The questions-you-feel-you-ought-to-know-the-answer-to Thread


Shambling ruin of a man
Take your pick
Neither of those are picks - this is a pick

As is


Just passin' through
You can't have polar bears living at the North and South Poles.

They'd suffer from bipolar depression.
Every once in a while someone asks you a question and you get a sense that you probably should know the answer, or, that you probably did once know the answer but you forgot it so long ago that now you're not totally sure you ever knew. As a parent, I find that these questions often come from the kid, because kids question everything; it would appear that it's kind of their job.

This is the thread to ask those questions, in the hope that one of us will remember just enough of an answer to allow us to google it and pretend we knew all along.

It was inspired by a question I was asked this morning, presumably as a result of a thought process to which I have no details.

Question 1
Why do we call Kingston-upon-Hull 'Hull' when we don't call Newcastle 'Tyne'?

(Since the kid went to school I've decided it's because the River Hull is really short and there is nowhere else significant on it whereas the Tyne goes through, er, Hexham and Prudhoe, but then it might be because there are other Kingstons, or because the river Hull and the New Castle are the two most significant things in each place - basically I still don't know!)

If this takes off it might be easier to read if people try and use 'Question n' 'My Answer to n' in their replies so we can spot the questions and the tell the answer posts from discussion ones. Watch this thread get to 4 posts and be lost forever now! :-)
Right. It's actually the City and County of Kingston upon the River Hull. The reference to Wyke earlier is only partially correct, as Wyke was a collection of other existing villages.

The reason it's just known as 'ull, is that the locals took exception to the name as it was foist on them by a King for letting him use the docks to run supplies to his army fighting the Scots, and simply didn't use it. It was the Kings Town, or so he liked to think, as opposed to the Kings Stone that some others get their name from. We're not known for conforming or being told what to do, is the basic reason.

I can't find the text I read it from, so I'll summarise an example. One of the Kings left some soldiers in the town to keep order, with strict instructions to the locals to make sure they were still there when he came back to collect them. When the King returned, he was lead to the citadel by the ever obedient locals, to find his soldiers still there, all present, all correct, all nailed to the wall.
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