Dildo & Famish Gut: What’s In A Name?

When I started writing Up She Rises, I named the fictional fishing village in which its set Twig. I just liked the sound of it. But I might need to change it.

My lovely Newfoundland born and raised cousin recently read the manuscript. She loved it. (hear that agents?) She was fulsome and kind in her praise, with one small caveat. She didn’t think the name Twig worked:

“If you are planning to get the book published in Newfoundland, you should consider changing the name of the town. Newfoundland is known for its unique and colourful place names and Newfoundlanders take particular pride in their nomenclature. So the name really has to work for the Newfoundland audience to buy into the book.
[A] tree reference doesn’t really work. There are place names which refer to geographical features i.e. Rocky Harbour, Bell Island etc. And names that suggest refuge like Little Hearts Ease, Heart’s Delight, Comfort Cove etc.”
I could dismiss my cousin’s advice, but I value her opinion. As much as it kills me, it might be time to say good-bye  to Twig. I’ve been playing with names on this list of abandoned or resettled communities in Newfoundland. Twig could become:
Little Bay
Turnip Cove
Little Tickle
Pudding Cove
What do you think?
Now enjoy this video about another proposed name change in Newfoundland:
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15 thoughts on “Dildo & Famish Gut: What’s In A Name?

  1. Oh no! How do you feel about changing the name?

    The video is great. I’m not sure how I feel about Baytona but Famish Gut is just all round excellent.

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    • I’m really torn. I’ve lived with it for so long but I want to get it right and I especially want Newfoundlanders to think I got it right. We’ll see.

      And yes, I think Famish Gut is the best name ever.

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  2. Baytona? Really? It sounds like Daytona which means race cars which is so not the right image. I love the traditional names and I believe Dildo still exists? No doubt the advice of a Newfoundlander is well worth heeding. I am sure the right decision will come to you…but I like Harbour, Cove or Haven as part of the name. It is in a sense Rachel’s haven, but maybe that’s too obvious. Good luck with it.

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    • Here’s what wikipedia has to say:

      Originally, Baytona was known as “Birchy Bay North”. In 1958 the name was changed to “Gayside” to help the flow of mail delivery. The name was a play on the word “gay”, which at that time meant happy, implying that Gayside was the more pleasant of the two communities. However, in 1985, due to a change in definition of the word “gay”, and subsequent joking and harassment of neighbouring communities, the name of the town was, once again, changed from “Gayside” to “Baytona”

      I think they should’ve gone back to Birchy Bay North…

      Yes Dildo still exists.

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  3. Names that come to mind-Chuckley Pear Place; Marshberry Town: Up Along Haven; Bakeapple Cove. I remember those fruits. I’m hungry thinking about them. Annie

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