Surprisingly, Randall made no attempt to troll readers by switching the locations of Cambridge and Oxford.
Dobby Dobby is a character in Harry Potter Southampton
X Y Label
258 32 Helcaraxë
244 55 Blick
294 80 Everdeen
34 89 Norther Sea
238 119 Highlands
144 151 Lock Lomond
83 172 Fjordham
440 184 A British Map Labeled by an American
164 192 Glassdoor
250 219 Eavestroughs
312 237 Seasedge
260 262 Chough
148 267 Meowth
76 298 (A picture of an upsidedown protractor)
256 303 Blighton
344 309 Eyemouth
124 320 Glutenfree
486 320 North Sea
254 329 Earhand
353 347 Hairskull
38 362 Belfast DeVoe
224 365 Lakebottom
411 389 Braintree
335 408 Skinflower
430 431 Bjork
279 432 Weedle
440 451 Eeugh
258 453 Crewneck
310 454 Paisley
414 473 Basil
259 479 Aidenn
461 496 Waterdown
288 499 Hillfolk
31 509 Dubstep
464 517 Borough-Upon-Mappe
269 535 Fhqwhgads
490 537 Landmouth
461 539 Cadbury
237 554 Cabinetry
360 355 The Shire
464 562 Brandon
567 567 Hamwich
356 577 West Norsussex
420 578 Redsox
502 590 Keebler
372 597 Lionsgate
229 597 Bloughshire
573 609 Kingsbottom
182 613 Aberforth
328 615 South Norwessex
244 617 Dryford
495 630 Frampton
477 634 Cambridge
251 635 Kingsfriend
539 652 Cair Paravel
235 655 Camelot
408 655 Nothingham
429 673 Cumberbatch
121 673 The CW
303 674 Dampshire
210 676 Whaling
511 690 Paulblart
397 693 Oxford
169 695 Moohren
255 706 Cardigan
462 710 GMT
445 711 London
308 716 Corbyn
507 729 Tems-Upon-Thames
161 737 BBC Channel 4
267 737 Minas Tirith
560 746 Hogsmeade
454 748 Tubemap
296 756 Cambnewton
398 765 Efrafa
186 767 Oughghough
536 767 Chansey
351 777 Sundial
370 782 Dobby
162 784 Lower Bottom
496 784 Menthol
362 796 Southframpton
56 800 West Sea
154 804 Blandford
216 824 Tarp
123 846 Longbit


Helcaraxë, Blick, Everdeen, Norther Sea, Highlands, Lock Lomond, Fjordham, A British Map Labeled by an American, Glassdoor, Eavestroughs, Seasedge, Chough, Meowth, (A picture of an upsidedown protractor), Blighton, Eyemouth, Glutenfree, North Sea, Earhand, Hairskull, Belfast DeVoe, Lakebottom, Braintree, Skinflower, Bjork, Weedle, Eeugh, Crewneck, Paisley, Basil, Aidenn, Waterdown, Hillfolk, Dubstep, Borough-Upon-Mappe, Fhqwhgads, Landmouth, Cadbury, Cabinetry, The Shire, Brandon, Hamwich, West Norsussex, Redsox, Keebler, Lionsgate, Bloughshire, Kingsbottom, Aberforth, South Norwessex, Dryford, Frampton, Cambridge, Kingsfriend, Cair Paravel, Camelot, Nothingham, Cumberbatch, The CW, Dampshire, Whaling, Paulblart, Oxford, Moohren, Cardigan, GMT, London, Corbyn, Tems-Upon-Thames, BBC Channel 4, Minas Tirith, Hogsmeade, Tubemap, Cambnewton, Efrafa, Oughghough, Chansey, Sundial, Dobby, Lower Bottom, Menthol, Southframpton, West Sea, Blandford, Tarp, Longbit

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Might be a bit of a stretch, but Cardigan could also be a reference to Ceredigion, the Welsh county. -- 16:14, 15 November 2016 (UTC)

Ceredigion and Cardigan are the same word - Cardigan is just the Anglicised spelling. That's why it was formerly called Cardiganshire. The town is still called Cardigan, which is mentioned in the table. Schroduck (talk) 08:34, 16 November 2016 (UTC)

Minas Tirith could be a reference to the gorges in North Somerset. It's slap-bang on Cheddar Gorge and Clifton Village (cliff-town) in Bristol is built on the side of the Avon Gorge. Camarones (talk) 12:54, 15 November 2016 (UTC)

