Saturday, April 14, 2007

Happy 30th Birthday, Sarah Michelle Geller (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Yorkshire Holiday, Part 1: Wetwang

England is full of villages with humorous names, places like Spital in the Street (North Lincolnshire) and Bishop's Itchington (Warwickshire). But for a teenage boy, no place name is funnier than Wetwang (East Yorkshire).* Wetwang received some attention in 2001, when an Iron Age chariot burial was unearthed in the village. Wetwang was also the ancestral home of one branch of the Hardy family, descendants of a Hardy who came over with William the Conqueror. We found a few nineteenth- and twentieth-century Hardys in the churchyard of St. Nicholas, Wetwang, and there was a Hardy listed as a current member of the altar guild. But for Will and Peter, the biggest attraction was the name of the village itself.

(Etymological note: wang is an Anglo-Saxon word for "field," so "wetwang" is a marsh. In Middle Earth, Wetwang is the name of the marshes at the mouth of the river Entwash.)

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