Friday, July 6, 2007

Does your house/cottage have a name?

If you moved to England, you would have a name for your house! At least that seems to be the thing to do here. Most all houses have a name sign out on the stone fence or by the door. Some are quite interesting, and it makes you wonder how/why the name was chosen. It seems that the names usually stay with the house no matter who moves into it. Some of the names that I see on my walk around Martock are:
Ivy Cottage, Samaritan House, The Vicar's Old House, The Doctor's Old House, Mill House, The Old Stable, Bridge House, Rose Cottage, Rock Cottage, The Courthouse, Carriage House. (All of those are houses where people live---sometimes you can guess what the house used to be!) Sometimes there are street numbers as well, just like at home, but other times there are no house numbers---people just go by the names. In the telephone book, many businesses list an address such as Queen Ann Cottage or Church Farm Cottage and then tell the street name---no numbered address. (When I went to the dentist, I was given only a house name and street name.) That makes it a little hard on newcomers! It reminds me of small-town America where people may say, "turn left at Old Man Brown's old house", and newcomers have no idea who Old Man Brown is or where he used to live! It is interesting to think about what you would name your house..........

I still haven't quite determined what makes a house or a cottage or a flat. Our apartment is called a "cottage"---it is connected to other apartments (some owned by individual people and some owned by the hotel) and it is two-story. Friends from church call their stand-alone house a "cottage". The preacher calls his two-story apartment (which he owns) a "house".
The formal living room is the "sitting room" and the den is the "lounge". The sunroom or sunporch is a "conservatory", no matter the size.

I continue to be surprised by the pronounciation of some words. My favorite ones of the week are zebra (pronounced with a short "e" sound) and vitamins (pronounced with the first "i" short). My very favorite one, though, is pronounced like carriage except with a hard "g" sound instead of the "c" at the first of the word. Can you guess what word that would be? How about "garage"!!!