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Bettie's Books

A Stuga On the Cusp of the Orust Riviera, tucked away next to a hobbit hole in the woods.

Old Dog and Duck: The Secret Meanings of Pub Names by Albert Jack

Old Dog and Duck: The Secret Meanings of Pub Names - Albert Jack
bookshelves: e-book, nonfic-nov-2015, nonfiction, tbr-busting-2015, skim-through, published-2011, history, microhistory, reference
Recommended for: pub-crawlers extraodinaire
Read from November 28, 2013 to November 15, 2015


From the description: This is a book for everyone who has ever wondered why pubs should be called The Cross Keys, The Dew Drop Inn or The Hope and Anchor. You'll be glad to know that there are very good - strange and memorable - reasons behind them all.

After much research about (and in) pubs, Albert Jack brings together the stories behind pub names to reveal how they offer fascinating and subversive insights on our history, customs, attitudes and jokes in just the same way that nursery rhymes do. The Royal Oak, for instance, commemorates the tree that hid Charles II from Cromwell's forces after his defeat at Worcester; The Bag of Nails is a corruption of the Bacchanals, the crazed followers of Bacchus, the god of wine and drunkenness; The Cat and the Fiddle a mangling of Catherine La Fidele and a guarded gesture of support for Henry VIII's first, Catholic, wife Catherine of Aragon; plus many, many more.

Here too are even more facts about everything from ghosts to drinking songs to the rules of cribbage and shove ha'penny, showing that, ultimately, the story of pub history is really the story of our own popular history.

Alphabetically listed, here is an example of the goods:

The Alma: THE WAR TO NAME ALL PUBS: There are many inns around Britain bearing this name, or a variation of it. The Battle of Alma, Heroes of Alma, Heights of Alma and the Alma Arms are just a few examples. The Alma is the name of the major river running through the area of the Ukraine formerly known as the Crimea. On 20 September 1854 it became the scene of the first key battle of the Crimean War, fought by the British and her European allies against the Russians over lands once occupied by the declining Ottoman Empire.

Definitely one to keep on the e-reader when out and about in UK. Wouldn't it be fun to make a holiday just ticking off the names. haha.