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Re: How about mews?

Posted by Brian from Shawnee on August 07, 2004

In Reply to: How about mews? posted by Ward on August 06, 2004

: : : : Can anyone tell me the difference (if any?) between a ginnel,a snicket, and a snickelway?
: : : : I've been in Yorkshire a few years now, and no-one seems sure!!

: : : That sounds familiar - I'm sure a ginnel is a back accessway - I think it might be one that doesn't go under the house - that always used to be called a 'passage'. In Venice they have a particular name "Sottoportego" to denote a passageway under a building to contrast with a "calle" which doesn't.

: : : Snicket? I have a feeling that that is the under-building passage, but I stand to be corrected.
: : : I would deduce that a 'snicketway' might be the same as a 'carriageway' - a covered passage big enough to take a carriage passing through.

: : : Please correct me.

: : I found a website called "International Pedestrian Lexicon" http://user.itl.net/~wordcraf/lexicon.html that offers this definition of snickelway:

: : "snickelway, snickleway - generic term for alleyways, snickets or ginnels; in other words, narrow passages leading from one place to another, which may have walls or hedges on either side (Northern England)"

: : This definition makes it sound like they're all interchangeable.

: : Another site, http://www.yorkstories.co.uk/york_walks-3/clifton_right-of-way.htm offers photographs of actual snickelways! They're not covered. Some of them are bounded on both sides by fences, and others by walls.

: The Brits have great names for streets and passageways, as the above shows. They also have mews, which, as I understand it, are the living units built (usually in the backs of the big homes in London and elsewhere) which have been remodeled from horse stables. There are a lot of very expensive mews in London!

I once met an English guy from London at a die cast car show in Pennsylvania. Since I was planning a trip to London I asked him if he knew any good shops where I could find some old Matchbox cars. He said to go to a shop in "Graze in Muse". I asked him to repeat the address a couple of times before I gave up and thanked him. When I was in London I just happened to notice Gray's Inn Mews in my A-to-Zed guide. I'd forgotten all about "mews" so I didn't make the leap from "muse" to "mews". As an afficionado of The Avengers I should have remembered John Steed's address was 3 Stable Mews.