EVER been to Fanny Barks, visited Old Man’s Bottom, made a trip to Hairy Side or taken a stroll around Deborah Wood?

They are all real places in the North-East which feature on a curious new map.

Tangled Worm, a Durham-based publisher of poster prints, has created the map featuring more than 1,000 rude and peculiar place names in the region.

Loading article content

Compiled by historian David Simpson, the map covers the region from northern Northumberland to the northern fringe of North Yorkshire.

Alongside well-known names like Pity Me – there are in fact three – there are hundreds of surprising and little-known names.

Nickynack Bridge and Deborah Wood are joined by the likes of Pesspool Hall, Slit Foot, No Place, Towdy Pots, Great Burst, Dead Friars and Penny Pie as examples from County Durham.

Northumberland’s contribution includes Condundrum, Tiptoe, Boca Chica, Clinch, Frolic, Whamlands, Peepy, Delight and Old Man’s Bottom.

North Yorkshire names include Crackpot, Grimy Gutter Hags, Barf House, Booze and Kisdon Bottom.

Rude names include Titlington Mount and Shitlington Hall in Northumberland, Shittlehopeside in County Durham and Fanny Barks near Darlington, as well as suggestive entries such as Wham Bottom, Common Slap, Bottom Dopes, Stinking Goat and Stanky Burn.

“I’ve always been fascinated by place names and their origins” said 50-year old Tangled Worm owner Mr Simpson.

“But it’s the rude and peculiar names that catch your attention.”

Several peculiar names crop up more than once. As well as three Pity Mes, there are eight Unthanks three Seldom Seens, four Twizells – a fork in a stream - and four occurrences of Make-me-rich.

The map is divided into three types of colour-coded names with topographical features depicted in green, hamlets and farms in red and familiar villages, towns and suburbs in black.

The map includes explanations for names like Friar’s Goose in Gateshead and Foggy Furze in Hartlepool which both refer to kinds of vegetation.

There is also an international air to several places – New York, Havannah, Greenland, Gibraltar, Moscow, Nova Scotia, Canada, Philadelphia, Quebec and California – as well as names recalling distant battles like Vigo, Inkerman, Spion Kop, Waterloo and Camperdown.

Mr Simpson added “There are 1,037 places on the map in total. It’s hard to pick a favourite but some are surprisingly rude and you can’t always tell if it’s intentional.”

  • Curious Place Names of North East England, and other poster print maps, are available from tangledworm.com priced £10.95 in A3 format or £15.95 in larger A2 format.