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Ordnance Survey responds to outrage after Welsh place name is changed to ‘Hakuna Matata’

27 Jan 2022 3 minute read
Hakuna Matata. Screenshot by Aled Hughes of Ordnance Survey map 

Ordnance Survey has responded to outrage after a Welsh place name was changed to “Hakuna Matata” on one of its maps.

The farm in Gorslas formerly known as Banc Cornicyll is now registered under the phrase which roughly translates to “there are no troubles” in Swahili and was popularised in English by the 1994 Disney movie The Lion King.

The change has sparked a furious response on social media, and has led to calls for legislation to protect Welsh place names.

But the British mapping agency has defended the move, saying that its “remit is to capture the names of buildings and places that are currently in use”, and that the listing has been “inputted in accordance” with its policy.

The name Hakuna Matata at the address seems to have been in use since at least 2004, as Companies House lists a number of companies registered at the address.

Map of Banc Cornicyll. List of Historic Place Names

Rachael Garside, who spotted the name change, said: “*Name change alert* The farm in Gorslas formerly known as Banc Cornicyll is now registered as ‘Hakuna Matata’. Sut bod hyn yn bosib? How is this allowed? We need legislation to protect Welsh place names. NAWR.”

Plaid Cymru councillor Ann Hopcyn said: “Apart from historic names. Many Welsh farm names reflect their context and are an unbroken link with our forefmothers and -fathers. As with folk songs, they provide a living connection with the people who preceded us.”

Russell Elliot said: “When I moved to Wales, I changed the name of the house I bought, it was an old estate farmhouse after which the road had been named. I changed the name from Tanrhiw Farmhouse to Tŷ Fferm Tanrhiw!”

‘Death by a thousand cuts’

Jane Blank said: “Death by a thousand cuts. A language dies one word at a time, one conservation at a time.”

Glyn Morris said: “It’s pretty galling/insulting in that Hakuna Matata which was popularised in the Lion King is a Swahili word meaning ‘no troubles, or no worries’.

Social media expert Owen Williams said: “Today was going to be a good day. And then I read this and now I’m absolutely furious.”

In response to the outrage, Ordnance Survey said: “Thanks for your tweet. Ordnance Survey’s remit is to capture the names of buildings and places that are currently in use. We can confirm that this name has been inputted in accordance with our Names Place policy which can be found here.


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Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
8 months ago

One would have thought that a simple addition of (Formerly Banc Cornicyll) would suit everybody. After all if the foreign name has been used as a business address then people seeking the location would be expecting to find it. Adding the (formerly) would also allow the traditional name to be kept alive and be of use the very many people around the world who spend their leisure hours researching their ancestry. They too need the original name to locate where their ancestors lived.

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter Cuthbert

The point being raised is that farm names like Banvc Cornicll should never have been changed in the first place. It’s insensitive, disrespectful and undermines Cymru’s uniqueness, and is no less inappropriate than changing the name of a geographical feature to “Lake Australia” or the failed attempt to change Llyn Tegid to “Lake Pimblemere”.

This is something that the Senedd should address ASAP.

Andrew
Andrew
8 months ago

The ordinance people have been doing this for some time. Lots of cairns, standing stones, and ancient place names are being omitted and air brushed as each map is updated. These names are living fossils and are the common denominator that still binds us to our history. This then makes it easier for outside investors to develop the land for wind farms and the like, as there are then no sites of historical importance listed. CADW are really awful at recognising such sites, unless of course they are Roman or Norman.

Paul
Paul
8 months ago

If English place names in England (or historical names) were being progressively replaced by French or German names, they would lose their minds.

Jack
Jack
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul

Tbf most place names in England are originally French or German.

England is itself a German word.

