Strange Signs – a Miscellany from around the World

I’ve decided it’s time for some light relief in the blogs. So here are some of my silly sign collection – I’ve long had a penchant for photographing daft, entertaining, uplifting, creepy or startling signs. Translations from another language offer many creative possibilities, of course. And, oddly enough, so do seaside towns. Let’s start off in the right way.

This sign just happens to fit my brief.

One thing you can be sure of in most of your travels, that tipping is allowed. Even when other things are forbidden.

Culinary delights can be dubious or puzzling though.

Even closer to home, it’s the option to order duck without duck that puzzles me.

And I never did work this one out, while visiting the Blue Mountains in Australia, a place where I also found the classic sign which follows.

C’me on now, Aussi pals – you’re putting yourselves down! We Poms love your accent.

Who’s for this very special form of massage?

Now for some seaside signs, which seem to specialise in telling you what not to do. Stay away! (from North Devon, Torbay, Padstow, Teignmouth…)

There are a few exceptions though, such as here where parking is reserved for sea mammals, as indeed it should be.

As for the warning below in Sydney, if you did jump with dire consequences, the fine might be the least of your worries.

And this one from Dawlish Warren, I’m afraid, is beyond my comprehension.

However, it’s not all grim on the beach. This you may not be able to read quite so easily, but it’s a lovely story which we saw unfold on Watergate Beach, Cornwall. The young man led his girlfriend up the rocks to a high point, then dashed down to the sand and wrote in big letters, ‘Marry me Emily!’. After which he climbed back up again, went down on one knee and made the proposal. It looks as though she accepted. And these pictures are followed by a more permanent memento carved into a rock near Sydney.

Changing tack now, though still with the sea in mind, this is indeed the most unusual wedding gift I’ve heard of.

A rather lovely public notice which we saw in Antigua, in the Caribbean.

And, on the other hand, keeping you safe on the streets of Mumbai. Well done them for spotting the dangers that rumours can bring! (Actually, I think we should take that one seriously.)

Talking of public safety, I wonder what the outcome of this experiment was in terms of mortality rates? (Seen on a busy London street.) Followed by a questionable sign on a respectable government building in Boston, USA.

Next, some strange aspects of religion – from Good News gas deliveries in my home area of Exeter, to restriction on the length of incense sticks in Penang (4 feet seems rather generous to me) and a re-interpretation of the Bible from Greece.

Two ways with an elephant – how to climb up, or use what comes from its rear end. Who knew?

Oh no! Please…I rushed home to shut my cats up when I saw this in Nailsworth one day, close to where we used to live. But there are genuine delights in the area. The Amberley cow hunt takes place in Gloucestershire every year, although visitors might not realise that this sign refers to delightful home-made models of cows. Think scarecrows or ‘cow-crows’.

Onto pubs, restaurants and shops now. Here’s a chorus of dogs banned at one pub, but given high status at another.

Some shop names and signs may have strange associations.

But some, of course, are just right!

And that’s the end of my whistlestop tour of curious signs collected over the last twenty years. It may be another twenty before I manage to find enough to put up a second post.

You might also be interested to read:

Enoch & Eli: Heroes of Black Country Wit

The Unusual Exhibition

5 thoughts on “Strange Signs – a Miscellany from around the World

  1. Chris Ponsford

    I ove your signs from round the world. Thank you for a good laugh Cherry. I have one from Turkey saying Genuine fake watches!
    My civil engineer husband tells me that gabon mattresses are wire cages of rocks to prevent erosion.


    1. cherrygilchrist

      Thanks for the expert input – I can’t imagine many of us would know that when tramping along the beach at Dawlish!


  2. Angie Sage

    Loved these! Reminds me of one outside a shop in St Mawes advertising:
    Cornish Gin

    We thought they might be a tad soggy…

    Liked by 1 person

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