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What's the Matter with F—g?

11:50 AM, Apr 19, 2012 • By VICTORINO MATUS
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As I mentioned yesterday, northwest of Salzburg is a picturesque little town called F—g. And while Austrians obviously know what that word means in English, it doesn't mean it in German (that word would be ficken). So nobody seemed to be bothered by the town's name during its early existence. Things didn't change apparently until U.S. servicemen came across it after the war. Ever since, tourists have taken pictures next to the sign and supposedly done even worse things (it's also been stolen on occasion). According to the mayor, the prank calls were "the final straw." As such, the townsfolk recently considered changing the name from F—g to Fugging. Only problem is Fugging already exists.

Reports the Mirror,

Fugging mayor Andreas Dockner—200 miles away in Lower Austria—said: "Nobody alive now remembers why it was changed from F—g to Fugging, but it was and that is now our name. We think one Fugging in Austria is enough.

"The first mention of our village as F—g was was in 1195 where it was recorded in the records of the local monastery. By 1836 it was Fugging."

Perhaps the resident should embrace it with a sense of humor—and even make money off the name. The Mirror notes that "local entrepreneurs made the situation worse by flogging off F—g postcards, F—g Christmas cards and even more recently a F—g beer."

There's a place called Hell on Grand Cayman (with terrific postcards and t-shirts). And there's Intercourse, Pennsylvania, which even has a number of wineries. If the locals ever decided to change the name (say, to Frigging), they might one day regret that there's no more F—g around.

In related news, Vienna has decided to change Dr.-Karl-Lueger-Ring to Universitätsring (a street that runs past the university). Karl Lueger was a mayor of Vienna at the turn of the last century. He is also, notes Die Presse, "'the founder of modern anti-Semitism.'" Adolf Hitler admired him. The conservatives are up in arms because they were not consulted on this and because if Lueger's name is removed, why doesn't the left remove those memorials dedicated to "mass murderer Che Guevara"? (Good luck with that.)

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