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London Streets and Their Names
Names of streets and districts are often connected with the history of the country and the city.
But very often names of streets are so old and so changed that only few people know how this or that street got its name.
People, who read books by English writers, listen to the radio, see English films, can’t help knowing such names as Trafalgar Square, Soho, Piccadilly, Charing Cross, etc.
Let’s begin with Piccadilly Circus. It is a fine square which has seen much history over the centuries. For generations Piccadilly has been the heart of London. Nowadays it is such a focal place that on special occasions, such as the Coronation or on New Year’s Eve, as many as 50, 000 people gather actually.
Actually it immortalized a man who is now forgotten. The man was a tailor who grew rich by making high collars called “piccadillies”. He build a grand house which he called the Piccadilla Hall, and the name, slightly changed, has lived on.
Charing Cross is one of the oldest spots in London. Once there was a small village in that place. The villagers were charing wood, making charcoal of it. That is why the village was named Charing. Centuries ago, an English Queen died outside London. Her husband wanted her body to be taken to Westminster Abbey and buried there. At every place where the funeral procession stopped, a wooden cross was erected. The last place was at Charing and since then the place has been called Charing Cross.
A reproduction of that last cross can be seen at the entrance to Charing Cross Railway Station. Nowadays Charing Cross is known by its book-shops where one can buy books in different languages and of new and old editions.
No one, however, can explain “Soho” convincingly. The legend goes that in the old days there used to be green fields there and people around went foxhunting a great deal. When a hunter saw a fox, he called to the dogs “So-Ho”, “So-Ho”! Now Soho is the district where one can see people of different types and hear them speak the different languages. It is famous for its different restaurants.
There are some short streets in Soho in which six or seven restaurants of different ethnic cuisine stand one after another in a line. One can have breakfast in a Greek restaurant, dinner in an Italian and supper in an American. These are only a few examples, but all London’s long past history can be told by its streets and names.
(Из книги: A.A. Ionina, A.S. Saakyan How Articles Work in English. – М.:
2. На уроке проводится работа с текстом “Easter in Australia”.