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Buttercup
2010-Jan-05, 10:46 PM
What thoughts, impressions, images come to mind when you see those words?

It's a literary reference of course. But let's please stick to a discussion of your reaction to the place-name of "Carfax Abbey."

It's new to me, and I'm curious. Thanks! :)

HenrikOlsen
2010-Jan-05, 11:02 PM
For some reason I flashed on Dracula, or rather Saberhagen's The Dracula Tape and a Victorian house with a square ground plan and doors on all four sides.

Van Rijn
2010-Jan-05, 11:27 PM
It makes me think of a badly named website: "Looking to buy a car? Find the facts at the Carfax Abbey."

By the way, I googled, and sure enough, there is a "carfax" site discussing cars. :wall:

Lianachan
2010-Jan-05, 11:33 PM
I study Scottish placenames, particularly those from Gaelic and Old Norse. "Carfax" sounds clumsy and alien to me. I suspect it's not Germanic. Given the location and history of the place, I'd be inclined towards a French origin.

Edited afterthought - Just noticed "Abbey". I'd assumed you were talking about "Carfax Tower" for some reason. I plead late and tired!

HenrikOlsen
2010-Jan-05, 11:39 PM
From what I understand it's from Quatre-face and refers to a building with basically four front sides.

sarongsong
2010-Jan-05, 11:50 PM
It makes me think of a badly named website: "Looking to buy a car? Find the facts at the Carfax Abbey."...Yep, only I pictured a clerk named Abbey, responsible for determining used-car values at an automobile dealership, after looking up their histories via Carfax.com...

Xelebes
2010-Jan-06, 12:14 AM
I study Scottish placenames, particularly those from Gaelic and Old Norse. "Carfax" sounds clumsy and alien to me. I suspect it's not Germanic. Given the location and history of the place, I'd be inclined towards a French origin.

Edited afterthought - Just noticed "Abbey". I'd assumed you were talking about "Carfax Tower" for some reason. I plead late and tired!

Well, I instantly thought of Caer-Fax, meaning Castle-face which would mean that the Abbey is at or towards the "face" of a castle.

Lianachan
2010-Jan-06, 12:28 AM
Well, I instantly thought of Caer-Fax, meaning Castle-face which would mean that the Abbey is at or towards the "face" of a castle.

Caer-fax did occur to me, as a potentially Brythonic origin, but that fact that it was most definately "Carfax", when it should probably have been "Caerfax" put me off. I still reckon Carfax sounds clumsy and alien! I've not really looked into English placenames much, and there's not too much (although still a fair amount of) common ground.

Xelebes
2010-Jan-06, 12:44 AM
Some actually looking up, W. caerfach = E. wall-hook.

Or Gael. Carfachant = E. Tiny Turn

:)

Lianachan
2010-Jan-06, 01:21 AM
Some actually looking up, W. caerfach = E. wall-hook.

Or Gael. = E. Tiny Turn

:)

I think fach can mean lots of things. In a placename, I would probably expect it to mean small, or possibly corner. But I don't speak Welsh, so I'm only using my instincts there. But yes, I can see how Caerfach could be a genuine Welsh placename, which could conceivably have become Anglicised to Carfax.
:)

Or Gael. Carfachant = E. Tiny Turn
Where did you get that from?

Nick Theodorakis
2010-Jan-06, 03:06 AM
I've actually used the carfax.com website before when buying a used car (there is a feature in which you can input the VIN and you get a complete ownership history), so that's the first thing I thought of.

Nick

Ronald Brak
2010-Jan-06, 03:19 AM
Since I saw it on BAUT I assumed was an astronomical feature that someone had posted a picture of.

Failing that, it sounds like an Abbey full of evil space nuns on Doctor Who. Mind you, I assume (with good reason) that all abbeys are full of evil space nuns.

Xelebes
2010-Jan-06, 03:26 AM
Where did you get that from?

McBain's Scots Gaelic/English dictionary (http://www.ceantar.org/Dicts/MB2/mb16.html#MB.F)

Xelebes
2010-Jan-06, 04:18 AM
Ok, actually looked up the word, it means a main intersection.