- Islas Canarias < Canariae Insulae. Pliny, Natural History:
We also learn from the same source that the people who inhabit the adjoining forests, which are full of all kinds of elephants, wild beasts, and serpents, have the name of Canarii; from the circumstance that they partake of their food in common with the canine race, and share with it the entrails of wild beasts.
- Canary Wharf < Islas Canarias. Survey of London:
a scheme for the West Wood Wharf was settled in 1936. A two-storey warehouse was built in 1937 to serve a berth with a new ‘false’ quay, all let to Fruit Lines Limited, a subsidiary of Fred Dessen & Company (whose principals were Fred Olsen & Company, of Oslo), for their Canary Islands and Mediterranean fruit trade. The warehouse was designed by Asa Binns and built by John Mowlem & Company. The whole project cost £86,694. Following a request from Fred Dessen & Company, the site was named Canary Wharf.
- Canary Wharf ∈ Isle of Dogs
- And so by coincidence or not, Isle of Dogs < Canariae Insulae. Unfortunately London’s Dogville has been called that way since at least the 16th century, when there is no known connection of the then unplace with the Canaries nor any reason for there to be one.
More bogus etymology here.
- Pirates and Kleinecke’s etymology of “pidgin”
It is suggested that an old Spanish slang word has nothing at all to do with Dutch pirates but instead adds weight to David Kleinecke’s generally discarded South American etymology of the word “pidgin”.
- London’s River Lea and Waltham Forest in Drayton’s 1622 Poly-Olbion
Now you see ’em, now you don’t.
- Mechanical musical instrument invented for the 1851 London Great Exhibition by Henry Mayhew
He also coined “flaxen Saxon.” With other absurdities.
- The demon barber of Calais, a 17th century Sweeney Todd
I believe the current early chronology of versions containing all the basic motifs is as follows:
- Joseph Fouché was a politician and administrator, and the delightfully wicked creator under Bonaparte of something vaguely resembling the modern police service. According to PBS, he wrote in something called Archives of the police of a series of murders committed
- French lessons: Grannie on her bike rides across the pool
Boby Lapointe, an obsessive, deranged comic genius who seems to have drunk himself to death aged 50, points to one of the delicious traps lying in wait for elephants who proceed beyond their French-English phrasebooks – the fact that of the supposed infinity of possible sentences in natural language, most are nonsense: