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Heterophonic

Although William Shakespeare had mentioned: “What’s in a name?“, the fact is that names can mean a lot. A fine example of this is a village in Sweden. It seems pertinent to mention that words, which are deemed obscene, are often found in names or in surnames, and one has to face humiliation for the same. This time, a village, and not a person, is facing such a problem. Reports suggest that the residents of a Swedish village, called ‘Fucke’, have applied for a change in its name.

Fucke, the Swedish village

The villagers are desperate to change the name of their village, as it has a lot in common with an obscene word in English. They have repeatedly approached the concerned authorities in this regard. However, their appeal has been repudiated.

Although the name of the village is strange, its natural beauty is captivating. The name of this village actually comes from the name of the lake, named Fuckesjön. The village is situated on the banks of the lake. Many ancient traditions are involved in this village, as the earliest records of Fucke date back to 1547. However, the name of the culturally rich village has become the cause of concern, with the name being distorted on the Internet. Even the locals are tired of being censored when writing about their village on Facebook or when trying to sell things online.

Hence, the residents of Fucke have decided to rename their village. They have urged the National Survey of Sweden to change the name of their village from Fucke to Dalsro, which means quiet valley. As per a report published in The Local, the name Fucke lacked a clear meaning. However, a researcher at the Institute for Language and Folklore stressed: “There is a suggestion for interpretation that it could mean ‘wedge-shaped piece of earth’, from the Old West Norse word fokka, but that interpretation doesn’t explain the sound change (the change in vowel from ‘o’ to ‘u’). So it is unclear.

Meanwhile, Sweden’s STV has reported that the process could take some time, and the residents of Fucke would have to wait till the summer. “Place name customs according to this law mean that, among other things, place names must be written according to accepted norms for written Swedish, as well as the fact that place names currently in use cannot be changed unless there are exceptional reasons,” a senior official of the National Land Survey of Sweden told STV. He stressed: “If new names are created, the effect on previously existing names must be considered. Therefore, if a place already has an established name, there need to be strong reasons for changing it.

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