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End of a Hard Road

Street names naughtier than Morning Glory Road



A technology company has successfully petitioned the Lehi City Council to change the name of Morning Glory Road, after arguing the term “morning glory”—which is slang for a male erection—could be bad for business. —The Salt Lake Tribune, Jan. 4, 2013

At first, I thought the article in last week’s paper was a put-on (not to be confused with a hard-on), some sort of early April Fool’s joke that had made its way into print on a slow news day. After determining that a company called Xactware Solutions had indeed persuaded the guardians of public virtue in Lehi to change the road’s name, I decided to check in with Dr. Aldeni Ensernos to get his take on the name change.

Dr. Ensernos, the illustrious and sometimes controversial linguist, an Old World gentleman with a perpetual twinkle in his eye, holds the Seymour Butz Chair of Philology at Brigham Young University, where he is largely responsible for ferreting out double meanings that Satan is always trying to insert into the lubricated pre-frontal cranial folds of Utah county residents. I sat down with the energetic professor in his office looking out at the Y on the mountain (“Contrary to popular belief,” Dr. Ensernos told me in his heavy Portuguese accent, “the Y is just a Y, not a hieroglyphic representing the female pudenda.”)

Deep End: Were you surprised by the name change of that road up in Lehi?

Dr. Ensernos: Not really. Obviously, however, it’s the company with the dirty mind, not the citizens of Lehi, who never would have pictured in their minds a glorious erection when driving down Morning Glory Road. By the way, there is a street in Salt Lake City named Morning Glory Circle, on 2140 West, and no one ever thought twice that their street was named after a woody. Also, there is delicious irony in the new name, “Morning Vista,” which is a translation from Hungarian referring to the female naughty part. Once you enter into the dark chamber of double meanings you never get out, like that poor man in the limerick who inserts his morning glory into a girl from Peru with a vista full of glue.

D.E.: Do you anticipate irate Utah citizens now coming forward and demanding that their smutty street names be changed?

Dr. E.: If we do, we’ll never see the end of it. People will be dickering with public officials forever. We’ll be stuck with boring streets named after numbers and letters, like we have in Salt Lake City already. Who wants to live on G Street? Though, come to think of it, maybe they won’t, not because it’s named after a letter but because it’s named after a spot in the area of the female vista.

D.E.: Are there really all that many street names that could be interpreted in a less-than-upstanding or, should I say, virtuous, manner?

Dr. E.: Don’t get me started. Check for yourself by getting out the Salt Lake City street directory and do a random search. Names will rise up before you, and you’ll never see the streets in the same way again. I don’t even have to mention the obvious ones, like Beaver Circle or Dickson Way. You’ve also got Cherry Grove Way, Longfellow Lane, Long Drive, Country Breeze Circle, Country Hollow Drive, Swordsman Cove, Blisswood Drive, Bonair Street, Fur Hollow Circle, Fernbush Circle, Astro Way, Stonewood Drive, Cush Lane, Wooden Lane, Woodbend Road, Woodman Court, Honeyberry Court, John Way, Johnson Ridge, Venus Circle, etc., etc. Then you’ve got what I call matching pairs, or maybe I should say matching parts.

D.E.: Such as?

Dr. E.: Two of my favorites are Magic Wand Street and Magic Isle Lane. Also good, but not as poetic, are Sugar Beet Drive and Sugarbush Court. Then a pair that some folks find kinda cute, the intersection where Stanley Avenue meets Sallie Avenue. Stanley has the right of way, if you know what I mean, and I understand Sallie is a backstreet girl.

D.E.: Someone told me there’s a street in Salt Lake City called Old Glory Circle. I hope the only meaning you could derive from that has to do with our grand old flag, our high-flying flag.

Dr. E.: Sorry to disappoint you, but the street is for citizens who used to live on Morning Glory Road and no longer qualify for residence there.

D.E.: May I ask where you reside?

Dr. E.: I’m proud to call Winkie Way my home.

D.P. Sorensen writes a satire column for City Weekly.