Lyn Jenkins
Lyn Jenkins
8 months ago
Reply to  Jack

That is wrong , Jack. The language of England for a 1000 years, before the Germanic English arrived in the 5th century, after the Romans left was BRITISH or BRYTHONIC /BRITONNIC. That was early Welsh, also spoken in Southern Scotland.Wales comes from WEALAS, the Germanic /Anglo Saxon for ROMANISED FOREIGNERS.Hence over 25 towns called WALTON , the enclaves of the NATIVE BRITISH as they were surrounded by ruling Anglo-Saxons. Wallasey means “island of the Welsh”. Cornwall means “Welsh of the corn or horn or peninsula”. MALVERN comes from the Welsh MOEL FRYN…or bare hill. DOVER stems from Dwfr or water.… Read more »

Johnson Kevin
Johnson Kevin
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul

No they wouldn’t. If you wanted to change the name of your farm or building premise to whatever you like they would be bound to change it on the map.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
8 months ago

Perhaps we should unilaterally rename Westminster ‘Corrupt Sh!thole’ and see how they like it.

Jack
Jack
8 months ago
Reply to  Barry Pandy

People in Liverpool would probably be fine with that

hdavies15
hdavies15
8 months ago
Reply to  Jack

Most of England might be pleased.

Angi
Angi
8 months ago
Reply to  Jack

I wonder if they would really you know!! I bet they would be angry as well

Angi
Angi
8 months ago
Reply to  Barry Pandy

Pan darllenais i hyn do fi ddim yn gallu credu bod nhw’n gallu newid enw y lle yn Cymru 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 I enw Swahili. Pa mor twp ydyn nhw I meddwl hyn sy’n iawn?🤬🤬🤬

Geoff Horton-Jones
Geoff Horton-Jones
8 months ago

Great news any one can escape justice, taxation etc because they have changed their name address or simply doctored their car registration on a whim
Petitioning the owner is like asking the question are you still beating your wife it’s a no no

Geoff Horton-Jones
Geoff Horton-Jones
8 months ago

The days of the present Ordnance survey in Wales are closing forever

Paul
Paul
8 months ago

Hakuna Matata they got to be pulling our legs or they really loves lion king 🤦

Last edited 8 months ago by Paul
BigPooba
BigPooba
8 months ago

It’s the name of a farm. A small farm, that someone owns and changed the name of and as the article seems to imply, this isn’t a recent change. If this is the sort of thing that gets you angry, well god help you. If it was a landmark or something more significant than I would understand.

Plus, what sort of individual spends their time looking for place-name changes…

Ross Broadstock
8 months ago
Reply to  BigPooba

The Welsh are very much like the first nation Americans with History and astronomy both explained through the names in Wales – even the small farms. The names hold enormous amounts of information – much of which is not yet understood or studied.
Its not acceptable to destroy Welsh names any more than it would be to destroy a Sioux camp.

ike
ike
8 months ago

yknow I’m sure massive swathes of africa and south asia e.g. india probably has something to say about a foreign nation’s culture being willfully imposed on them

Keryl Thomas
Keryl Thomas
8 months ago

I find this change from a beautiful Welsh name to a frankly inappropriate illogical one mind boggling. I agree that our language needs protecting

Kevin Johnson
Kevin Johnson
8 months ago

Excellent response. Ordnance Survey is responsible for gathering up to date information. If a home or business owner wants to change the name of the building where he/ she resides or operates from its their choice. The address doesn’t physically change unless the name is the only identifiable description.

Davyth
Davyth
8 months ago

Peidiwch â beio yr Arolwg Ordnans. Maen nhw’n dilyn y cyfarwyddiadau rhoddwyd iddyn nhw gan y llywodraeth. Ymgyrchwch i newid y rheolau yn hytrach na beio pobl â’u dwylo wedi’u clymu

Mrs Audrey Jones
Mrs Audrey Jones
8 months ago

What nationality are the owners? African?

Alun Griffiths
Alun Griffiths
8 months ago

Absolutely ridiculous – what is wrong with people. Having said that we lived in Pantyblodau for 38 years a name we respected and loved but after moving it was erased by the new owners. This sort of action should be illegal.

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