1759: British Map

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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.

Explanation

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If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

Many areas of the UK are most familiar to foreigners thanks to their depiction in various fantasy nobels 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.

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
Norther Sea Pun on the North Sea The Sea of the Hebrides region
Braintree Not a joke North Yorkshire The real Braintree is much further south, near where "Paulblart" is on the map.

Transcript

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Discussion

Might be a bit of a stretch, but Cardigan could also be a reference to Ceredigion, the Welsh county. --172.68.10.34 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. 141.101.98.171 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. 108.162.210.196 14:43, 16 November 2016 (UTC)

Could Highland be a reference to Highlander? 173.245.52.84 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 141.101.98.215 17:44, 14 November 2016 (UTC)


Blick could also be Oldmeldrum. 162.158.234.229 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 :) 141.101.98.251 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. 141.101.98.159 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? --108.162.216.112 22:58, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

Helcaraxë and Highlands are areas, not towns, so don't get dots. 198.41.239.32 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. 141.101.98.160 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? 141.101.98.162 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. 108.162.221.243 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. 172.68.55.81 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 141.101.98.181 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

"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. --141.101.98.143 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. --141.101.98.143 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... 108.162.246.41 (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. 172.68.55.82 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"? 172.68.54.34 02:53, 18 January 2018 (UTC)

It doesn't - it lists "North Sea" as "no joke"; "Norther Sea" says "pun on North Sea".141.101.76.16 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? 172.69.62.226 00:59, 8 October 2018 (UTC)