Well(y) why not?

I just had an epiphany, and I realised that I’m totally on the wrong side of the Wellywood sign issue. It should definitely be built.

Remember that bank commercial a few years back, where the older gentleman talks about checking his bank balance on “The Interwebs”? Remember how, thanks to that commercial, calling the Internet the Interwebs suddenly became a meme, and spread around the whole world to the point that even XKCD was making fun of it?

If the Wellywood sign gets built, we all know that that’s exactly what’s going to happen to Wellington. Everyone in the world will start referring to Wellington as “Wellywood”. Purely ironically at first, but in the space of a few months, or a year at the most, it’ll become mainstream and a real fraction of people will use Wellywood in place of Wellington in day to day conversation.

If you don’t believe me, just look and see that it’s already happening on Twitter.

But that’s not my point. My point is that Wellington totally deserves this. Because, let’s face it: New Zealand is really, really shit at names.

New Zealand is full of lame, derivative names for things in the hope of absorbing some of their glory.

Let’s start with sports teams. There’s nothing wrong with the name ‘All Blacks’ after all, that’s just naming your team after the clothes you wear, it has a long and glorious tradition. But because they got famous, every other NZ sports team has to have a riff on the name. So our soccer team is the ‘All Whites‘.  Then we have the Black Caps, the Black Sox, the Ice Blacks, Black Magic, it goes on. Our basketball team is the ‘Tall Blacks’, because puns are great.

Breaking from that tradition, at least we have the Silver Ferns, but they got famous and successful too, so of course that means we now have to have the ‘Tall Ferns’, the ‘White Ferns’ and naturally, the ‘Black Ferns’. The women’s soccer team is even called the ‘Football Ferns’. I guess the fact that we have to include the name of the sport in the team name means we finally just completely lost track.

Although, to give credit where it’s due, the of name of our official Badminton team, the “Black Cocks”, is awesome.

We’re no better with place names, really. We have one of the most beautiful, unique mountain ranges in the world, so we called it the Alps. At least we stuck ‘Southern’ on it to stop the Swiss from suing (can a mountain sue?).

Hell, I live in Dunedin. That literally means the Edinburgh of the South! All our street names are taken directly from the Edinburgh A-Z.

So why are we this way? When we are required to come up with original names, we seem to come a bit unstuck, and we come up with names like “North Island”, and “South Island”. Which, to be fair, is actually pretty unique in the world, if not exactly original.

It would seem that places like Wellington, Nelson and Collingwood, all named for English military heroes, definitely aren’t in keeping with the grand tradition of New Zealand place names.

And so: Wellington shall become Wellywood and Nelson can become South Wellywood*.

Finally, I propose that Collingwood gets together and renames itself Collington, just to fuck with the Wellingtonites. That’d be sweet.

Because copying the names of famous places is the New Zealand way. And if you don’t believe me, ask these guys.

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