Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Poetry, Shop Names and Corny Puns


It's too easy to become slothful during a national lockdown. I have been trying to keep writing which at the moment means poetry writing. Even though I've produced a number of books - history related mostly - I keep coming back to poetry. It's what I enjoy most of all.

Last week an acceptance gave me the boost that I needed. A fascinating new magazine called The Pomegranate London have accepted my poem, The Circus Barker. It will be published in their first Issue which comes out in Spring 2021. I think they're still calling for submissions so any writers reading this might like to pop over and read their brief.

Shop Names

I do enjoy listening to podcasts, especially at night when sleep is elusive. It's been particularly bad this week as sadly my lovely cat, Mabel, died. This is the end of an era. I will never have another pet. It hurts too much when you lose them. Last night, in an effort to stop my overactive brain, I turned to my favourite podcast, Michael Rosen's Word of Mouth. I listened to an old episode about shop names. He talked about some old shop names from as far back as 1278. There is evidence of a shop in Westminster called Le Corner Shoppe, although it wasn't a shop as we would recognise it. There would have been a shopkeeper sitting at an outside stall with no customers allowed inside. 

My favourite part of the programme was when he discussed present day shop names. He had asked people to send in interesting shop names and these are just a few of the ones he mentioned:

a fruit shop called Melon Cauli

a chip shop in the Rhonda Valley called A Fish called Rhonda

a hairdresser in a narrow street called Alley Barber

and a window cleaner called Mr Bit (read it out loud if you don't get it first time!)

The one I liked the best is a camping shop's winter sale notice which read, Now is the winter of our discount tents.

If you want to hear more then tune in on BBC iPlayer to Word of Mouth Shop Names. I think you'll find it here. If not then it comes up on a Google search.

I'm sure there are local shop owners with equally punny ideas. The chain of UK pubs called The Slug and Lettuce comes to mind but that genuinely puts me off eating there and I used to frequent a cafe called The Salvador Deli but that has now closed down. 

I can't think of any others. Can you? 

Do share if you live near a clever shop name.


  1. Hi Ros - congratulations on The Pomegranate acceptance ... and just enjoy writing your poetry. I too have been listening to a lot of radio ... and investigating various interests - love the photo of you wrapped up for the days ahead. Take care - and all the best - Hilary

    1. Hi Hilary, thanks and I'm glad to hear that you're enjoying the radio too. There's certainly a lot of good stuff there especially when you explore the podcasts as well as the scheduled programmes. You take care too.

  2. How exciting to have your poem accepted for publication. Maybe I will start writing poetry again; I have had poems published in several magazines. Those are fun shop names. I like the Martha Grimes mystery series where some of the book titles are interesting pub names, like The Horse You Came In On and The Man with a Load of Mischief.

    1. Hi, yes it is exciting. There are a lot of poetry magazines accepting submissions. It's well worth Googling and Angela Carr gives good advice at Why not give it a try. My advice would be to not submit to sites that charge for submissions. There are a number of sites who pay for poetry. Good luck.

  3. Excellent news on your poetry acceptance. That's always a pick-me-up. And I did have to read the window cleaner one a few times and then say it out loud. Duh on my part - I was slow. But that's clever!

    1. Thanks, Joanne, yes I had to think a few times before I got Mr Bit. Love that sort of thing though.


Thank you for commenting. I do love receiving comments. Your comment will be sent to me for moderation before appearing here.

If you do not have a Google account, click on the Google account box and select Anonymous. Spam comments are not accepted on this blog.