The actual location for Braintree should be Essex not North Yorkshire. 15:22, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

When I first saw that, I was wondering how likely a Neopets reference was. Seeing that it's a real thing, and the creators of Neopets are from the UK, things make a lot more sense now. 14:43, 16 November 2016 (UTC)

Could Highland be a reference to Highlander? 15:27, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

OK, I know you removed the </nowiki> that ruined the italics there, Davidy. Don't lie to me, you troll. Jacky720 (talk) 19:04, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

Whoops, was removing autogenerated nowiki text from another user, missed the first tag. Also, that edit was completely unnecessary. 21:29, 14 November 2016 (UTC)
No it wasn't, see that "Please sign your comments" below? Leaving the <nowiki> made the italics become quotemarks, and if there hadn't been a </nowiki> at the end of it, it would ruin the rest too. But thanks for apologizing, just try to be more careful. Jacky720 (talk) 20:08, 15 November 2016 (UTC)

Blick could be referring to Wick , at the top of Scotland Please sign your comments with ~~~~

Waterdown: Near [the actual] Grimsby Interestingly enough, in southern Ontario, Canada, there's a Waterdown not far from a Grimsby. Waterdown is considered part of Hamilton, and is towards its northwestern edge, while Grimsby is to Hamilton's east. --VonAether (talk) 17:01, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

The protractor off the West coast of Scotland is a reference to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mull_of_Kintyre_test 17:44, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

Blick could also be Oldmeldrum. 19:06, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

Why aren't the coordinates part of the first table? NotLock (talk) 20:05, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

Is Waterdown perhaps another Watership Down reference? Miamiclay (talk) 20:38, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

Pity there's no Towcester :) 20:47, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

"Lakebottom" is equated with Lake Windermere (probably correct, largest lake in the Lake District) and the table states that many waterspeed records were set there. Arguably it is Coniston Water (same area, third largest "Lake" in the region) that is more (in) famous for speed records... Not that Randall references speed at all. 21:31, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

I agree with this, Windermere was home to only one (successful) water speed record attempt. Coniston is more popular for them as it doesn't have as many islands, so you can get a longer run in. Also, whichever one it is, it is drawn roughly east-west, whereas both Coniston and Windermere run north-south.

For me, the lake with the two boats is an obvious reference to the children's book 'Swallows and Amazons'. See wikipedia -- so these are neither speedboats nor yachts but rather sailing dinghies. There is however a discrepancy: they had a gaff rig, but it looks like Randall gave them a Bermuda rig.

Helcaraxë and Blick seem to share a single dot. Maybe Randall forgot to put a dot there, or there's some other reason? -- 22:58, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

Helcaraxë and Highlands are areas, not towns, so don't get dots. 07:18, 16 November 2016 (UTC)

since Randal Munroe wrote the comic, and he is an american, the map WAS labeled by an americanJessep13 (talk) 00:08, 15 November 2016 (UTC)

‘Seasedge’ and ‘Eyemouth’ look like they should be Seahouses and Lynemouth. So far as I can tell, Seasedge is marked as a little north of Seahouses, roughly west of Lindisfarne (which suggests Haggerston; regardless, north Northumberland coast), and Eyemouth is marked approximately where Ashington should be; ‘Hairskull’ appears to be where Durham should be. 02:33, 15 November 2016 (UTC)

"BBC Channel 4" might also be a reference to Torchwood and other BBC Shows that were filmed in Wales (though did not necessarily air on Channel 4) Bpendragon (talk) 03:04, 15 November 2016 (UTC)

In fact, "Channel 4" is a channel not related to the BBC, so the reference to "BBC Channel 4" would be a mash-up between "Channel 4" and "BBC4" Gearóid (talk) 07:30, 15 November 2016 (UTC)

"Wessex", although "obsolete" as a place name, is still in common use as a descriptive term. For example, there is both a Wessex Police Force and a Wessex Water supply company. Gearóid (talk) 08:30, 15 November 2016 (UTC)

I know the "Fhqwhgads" reference from the Ikea-ripoff video game Home Improvisation - always thought it was a pun in that game on Ikea's Swedish product names. Is the Homestar Runner reference older? 09:05, 15 November 2016 (UTC)

