Thursday, December 14, 2006

Sour Swedish Names

So I'm skimming my RSS reader and, in a Swedish paper, I come across this blurb: "The people of Fjuckby have finally taken a stand against the 'ridicule, teasing and hilarity' that is their daily lot." I think, "Damn, that's a crazy town name. I wonder what they're getting ridiculed about?"

Well, their town name, of course:

Having stoically accepted years of relentless badgering, the people of Fjuckby have finally had enough. The villagers are crossing their fingers that the National Heritage Board will see it their way and grant them a new name.

One of the main sticking points of course is that globalisation has led to rude English-language associations that the villagers could do without.

But there is a double misfortune, in that the Swedish word 'juck' embedded in the place name essentially means the same thing as Fjuckby's English component...

The [town's] delegation requests that the name Fjukeby be reinstated. Until as late as the 1930s this was the accepted spelling.
I guess that's better. The paper concludes by editorializing that "if Fjuckby gets its way it is conceivable that Anusviken, Arslet and Dicken may be next in line for a swift reversal of misfortune."

Thank goodness nothing like this happens in America.