Saturday, January 4, 2014

Old London

OK ladies and gentlemen, it is my priviledge to welcome you to Old London Week here at OPOD. We will be looking at days gone by in the city of London. We start with this picture from 1900 of Piccadilly Circus. I am curious why these roundabouts are called "circus".

Anyway, I visited London once and must say the city is full of interesting old world beauty. I would not mind returning some day when I had more time to see the sites.


  1. The word "circus" is from the same Latin root as "circuit" - as in, aha!, going around.

  2. From the Online Etymology Dictionary:


    circus (n.) Look up circus at
    late 14c., in reference to ancient Rome, from Latin circus "ring, circular line," which was applied by Romans to circular arenas for performances and contests and oval courses for racing (especially the Circus Maximus), from or cognate with Greek kirkos "a circle, a ring," from PIE *kirk- from root *(s)ker- "to turn, bend" (see ring (n.)).

    In reference to modern large arenas for performances from 1791; sense then extended to the performing company, hence "traveling show" (originally traveling circus, 1838). Extended in World War I to squadrons of military aircraft. Meaning "lively uproar, chaotic hubbub" is from 1869. Sense in Picadilly Circus and other place names is from early 18c. sense "buildings arranged in a ring," also "circular road." The adjective form is circensian".

  3. Wikipeadia says (so it must be true :s) A busy open space, usually circular, where a number of roads meet, such as:
    Cabot Circus, Bristol
    Cambridge Circus, London
    Drake Circus (traffic junction), Plymouth
    Oxford Circus, London
    Piccadilly Circus, London
    The Circus (Bath)


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