London’s Rudest Street Names


Following on from last week’s Pulitzer-demanding investigation into the most depressing street names in our city, we asked you to share your favourite rude appellations. You were truly fecund. London, it seems, is a city where lewdness lurks at every corner.

Places named after gentlemen’s bits

Laycock Street, Islington

Penistone Road, Streatham

Ennis Road (bit desperate, that one)

Cock Lane, City

Cock Pond, Clapham Common

(And several other Cockish variations.)

Bellenden Road, Peckham

White Knobs Way, Caterham (just outside London but within the M25)

Bellestaines Pleasaunce (Chingford, curse those extraneous ‘e’s)

Places named after ladies’ bits

Melon Road, Peckham and Leytonstone

Clitterhouse Road, Barnet (Google seem to have smeared this one out to avoid offence.)

Places named after gender-neutral, yet still rude anatomy

Back Passage, City of London

The Ring, Hyde Park

The Butts, Brentford

Places named after lewd activities and professions

Cold Blow Lane, New Cross

Cumming Street, Islington

Ogle Street, Fitzrovia

Hooker’s Road, Walthamstow

Bird-in-Hand Passage, Forest Hill

Copping Close, Croydon

Add further suggestions in the comments, and we’ll update this definitive list of street smut.

See also: London’s rudest Victorian window etchings (discretely obscene).

Image by UltraBobban in the Londonist Flickr pool.

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  • http://undefined Chris

    There’s always “Newington Butts”, off the south roundabout at the Elephant and Castle. A Butts, by the way, seems to have been a place where archers practiced before going into battle.

  • Jonn

    Once upon a time, the City had a Gropec**t Lane. Tragically it survives no longer.

    • http://undefined Gideon

      Gropecunte Lane still survives in a euphemistic form; Love Lane – half the streets off Poultry form the remnant of the City’s medieval markets and are named after the things that were typically sold there.

      (e.g. Wood Street, Bread Street, Milk Street, Poultry.)

      So ‘Love Lane’ is still pretty rude by implication…

    • M@

      Aye, York had one of those too. If memory serves it softened to Grope Lane and is today called Grape Lane.

      There’s also Sherbourne Lane in the City, which is derived from Shitteborn Lane.

      • Dave

        Whereas I read that it had become Grope Lane, then Grove Lane, then (incongrously) Milton Street.

        Oh well.

  • http://undefined giruaro

    gaywood street? it’s close to the imperial war museum.

  • http://undefined fharkin

    Gee street off Goswell Road is quite rude but only if you grew up in Dublin and are of a juvenile disposition. Fortunately, in my case, both apply.

  • http://undefined ogrizovic

    Peckarmans Wood in Sydenham is moderately filthy.

  • http://undefined ajw

    Bird in Bush Road in Peckham.

  • http://undefined james d

    Mafeking Rd, Enfield, Middlesex EN1 3SS

  • http://undefined Jonn

    Great Peter Street may produce some mild double-taking from the American contingent.

  • http://undefined andrewmason

    there’s a Bellenden Road in Peckham

  • http://undefined Tom

    If you go past Ennis road, it’s about 50/50 as to whether someone has recently daubed a P on the sign…

    Prince Albert Road, Paddington
    Balls Pond Road, Sach Road & Shaftesbury Street, all in Hackney
    and Dickenson Road, Tottenham.

  • Scott Wood

    Coped an eyeful of Solomons Passage from the bus past Peckham Rye yesterday.

  • http://undefined BeatrixPotter

    Bonner Road in Bethnal Green. Always makes me snicker.

  • http://undefined Dominic

    Tuck Road in South Hornchurch has a roadsign that is perpetually vandalised.

    Gay Gardens in Dagenham (admittedly not rude as such) was so named (having formely been Stockdale Gardens, IIRC) at the request of the residents there in the 1950s (not foreseeing any advance in the changing of the implications of words in the years ahead), who needed a new name for the road because the Royal Mail were getting it mixed up with another road with a similar name elsewhere in Dagneham, and chose this because they felt it most accurately represented the jolly and happy spirit of the place. (The hardest old-school skinhead at my primary school lived down there.)

