Gropec*** Lane

Warning: This post contains repeated uses of words that many people will find offensive.

Above: John Speed’s 1605 Map of Oxford, with Gropecunt Lane marked in blue

“Gropecunt Lane was a street name found in English towns and cities during the Middle Ages, believed to be a reference to the prostitution centred on those areas; it was normal practice for a medieval street name to reflect the street’s function or the economic activity taking place within it.

Gropecunt, the earliest known use of which is in about 1230, was once common throughout England. Changes in attitude resulted in its being replaced by more innocuous versions such as Grape Lane. Gropecunt was last recorded as a street name in 1561.

Variations include Gropecunte, Gropecountelane, Gropecontelane, Groppecountelane and Gropekuntelane. There were once many such street names in England, but all have now been changes. In the city of York, for instance, Grapcunt Lane—grāp is the Old English word for grope—was renamed as the more acceptable Grape Lane. “

- Wikipedia


Thank you to NW

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4 comments to Gropec*** Lane

  • Ray Martin

    Excellent. It’s a shame we don’t still use this name. I can think of a few streets right now, that could do with a reversion to that name :D

  • JimmyA

    Hmm, it runs near Christ Church doesn’t it? In my time at the ‘varsity, that place afforded precious little groping but harboured quite a few, er….

  • Darian Zam

    I am actually thinking of changing my surname by deed poll to this…

  • Paul

    I think a campaign is due to bring back our traditional English street names!

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