Owl's Hoot: How People Name Their Houses
Author: Joyce Miles, David Eccles
Publisher: John Murray Publishers
Release Date: March 01, 2001
House names have a long history, certainly dating back to Babylon and Rome, but today they are a neglected source of social historyand amusement. Mysterious appellations like "Small Drink Cottage" or "Virgins Living" indicate ancient uses, while literature has contributed such memorable abodes as "Ivanhoe," "Green Gables," and "Copperfield." The Victorians opted for stately romanticism, carving "The Elms" or "Prospect Villa" into their lintels; recent years, however, have brought smarter plaques and fewer inhibitions, as retired farmers return home to "Dunmilkin" and doctors to "Bedside Manor." Names have even started to comment on each other: in numbered streets, 2B's neighbor is now quite likely to be "Ornot." Although the book focuses primarily on the towns and villages of Britain, there are also samplings from other parts of the world. Full of wit, lore, and excellent drawings, Owl's Hoot is an unexpected treat.