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What’s in a (domain) name?


After our e-x-t-e-n-d-e-d Jubilee celebrations it’s Friday again, and time for some more (very) cheap laughs. I was surprised to be invited to propose the Loyal Toast at a formal dinner on Saturday, but not half as surprised as my ‘host’ when I told him that I was a convinced republican. Still, I managed it without being silly or disrespectful, and without compromising my principles. I was cordially booed and hissed, sure, but not tarred and feathered. Researching the speech, I learned a lot about the monarchy and so did they!

Have you ever wondered why some people don’t look twice – or even three times – at the URL they are registering, and consider how it might appear to a jaundiced, cynical, mischievous, playful, naughty eye? Enjoy the following inglorious examples:

Powergen Italia (a specialist battery manufacturer, and not UK Powergen’s Italian subsidiary) once used the web address

Who Represents, a site listing celebrities and their agents, is at

Pen Island, where you can supposedly buy custom-made pens, is at Having checked it, however, the site looks suspiciously spoof-like to me. Still, never let the inconvenient truth stand in the way of a good (or even bad) joke.

Les Bocages is the company name of a British tree-surgeon operating in Brittany. “Bocage” is the French word for grove or copse.  The website is at

Continuing the French theme, La Drape is a British company that specialises in very high-quality quilts, throws and furnishing fabrics for the bedroom. The website is

Could owning a Apple Macintosh make you more butch? Find out at the website of macHome magazine:

Experts Exchange, a programming advice and discussion website, used to be at It has now grown a hyphen, so to speak (fnarrr), doubtless after receiving one too many anguished enquiries about transgender surgery.

Had you needed to find a West Coast therapist, you could previously have used It has, disappointingly, now changed to

Are you planning a trip to Lake Tahoe North, as Webwrights’ sister did recently? Its tourism website is at

Big Al’s On-Line aquarium store is open for business at

Situated in rural New South Wales, Australia, the renowned Mole Station Native Nursery for indigenous plants is at The address used to be the rather more exciting

Ferreth and Jobs may, or quite possibly may not, be a fine commercial enterprise in Pennsylvania. For some strange reason, its previous website address of now redirects, disappointingly, to

Odds Extractor, a gambling resources website, used to be at It has since moved to

Children’s Wear, a UK company that specializes in formal wear for children, is at

Comprehensive information on where to stay and what to see along the canals of New York state is available to browse at

Mammoth Scaffold Erection Services, a fine Canadian company, can be found at It has a number of churches as valued clients.

The small town of Winters, California has a local newspaper called Winters Express, which can be read online at

Finally, in the tax-friendly Cook Islands, the top-level domain is .ck, and .co is used for second-level commercial domains. Thus, the Cook Island News has the address:


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