Last Updated: September 15, 2023, 12:43 IST
“What’s in a name?” Everything. Though Shakespeare deemed what someone or something is called as arbitrary when compared to its intrinsic qualities, the label of this Austrian village garnered such media frenzy that residents were pushed to rename the place. Fugging (formerly Fu*****) with a population of merely 106 people in 2020, gained headlines for its moniker and its expletive meaning in the English-speaking world. Located north of Salzburg and east of the Inn River, the village falls under the jurisdiction of the municipality of Tarsdorf. It was in 2021 when the name of the village was officially changed and here’s everything that you need to know about the place.
History of Fugging
It is suggested the village was inhabited back in 1070 and was apparently named after a local nobleman named Adalpert von Vucckingen, as per The Guardian. It is also believed that a Bavarian aristocrat, Focko, found the settlement in the sixth century. With the contrasting local lores of the place, a map dated 1825 has the village’s moniker spelled Fuking. It remains unclear when and how the spelling changed to Fu*****, which eventually became a nuisance for residents.
Why did the villagers change the name?
It didn’t take long for the unusual moniker to become a famous attraction for tourists. People stopping at the entry and exit of the village to click photos with signposts to post on social media wasn’t a new phenomenon to the residents. However, what became concerning was the vandalism of the signposts. Tourists reportedly stole the village signs in their bid to collect them as souvenirs and the local authorities were forced to modify the signposts to be theft-resistant. Dozens of them went missing until the signs were placed 2m high with concrete foundation to curb the souvenir-hunting. Over two years ago, Andrea Holzner, the mayor of Tarsdorf, officially confirmed that the village is being renamed as the residents have, “had enough of visitors and their bad jokes,” to the Austrian daily Die Presse.
When it comes to cultural influence and media, Fugging made it in the backdrop of a book by novelist Kurt Palm, which was later adapted into the film Bad Fu*****. In addition to this, the place also features in a 2016 episode of Jeremy Clarkson’s Amazon Prime series titled The Grand Tour. Not many know that a campaign to change the place’s moniker in 2004 failed until two years ago when it finally succeeded.