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Around the world, there are several places called Soho, getting their names from an acronym-portmanteau-ish composite of local streets or neighbouring areas. But not the original Soho in London. In fact, London's place names are an etymological hotchpotch: landmarks present and long gone; 1000-year-old vanity projects; and Cockfosters.
This is a companion piece to the 99% Invisible episode 'The Soho Effect', about the proliferation of acranamed places.
MO SOHO INFO
- Peruse lots of historical and modern pieces about Soho on the Museum of Soho's blog, and find their touch screen exhibit on Sherwood Street.
- The Soho Stories app will take you on a walk around Soho and play anecdotes into your ear when you pass notorious places.
- There are so many stories of Soho, usually saturated with booze and sex; these ones are quite endearing.
- There’s yet another Soho in Britain’s second city, Birmingham. There are acranamers claiming it’s from ‘SOuth HOuse’, but it’s probably a second win for the hunting cry.
- Learn about Pittsburgh’s former Soho.
- Have a look at the first edition of Roget’s Thesaurus.
- Read an 1878 account of Soho, if you can handle the verbosity.
- The Londonist was keeping track of the city’s rebranded areas.
- Encyclopedia Briannica just tweeted to tell me that ‘acranames’ are actually ‘clipped compounds’. Yeah, but accuracy’s gain is acromanteaus’ loss.
- Hungry for more portmanteau words? There's a feastmanteau in the Brunch episode of this show.
- There's a transcript of this episode at theallusionist.org/transcripts/soho.
SOUND THE HUNTING CRIES!
Big Radiotopian news: we are on a quest - a Podquest - to find the next member of the collective. If you have an excellent, original, exciting, brave idea for a show; if your voice is missing from the interwaves; if you're willing to have your life consumed by making a podcast (what, me? Noooooooo...): visit radiotopia.fm/podquest, diligently study all the entry criteria, then submit your idea by 17 April 2016.
Radiotopia is a wonderful thing to be part of. I cannot recommend it more highly.
MAILCHIMP'S RANDOMLY SELECTED WORD FROM THE DICTIONARY:
- Tony Shrimplin is the chair of the Museum of Soho, a grassroots community project which you can find at mosoho.org.uk and twitter.com/TheMuseumOfSoho. Pop into their Bowie's London exhibition, 9-23 April at 35 Beak St. You can also hear him on Soho Radio, Sundays at 10am.
- This episode was produced by me, Helen Zaltzman, except for the bit that was produced by Avery Trufelman and 99% Invisible. The music is by Martin Austwick.
- Tony and I met in the Soho landmark Black's Club, who very kindly paused the coffee machine while we were talking.
- Sound the hunting cries at facebook.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/allusionistshow and twitter.com/helenzaltzman.
Oh, and sign up for the Allusionist newsletter in the sidebar of this site! Don't worry, I'm too lazy to spam you constantly. It'll be once or twice a month, tops.
Let's reconvene in two weeks for another of these.