How To Sound Like A Native – Part 1: Village Names

cheerful tidy maulden names

Maulden Names

You may see people smile at the pronunciation of local village words or place names by others.  Maulden is not noted for a strong regional accent, but we do have some odd names for things.

We asked around the village for some examples. You might have others for us:

The Brache

A recent change to the spelling (around 1900) left many people confused, including this resident:

I’m feeling like a total NUMPTY having just realised that I have been saying “The Brache” wrong for 17 years. It is not “bray-sha”, but “bray- tch”. On maps until 1883 it is clearly marked as “The BREACH”  because it represented a gap in the Greensand Hill.

Flitwick Road

Should be simple, of course. It isn’t, at least to some residents:

Flitwick Road is pronounced “Flit-ik” Road. Obvious to locals, of course. Universally mispronounced by virtually everyone else. Have no idea where the W went or came from.

And it is doubly confusing for this commuter:

I’ve always though it a trifle amusing that the Thameslink line runs
through both Flitwick (“Flit-tik”) and Gatwick (not “Gat-tik”).

The Grass is not what it seems

Village green spaces have their own names and secrets.

Lots of people call the Maulden playground and football pitch the park, it’s called the Rec. Rec being short for recreation ground.

That is backed up by others

I confirm, the kids play area & footie ground in the Brache is “The Rec”,

We don’t have a village green.

Sad, but true. Here is the fact of it from a local:

Loads of folk call the grassy bit at the end of George St ” The Village
Green” – it is not common village land, but has long been privately owned.

The use of the land was clearly not “common village green”:

During WWII that area used to be cultivated for veg market gardening, and this continued into the 1980s, after which it was grassed over.

What about the other end of the village?

Nor is the grass around the Village Hall the village green either; nearest “Green” I know is at Clophill, outside the Flying Horse where the buses  turn.

Secret by-ways

Even the smallest path can have a special name, as we are told

I’ve always known the footpath from George Street out to Limbersey Lane as “The Jitty”.

Local Area Names

Each on of these will have history and meaning to it, and we will start to try to find out what they all mean in future articles

  • BREACH
  • DUCK END
  • GREEN END
  • HALL END
  • LIMBERSEY
  • SNOWHILL
  • WATER END

Thanks to everyone who gave us examples. Do you have more? If so, comments are open.