It’s time for a reality check. I received another I-hope-it-was-a-gentle rebuke from reader MattF, who warned me against taking to heart some of the less likely explanations of why streets are called what they’re called. My aim is to entertain as well as inform, so I like to air as many views as I can find about street name derivations, but equally, MattF has a point so I’ll try to make it clear which theories are probably complete eyewash and which may be plausible.
On that note, I thought it might be fun to look again at some of the weirder street names I’ve come across, and some of the many theories behind those names.
Starting with where my pursuit of London street names began: Bleeding Heart Yard. Dickens helped make the yard…
Source: Sublime and ridiculous in London names: Bleeding Heart Yard and Cripplegate | thestreetnames
Georgians had numerous clubs. One of the more ridiculous clubs was a club known as the “Farting Club,” and one person said of it, “of all the fantastical Clubs that ever took Pains to make themselves stink in the Nostrils of the Public, [there was no other club that]…ever came up to this windy Society.” Perhaps the club started because of Jonathan Swift. Swift was a master of satire and author of Gulliver’s Travel,who in 1722 also published a pamphlet titled “The Benefit of Farting Explain’d.” In the pamphlet Swift said the fart was “a great Promoter of Mirth.” Whatever brought about the Farting Club, it met weekly “to poison the neighbouring Air with their unsavory Crepitations.”
The Farting Club was established at a Public House in Cripplegate in the 1720s or 30s, where, reputedly, it met in secret for a time. After their meetings became public, the Farting Club began having contests to see…
Source: 18th and 19th Century: A Georgian Farting Club