Placenames of the British Isles

The xkcd (#1759) from the 14th:

It’s a hoot. Tons of play with names and with Americans’ knowledge of the geography, real and imaginary, of the British Isles (including at least the east coast of Ireland).

Hardly any place names are preserved with the places in their actual locations: notably, London, Cambridge and Oxfird (I would have expected Randall Munroe to at least have switched Oxford and Cambridge for comic effect; the fact that he didn’t is itself entertaning).

I immediately noticed GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), more or less in the location of Greenwich; Cumberbatch; Dampshire for Hampshire (where it rains a lot); Dubstep for Dublin; and Aberforth for Aberystwyth (in Wales); and then a lot more.

From the xkcd Explained site, with a bit of news for penises:

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” – according to urban legend, the angle of the Mull defines the maximum allowed erectness for a man on films and home video releases in the UK.

The site has a big chart of names and (likely) sources.

Bonus on the Mull of Kintyre. I haven’t been there, but I’ve seen the pictures, and 40 years ago Paul McCartney made me want to visit. From Wikipedia:

“Mull of Kintyre” is a song by the British-American rock band Wings written by Paul McCartney and Denny Laine. The song was written in tribute to the picturesque Kintyre peninsula in Scotland and its headland, the Mull of Kintyre, where McCartney has owned High Park Farm since 1966.

A song of love for and longing for place. You can watch the video (from 1977) here.

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