1 SEPTEMBER 1939, Page 18


A GOOD number of English places are acquiring names in very unorthodox ways. They are christened and labelled by private persons, without reference to any public authority. The method may be good or bad, according to the taste of the namer. House-owners have, of course, named their own houses, often with rather fatuous names that have well-earned the mockery of the humorists. Have they a right to name the road or district where that house is situate? The other day I came upon a board bearing the legend " Tuffs Hard " in large lettering. " Hard," of course, is a good old English word for a particular sort of place. Every one knows of " the Hard " at Portsmouth, and I know no spot in England more suggestive of English history than Buckler's Hard, where many a ship was made out of New Forest oak. "Tuffs Hard" is undoubtedly facetious, but a certain danger exists in placarding beautiful spots with inferior jests.