    I’ve been told that bus conductors used to have great fun shouting out the name of the stop at Clitterhouse Crescent in that strange and not terribly pleasant nomansland between Cricklewood, Golders Green and Hendon. (thinks: must get a bus up there to see how the electronic voice-box thing enunciates it)

    • Keith Taylor

      its funny if you pronounce it wrong or say it too quickly , not a nice word. lol

  • Beth Torr

    Mincing Lane in the City. Not particularly rude but quite snigger-worthy.

  • Beth Torr

    Oh, and Crutched Friars.

  • spiregrain

    Clitheroe Road, Lambeth.

  • Lindsey

    Here’s a late entry for ladies’ parts, spied on Maggie’s Night Hike on Friday.

    • missy

      This is Gunterstone road. I’ve made the same mistake though.

  • Hrothgar19

    Oxford has a Cumnor Rise Road.  Try saying it out loud.  That’d ruin your mascara.

  • Sam

    Swallow street, just of regent street!

  • Tom

    And, of course Bush Wood in Leytonstone

  • Em_huong

    Horniman Drive in South London

  • Manon

    Cockfosters and St John’s Wood and for pubs there’s The Famous Cock in Islington and The Horniman at Hay’s Galleria. Bath has Gay Street.

  • Jane

    One to add is Occupation Road – there’s one in Ealing and one in Elephant and Castle: ‘occupy’ was 18th and 19th century slang for ‘have sex': I don’t know about the Elephant and Castle one but the Ealing Occupation Road is a shady sidestreet eminently suitable for prostitutes to take clients for a knee-trembler.

  • quint

    There was once a Sound Arse Alley in Shorditch though that has sadly long since disappeared.

  • Guest

    Sherborne Lane in London was in 1272–73 known as Shitteborwelane, later Shite-burn lane and Shite-buruelane (possibly due to nearby cess pits).[16][17] Pissing Alley, one of several identically named streets whose names survived the Great Fire of London,[18]

  • Carl Maltby

    From Wikipedia (

    Variations include Gropecunte, Gropecountelane, Gropecontelane, Groppecountelane and Gropekuntelane. There were once many such street names in England, but all have now been bowdlerised.[1] In the city of York, for instance, Grapcunt Lane—grāp is the Old English word for grope[2]—was renamed as the more acceptable Grape Lane.

    Sherborne Lane in London was in 1272–73 known as Shitteborwelane, later Shite-burn lane and Shite-buruelane (possibly due to nearby cess pits).[16][17] Pissing Alley, one of several identically named streets whose names survived the Great Fire of London,[18]

  • marmaladebarnett

    Theres a brides passage somewhere in central london i spotted whilst on a treasure hunt. Essex has a village brilliantly called fingeringhoe.

  • I like beaver close

    My personal favourite: Beaver Close, Morden.

  • Davide

    BLACK BOY LANE between in Harringay Borough

  • Ian Messenger

    My favourite is Helmet Row, EC1.

  • stenchen

    There’s also Prudent Passage in the City, linking King Street to Ironmonger Lane.

    i.e ‘I took her up the Prudent Passage’

    • Ernest Leung

      So that’s what Prudent Passage is used for! Took this whilst on a walking tour of the city back in August.

  • Willis Moaker

    You forgot “Helmet Row”

  • Guest

    Swallow Street, W1

  • Laud Robin Steel

    Old Condom Street, W1

  • Ava Lawrence

    There’s a Hoe street in Walthamstow as well :-)

  • Keith Taylor

    i used to live on the clitterhouse estate in nw2 , i used to find it funny when trying to get car insurance, the road name always raised a titter of laughter

  • Alan Frank Knights

    if memory serves there was a grope cunt lane in the city of London , where the toms aka ladies of the night of a certain age usually 30+ would give cheap thrills ,

  • Alan Frank Knights

    the grope cunt lane in London was for , how shall I phrase it “o yes ” for the more mature toms I-e passed their sell by date , im scratching already! chortle guffaw etc.