The top ten: Best British place names
John Rentoul is chief political commentator for The Independent on Sunday, and visiting professor at Queen Mary, University of London, where he teaches contemporary history. Previously he was chief leader writer for The Independent. He has written a biography of Tony Blair, whom he admired more at the end of his time in office than he did at the beginning.
Sunday 14 July 2013
This week's top 10 was suggested by Citizen Sane, one of the great assumed identities of the internet, which allows people to be both anonymous and completely traceable. Once Alex Massie got involved, I realised we could have done the top 50 place names in Orkney alone, but had to limit its contribution to a single entry.
1. Splott In Cardiff. With thanks to Dave Collins.
2. Pity Me County Durham – Ben Stanley.
3. Bat & Ball A railway station in Sevenoaks. Thanks to Citizen Sane for that.
4. Bufflers Holt Buckinghamshire. Sophie Hannah, the author, says she loved it so much, "I relocated a character in my new novel so she could live there".
5. Warninglid West Sussex. Thanks to Parimal Kumar.
6. Fingringhoe Essex. (Gavin Murdock)
7. Grimness Orkney. Thanks to Alex Massie. Orkney also has Riff of Wasbister, Banks of Runabout and Rotten Gutter.
8. No Place Also County Durham. Thanks to Dan Jackson.
9. Ventongimps A hamlet in Cornwall, nominated by Carolyn.
10. Snodland Also in Kent. Where Snods come from. (Citizen Sane)
Next week: Awful rhymes in pop songs.
Coming soon: Words that Ought to be Used More Often. Send your suggestions by 23 July, as well as ideas for any future Top 10s, to email@example.com
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