Don’t Name Your Town Manchester

Many years ago while on a road just south of Portland someone asked me what I thought was the most common town name and I said, “Springfield”. This is apparently wrong. I went on to find out that it is probably Greenville. Kali Cuema of concluded that it’s, “Franklin”. I would not even think this name would be in the top 10! In fact, I have never written about towns named Franklin. But like so many others I have gotten caught up in a kind of national contest to discover towns with common names. Everyone does it! My most popular blogs about this are towns named Aberdeen and Clinton. Others clearly haven’t read about or heard of many towns called Aberdeen. This makes my interest in this name unique. I live near an Aberdeen and have been to Aberdeen, Scotland. That’s it just below. It’s called “The Granite City”. Other readers interest in towns with the name Clinton I can’t explain.

I’m more than likely getting out of this game after creating a series out of often used town names. I have written about towns named Portland, Rochester, Burlington, Decatur, La Grange because we know a couple who live in La Grange, Texas, Clayton, Richmond, Alexandria, Milton, Odessa, Bristol, Fairview, Paris, Vienna, Marion, and more. Enough! Manchester might be the last even though there’s a minuscule village in Nova Scotia with this name. That’s Halifax harbor just below, and I took the photo of the piper above there too.

There are many Manchesters in existence. The largest is the city in Great Britain. Its population is given by one source as more than 553,000. Its metro area, however, is more than 2 million. Others suggest different numbers. And that’s among the other complications. Writing about town information is hard to verify. Populations are fluid. Many towns with common names have been absorbed into cities. I’ve lost track of the times I’ve looked up a town in a particular state to find that it is exceptionally tiny and unincorporated. Or a ghost town like Manchester, California. I made a list of towns named Manchester in the United States only to find out that the largest Manchester was missing from the list I was studying. The largest city in New Hampshire has this name with more than 100,000 people living there. Enough!

Anyway, I have found that most towns with a name like Alexandria were named after someone once famous like Alexander The Great. Manchester is an exception. There are 3 ships in England’s Royal Navy with this name it seems. This word that has been used to identify a lot more, like sports teams, derives from a Latin word which goes back to Roman times. There’s a word in this venerable language that Romans used to name the fort they built where the city of Manchester now stands, Mamucium. This means a “breast-like hill” in Latin. There’s also an Old English word “ceaster” which means Roman town or city. Put them kind of together and you have “Manchester”. However, many of the USA towns with this name were named after Manchester, NH. People who live in Manchester, England, by the way, are often called Mancunians. Enough!


About roads-rus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roads-rus

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