Friday, 22 February 2008
Just a short blog today as I have a stinking cold and also have good intentions to get some work-related reading done from my sickchair. I mentioned under 'Crap Towns' that Hull has my joint favourite street name in the world: 'The land of Green Ginger'. Here is the other favourite street name: 'Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma Gate', which is in York and really exists as can be seen from the pic. The name is apparently a bowlderisation of Anglo-Saxon for 'neither one thing nor the other street' and is the shortest street in York. 'Gate' (often mistakenly taken to refer to gates in the city walls) is undoubtedly from the old Norse 'gute' meaning street, or at least is in northern England. Thus Kirkgate = Church Street, Briggate = Bridge Street etc. Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma Gate was the scene of public floggings in less enlightened times and I wonder if the bowlderisation has anything to do with that fact.