I always thought it originated in Homestar Runner as a randomly typed name of an email sender. It's from Strong Bad Email #9 dated January 14, 2002, far predating Home Improvisation from 2015. 14:35, 15 November 2016 (UTC)

"Aidenn" is an alternate form of "Eden." It's best known for Poe's using it in "The Raven." If the actual location is Merseyside, it could be a wordplay suggesting divine mercy. Gmcgath (talk) 11:25, 15 November 2016 (UTC)

The “hey then” explanation for “Aidenn” is so tortured as to be implausible. It should be changed per the above comment. 13:19, 15 November 2016 (UTC)

The text [[1]] that is referenced for "The Shire" and attributed to John Cleese is actually a hoax, see http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/revocation.asp 10:19, 16 November 2016 (UTC)

And the reference in this piece to the incorrectness of "Devonshire" is completely wrong. Although the official name of the county is now "Devon", the form "Devonshire" has a pedigree going back over 1000 years and is still used in formations such as the Duke of Devonshire, HMS Devonshire, the Devonshire Regiment etc. The same goes for Dorset/Dorsetshire. Mikej (talk) 13:09, 16 November 2016 (UTC)

"Tarp" probably refers to the meme "It's a tarp!": http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=It%27s%20a%20tarp. Yodah (talk) 11:57, 16 November 2016 (UTC)

Riffing on Boston?

The title text may be derivitive of an old joke around Randall's home town, where Boston has neighborhoods with geographically illogical names: The geographical center of Boston is in Roxbury. Due north of the center we find the South End. This is not to be confused with South Boston, which lies directly east from the South End. North of the South End is East Boston and southwest of East Boston is the North End. BackBay was filled in years ago

Also, from the counties surrounding Boston: Norfolk is mostly south of Suffolk, except for a small gerrymandered piece that is in the middle between Suffolk and Middlesex.


"Bottoms" are not confined to Northern England. We have many bottoms here in Kent, which is not Northern. (See Lock's Bottom and Pratt's Bottom.) Also, "bottom" may refer to somewhere that is lower than somewhere else, but not necessarily in a valley as such. Also also, snurk. -- 12:45, 15 November 2016 (UTC)

"Bottoms" is not confined to Europe either, so don't feel special - we land-dwellers in North America use it too, usually to mean 'Low-lying alluvial land adjacent to a river' as defined in the dictionary! In more general terms, this would refer to land subject to frequent flooding, commonly called a floodplain. If you have a bottoms that never floods, you really should consider renaming it. --Ianrbibtitlht (talk) 04:15, 6 June 2017 (UTC)
  • And "-folk" is not common in place names. It exists in Suffolk and Norfolk but two (among thousands) can't be called common. -- 12:53, 15 November 2016 (UTC)

Crewneck could also refer to actual crewneck sweaters, popularised by The Beatles in the 60's. The Beatles came from Liverpool... (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Blighton would be pronounced the same as the surname of Enid Blyton (1897-1968), a famous author of childrens' books known for their resolute white middle class-ness. But she is associated with southern England; she lived in Beaconsfield, west of London. 16:22, 24 November 2016 (UTC)

While I found this comic funny, what I found most humorous was the reactions to it. Facts: Randall drew a map of Britain, he said it was labeled by an American, and it included both real and made-up place names. Unfortunately, it seems that those commenting here and generating this article interpreted it as an American-bashing opportunity. I interpreted it as this: to the average American, Britain has a LOT of funny names for places and struggles with using appropriate directional prefixes. It's extremely funny how so many of you chose to see it in the least funny way possible, likely because you can only see it through your own eyes! --Ianrbibtitlht (talk) 05:14, 6 June 2017 (UTC)

Why does it list "North Sea" as "no joke" when on the map it's written "Norther Sea"? There must be some explanation for writing it this way. Is it actually pronounced that way in England or something? It's sometimes called "Northern Sea" (or am I thinking of the one near Alaska? Maybe that's the joke?). Bu never "Norther Sea". Unless it's meant to sound like "Northersea", like "Battersea"? 02:53, 18 January 2018 (UTC)

It doesn't - it lists "North Sea" as "no joke"; "Norther Sea" says "pun on North Sea". 09:00, 18 January 2018 (UTC)

In what world is "paisley," a real place, a pun on "parsley?" Did someone just go through the list and think "hmm, these sound kinda like this word/phrase," regardless of all reason? 00:59, 8 October 2018 (UTC)