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SunnysideA Sociolinguistic History of British House Names$
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Laura Wright

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266557

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266557.001.0001

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Victorian Villas

Victorian Villas

(p.45) 2 Victorian Villas

Laura Wright

British Academy

The railway age brought about an increase in suburban housing. From the 1840s, London outer-suburb house-name categories were the transferred place-name (Cintra Villa), the nostalgically rural (Oak Lodge), the commemorative (Albert Villa), the upwardly-mobile (Tudor Lodge), and the latest fashion or fad (Ferndale, referencing the then-prevaling fashion for fernery). Post mid-century the ‘pick & mix’ category came into being, whereby house-namers uncoupled existing placename elements and recombined them to create authentic-sounding, yet new, names (Penthwaite). Post 1860s purpose-built blocks of flats took the final element -mansions. Post 1880s jocular names began to occur (Wee Neste) and post 1895 purpose-built blocks of flats took the final element -court. Overall, shifts in naming trends were caused by movements of people, both socially and geographically, but in the main house-names were consistently conservative across time and place.

Keywords:   transferred placenames, nostalgically rural house-names, commemorative house-names, upwardly-mobile house-names, pick & mix house-names, jocular house-names

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