Clue: Glittering Ballet Costume?
(a question mark with NYT puzzle clues mean a play on words or something the puzzle constructor deems clever)
Answer: Tutuofdiamond (see what I mean?)
Clue: Lionel Trains? Answer: Choochootoys
So from these amusing clues, Bora-Bora popped into my
head. And then Walla Walla and then....well, you get the idea. Cities and towns with reduplicated names. There are dozens of them. I'll start with ones I already knew and then add others I discovered while researching this topic. There are also many phrases or terms that make use of reduplication. I'll get to those in a little bit.
Pago Pago, American Samoa
Walla Walla, which is way more fun to say with its US state: Walla Walla, Washington (makes me think of Alvin
and the Chipmunks singing "The Witch Doctor" . The witch doctor answers a man's questions about love with, "Oo ee oo-ah-ah, ting tang wallawallabingbang....)
Here's the original 1958 recording with the Chipmunks uh, "singing" with David Seville...if you're reading this at work, keep the volume low or you might gather a crowd!
Paw Paw, a town in West Virginia and Michigan, United States. It's also a tree with edible fruit. Don’t bother taking your cell phone to WV's Paw Paw. This town of 500 residents has been well known for having no phone reception but as of last month, there’s talk that it may happen. Moving into the contemporary world of electronic communications!
And that short list exhausts my knowledge of reduplicated place names, most of which I know thanks to years of working crossword puzzles. The next are ones I found while checking my stats on the ones I've already listed.
Xai-Xai, a town in Mozambique, southeast Africa
Katikati in the Bay of Plenty region of New Zealand, known as the Mural Town due to its many murals painted on commercial buildings.
Woywoy, New South Wales, Australia
Tourtour, France, known as "the village in the sky of Provence" (le village dans le ciel de Provence). Tourtour and the surrounding regions were favorite subjects of the painter Paul Cezanne.
Budge Budge and Dum Dum are suburbs of Calcutta, East India.
Really. I did not make these up.
Boonoo Boonoo - New South Wales, Australia. The place name has Aboriginal origins and means "poor country with no animals to provide food". It also applies to a national park, a river, a locality and a waterfall.
And my favorite because it's part of my pen name: Meremere in New Zealand. This town boasts the country’s only permanent drag racing facility.
Now for some non-geographically related reduplicated terms. Some I've learned from watching films about nature and reading The National Geographic, others I learned from
filling in lots and lots of puzzle squares:
cush-cush - a South American starch plant, relative of the yam
dik-dik - a small African antelope
gris-gris - an amulet or incantation used chiefly by people of black African ancestry.
huhu – large longhorn beetle native to New Zealand - and a chunk of bait!
And lastly, a totally non-place or nature related term that I heard from my dad when he was a pilot in the United States Air Force:
zero zero – it means flying in whiteout or heavy fog conditions. Zero ceiling (a measurement of the cloud base height relative to the ground). Zero visibility.
Feel free to add place names and terms I haven't included.