Monday, January 24, 2011

Strange Signs

Jack Asters Bar and Grill, Brampton, Ontario. It kills me every time see the sign above the main doors.

Blow Me Down, Newfoundland.

According to local legends, this towns name was given by Captain Messervay. Messervey was an unusually small captain who only stood at 4’2’ and upon his ships arrival into the Bay of Islands, which is surrounded by huge mountains, he prayed that they wouldn't "Blow-me-Down".

An advertisement in a Toronto bus shelter.

This Pennsylvania village was formed in 1754 and although the town was originally formerly called "Cross Keys, the name was changed to Intercourse in 1814.

There are several explanations concerning the origin of the name of Intercourse, but none can really be substantiated. The first centers around an old race track which existed just east of town along the Old Philadelphia Pike. The entrance to the race course was known as "Entercourse". Some suggest that "Entercourse" gradually evolved into "Intercourse".

Another theory concerns two major roads that crossed here: the Old King's Highway, which ran from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh (now called the Old Philadelphia Pike), and the road from Wilmington, Delaware to Erie, Pennsylvania. The intersection of these two roads was thought to be the basis for the town of "Cross Keys" or, eventually, "Intercourse".

A final idea comes from the "old english" language which was is use in the early 1800's. It refers to the "fellowship" or social interaction and friendship which was so much a part of an agricultural village and culture at that time.

Sign guy having a bad day - or just a twisted sense of humor. This sign was posted in Ontario's cottage country.

A side road sign near Massey, Ontario

Dildo is a town on the island of Newfoundland in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. It is located on the southeastern Dildo Arm of Trinity Bay about 60 kilometres west of St. John's. South Dildo is a neighbouring unincorporated community. The town's unusual name has brought it a certain amount of notoriety.

This Newfoundland village of "Dildo" has been known by that name at least 1711, though how this came to be is unknown. The origin of the word "dildo" itself is obscure; it was used as early as the 16th century for a cylindrical object such as a dildo glass (test tube), for a phallus-shaped sex toy, as an insult for a "contemptuous or reviling" male, and as a refrain in ballads.

The name, then written as "Dildoe", was first applied to Dildo Island, located offshore from the present-day town of Dildo. This use was recorded in 1711 and 1775, and the name was thereafter applied to the Dildo Arm of Trinity Bay and other local physical features. Social scientist William Baillie Hamilton notes that Captain James Cook and his assistant Michael Lane, who mapped Newfoundland in the 1760s, often displayed a sense of humour in the place names they chose, and were not above selecting names that might offend overly sensitive readers. Regardless of the origin, the name has brought the town of Dildo a measure of notoriety that is not welcomed on all fronts. In the 20th century there were several campaigns to change the name, though all failed.

A Catholic mission was started here in 1860, and the town was named in 1874. The name has nothing to do with laughter, but rather from an old French word for unexpected barrier or dead end. The "dead end" refers to Lac Temiscouata, 8 km to the east, where early canoe travellers were forced to begin an 80 km overland portage to Notre Dame de Portage on the St Lawrence

Some one with a great sense of the obvious!