When flooding hit the village of La Hoz de la Vieja (The Old Woman’s Sickle) in Spain this summer, it struck me that there are many curious and funny village names, especially if you translate them literally.
On the one hand you have food: Cucumber (Pepino), Onion (Cebolla) and Quince (Membrillo) in Toledo, Garlic (Ajo) in Cantabria and Raw Bread (Pancrudo) in Aragon.
Rude names: Dickville (Villapene) in Lugo or It’s a Dick (Espolla) in Girona – which happens to be near Tails (Rabos).
Scary names: Hells (Los Infiernos – Murcia), The Killing (La Matanza – Alicante), Kill The Pine Tree (Mataelpino – Madrid) or even worse in Asturias were you can find The Woman With The Slit Throat (La Degollada) and The Dead Women’s Well (El Pozo de las Mujeres Muertas). After visiting these you’ll have to go to God Bless (Dios Le Guarde – Salamanca) or see God’s Daughter (La Hija de Dios – Avila).
Some villages have changed their names to something a bit nicer: In Salamanca the village of Pigsties (Pocilgas) became Nice View (Buenavista), The Dead Stream (Arroyomuerto) was changed to San Miguel de Robledo and The Swine’s Beard (Barba del Puerco) sounds a lot better as Puerto Seguro .
Often villages are named after significant inhabitants, although some of them might not have been so happy with the choice of name: The Thin Women (Las Delgadas), The Big Headed Ones (Los Cabezudos) , The Fat One (El Gordo) or The Blind One (Elciego).
Looking for animals? Lion, Bull, Goat, Eagle, Mule, Frogs for Sale, The Crow of Seville, The Cow’s Head, Penguins (oops – sorry, no penguins just got carried away).
For the guys they can find Aunts (Tias – Lanzarote), Two Sisters (Dos Hermanas – Seville), a Couple of Blondes (Parderrubias – Pontevedra) and a Swedish Woman (Sueca – Valencia). After that you’d better get along to Good Weddings (Buenasbodas) in Toledo.
Going shopping? In Jaen you can get Trousers For Sale (Venta de Pantalones) and in Palencia there are Baths For Sale (Venta de Baños) which you could try and buy for a Dollar (Dólar) from Granada.
Fernando Alonso’s Houses (Las Casas de Fernando Alonso) in Cuenca wouldn’t have been so curious if it wasn’t for the famous Spaniard’s Formula 1 victories.
But the first prize goes to the “Spanglish” sounding village of Guarromán (Jaen) aka Dirty Hombre.
If you know any more, let us know!