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Funny place names in Cornwall

History gives us so many things. From incredible castles and landmarks that rise above the landscape to weird and wacky traditions that last through the ages, Cornwall enjoys many remnants of its rich past. Another large part of our cultural heritage is the Cornish language, which prevails to this day through common phrases, on our buses, and, in our place names.

A map of the funniest place names in Cornwall

With so many influences moulding Cornwall’s many towns, villages, and ancient sites, the list of place names is as varied as it is long, with some of the more unusual places sparking a snigger or two. Oh yes, Cornwall is no stranger to a comical street name or eyebrow-raising town, bringing joy to both locals and visitors – after all, who can drive past a sign for Ventongimps without letting out a little chuckle!

So, whether you want to know where to go for a humorous selfie with a sign or you just want to get lost in the delights of absurd words, here’s our roundup of the funniest place names in Cornwall…

Brown Willy

The open moorland on Bodmin Moor with Brown Willy in the distance

Often featured on lists exploring the funniest place names in the UK, Brown Willy is famous for more than its reaching heights. There are a few schools of thought when it comes to the hill’s unusual name. One possibility is that it came from the Cornish Bronn Wennili, which means hill of swallows. However, the slightly more logical option is that it stems from the Cornish Bronn Ewhella, which means highest hill as Brown Willy is indeed the highest point in Cornwall. Etymology aside, Brown Willy is an excellent day out, with many dramatic walks winding across the rugged moors.


A chucklesome name if ever there was one, Ventongimps in North Cornwall actually has a completely normal meaning. Venton is Cornish for a spring or fountain, while gimps simply means ‘flat place’, providing a wonderfully mundane meaning behind one of Cornwall’s more comical place names.  


A neighbour of Ventongimps (the crossroad near Perranzabuloe is famous across Cornwall thanks to these two settlements), Cocks is a lovely little hamlet that bears a curious name. More akin to a James May quote than a Cornish parish, you can visit Cocks for a photo on Cocks Hill before popping into the nearby Bolingey Inn for a refreshing pint or slap-up Sunday lunch.


One of the giant satellite dishes at Goonhilly Earth Station in Cornwall

Home to many goons (the word is Cornish for downs), Cornwall’s flatter landscapes are often accompanied by a sniggerworthy name. Goonhilly on the Lizard Peninsula is perhaps the most well-known, but you can also visit Goonhavern, Goon Gumpas, and Goonhusband if you’re looking to play a game of Cornish bingo.


No, this isn’t something a trout farmer asks a friend to do while they’re on holiday, this is actually an industrial estate and road in Helston. Home to an array of local businesses, Water-ma-Trout is often busy, and while the name has become commonplace with locals, it still stumps anyone who stumbles across it for the first time. We might never know for sure if the estate got its name from the nearby water supply at the River Cober, but we will always enjoy hearing our Sat Nav try to pronounce it.

Skinner’s Bottom

With such a beautiful, undulating landscape, it will come as little surprise that Cornwall is full of bottoms. At least, as long as you know that ‘bottom’ is Cornish for a valley floor, which everyone does, right? The most famous - and funny - bottoms in Cornwall include Skinner’s Bottom, Jolly’s Bottom, Greenbottom, Happy Bottom, Sandy Bottom, and Bottoms in Penzance - to name butt a few!

Booby’s Bay

The golden sands and turquoise seas at Constantine Bay and Booby's Bay in Cornwall

Named after the beloved flat-footed bird, Booby’s Bay in North Cornwall is a lovely dog-friendly beach popular with surfers. The surrounding coastline is great for walks, and you might even spot the beach’s namesake bird!


Home to rugged moorland (not little yellow animations as the name suggests), Minions is a wonderful place to visit. Remnants of Cornwall’s industrial past pepper the landscape, while the village’s home on the outskirts of Bodmin Moor makes it a great destination for stargazing and walking – the famous rocks at Cheesewring are only a short walk away!

Ding Dong Mine

It’s not just towns and villages that have made full use of a creative licence when it comes to names. Ding Dong Mine in West Cornwall is a wonderful example of both Cornwall’s mining heritage and the joy of a well-chosen name. Most likely stemming from either the outcrop of tin on the hill or the bell that used to signal the end of the working day, it’s well worth taking a diversion when visiting Penzance as the mine enjoys incredible views across Mounts Bay and St Michael’s Mount.

Shag Rock

The dramatic cliffs near Perranporth and Shag Rock in Cornwall

Another snigger-worthy place name born from birds, Shag Rock can actually be found across three different locations in Cornwall. There’s Shag Rock Beach near Looe, Shag Rock Steps in Perranporth, and the famous Shag Rock near Mevagissey, giving you plenty of choice between beach, walk, and geological sightseeing!


An innocently humorous name, Greensplat can be found in South Cornwall. While no longer a village, the place name remains, providing plenty of opportunities to raise an eyebrow in question at the artful name. While there is always the possibility that it got its name from some spilled green paint, Occam’s Razor would suggest the name comes from a nearby mine shaft called ‘the Plat’ – although who Green is we may never know.


The name might conjure a chuckle or two, but the views from Feock are nothing to laugh about. Situated by the peaceful Carrick Roads in a National Landscape (formerly known as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), this idyllic village gets its curious name from Saint Fioc or Feoca. If you’re looking for a tranquil stroll a stone’s throw from Truro, Feock should be at the top of your list.


Looking along the quayside in Flushing, with a boat in the water and pretty cottages along the edge of the quay

South Cornwall really does seem to have a monopoly on funny place names, with Flushing joining the fun. Dutch in origin, Flushing’s name might be the initial pique to your interest, but the pretty village with its riverside location is what holds the attention. Sitting just across the water from Falmouth, Flushing enjoys a lovely blend of idyllic views and easy access to the hustle and bustle of Falmouth and its many pubs and restaurants.

There are many more curious, comical, and outright bizarre place names in Cornwall and the best way to discover them is to do some good old-fashioned exploring. Browse our collection of beautiful holiday cottages to find your next Cornish getaway, from Flushing to Looe.