On the opposite bank of the canal we witnessed a long line of tups doing a march past. I don't what caused them to walk in single file like that.

I always enjoy seeing perfect reflections in the still canal waters.

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After taking the photo in my previous post I got thinking about surnames. Surnames were often assumed due to the occupation of an individual. Smith due to an ancestor being (e.g.) a blacksmith. Names like Thatcher, Cooper and Fletcher had similar origins.

Just what exactly did someone do to get called Ramsbottom?

Let's be hearing your potentially funny surnames. Must be real people you know/knew. I'll get the ball rolling.

I once had a customer called Mr. Everhard. I do so hope he had a son called Richard.

@fitheach It may simply be a place name. Surnames are just the officialized versions of descriptive names that people use to differentiate who they're talking about. So "Sean the smith" is as likely as "Rob from Ramsbottom".

At least in our culture. Elsewhere they're more likely to use patronymics or even more complex stuff :)

Possible, but, not as funny. I'd like to think it was an *activity*, not a place.

England has lots of places with "bottom" in the name. Conceivably, there may have been bottoms where male sheep were habitually kept.

@fitheach Could they be from Ramsbottom - the town; 'The name either means "ram's valley" from the Old English ramm, a ram and botm, a valley but could mean a wild-garlic-valley, with the first element representing the Old English hramsa meaning "wild garlic"'

Either explanation seems possible, but, misses the humour potential of it being derived from an activity.

Make Port.

Actually, an old Scottish name, and the "ck" isn't pronounced. 😃

@fitheach Since you speak German, here is a first AND last name:
Garnet Gottschlich.
Not funny enough? Wait!
In attendee lists her name appeared as
Gottschlich, Garnet which would translate from Hessian German to 'God did not sneak at all'. Still makes me crack up 😆


I once saw a scientific publication with an author called Wahrheit (= Truth).

So imagine someone explaining:

As reported by Wahrheit Truth in 1995, science assumes that..

I used to work beside a Dr Payne (pronounced pain, chemistry Phd) and a Dr Love (virologist).

Honorary porn names, I think.

I used to have a customer called De'ath. He was also a doctor.

@fitheach @Wizardofosmium
In a similar vein: I had a mate at university whose surname was spelled Todt (pronounced as German Tod = death). He told me that his grandmother (of the same name) was a nurse.

@pandora @fitheach @Wizardofosmium

When I worked in broadcast engineering one of our clients in Germany had an engineer with the surname Funk 😁

@pandora @fitheach @Wizardofosmium I had maths lectures at university from Doctor D'Eath...

@Wizardofosmium @fitheach That reminds me of our former veterinarian, Dr. Schnapp (german for snap).

@fitheach I know a Dr Kneebone, and a nurse whose surname was Patient...

@fitheach @fitheach there is a provider at a local hospital with the last name "Self."

Might be related to the author and broadcaster Will Self.

@fitheach I went to school with someone named Max Payn. Back then, he wanted to be a doctor but I think he went into animatronics/prosthetics for TV/film.

Max is such a useful name for these funny combinations. Always makes me think of the animated character Max Headroom.

@fitheach we had a teacher at school called Mrs Badcock. The joke was that her husband was called Iver. He wasn't.

@fitheach I had a friend in school named Obeldobel. I have no idea what that could mean, but people love the name when they first hear it.
She's become a surgeon, by the way.

That's like a name from a fairy tale. I'm hoping her first name is something like Isobel.

@fitheach Well, yes. But you'll only find out that she's a surgeon in my town. 😬

Have you ever tried an Internet search for you own name?

It doesn't work with my name, I'm as common as muck.

@fitheach @Nasenspray

my real name is duplicated with around 10 000 other Gen X lads, mostly from Malaysia and Singapore but with a few in UK, some of them even share the same hobbies and interests (I have to warn anyone who uses Linkedin of this duplication)

Younger people with same ancestry more often have a full Chinese name with the two Chinese characters (often transliterated into Western characters) following their Western given name and family name..

@fitheach Yes. I'm lucky. There's a country music duo with my names 😉
(But you'll also find stuff from work I made, so I'm not completely incognito).

I know of an Anya in country music (well, Bluegrass mostly).I wonder if... 😃

That was my guess. I don't know any other Anyas in country music.

@fitheach @Nasenspray as far as I can tell there’s only 1 other person with my name in the UK and they’re a petty criminal so first page of results is stories about them in court!

@fitheach family names are usually either someone’s son, place, geographical feature, occupation, colour. Guessing Ramsbottom is place (sorry to ruin your joke).

Yes, that was my thinking, too.

Perhaps, Ramsbottom was near to Crinkley Bottom.

@fitheach How can you tell they're tups from that far away?

Also, that mound looks rather archaeological. Any idea if it is?

The wide angle lens on my smartphone makes them look further away than they actually were.

The mound is the site of an ancient burial ground. Some of the slabs are still visible.

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