The city of Zaandam, North Holland has a street that is getting a name change, from Piccolo to Hobo (Oboe), both of which are musical instruments. The Zaandam neighbourhood in question already has a street called Hobo and is now going to extend it. It also has streets called Cello, and then gets into musical-related terms such as Aubade, Prelude and Mazurka, to name a few.
The people who live on Piccolo street don’t want their street to become Hobo street. In Dutch, Hobo rhymes with ‘homo’, which is used as a derogatory word for homosexual, an issue brought up back in 2016 when the area was created. And I know what some of you are thinking, ‘Hobo’ doesn’t sounds great for anybody whose first language is North American English, as that refers to a vagrant, but that’s besides the point.
There are other Hobo streets throughout the country and apparently, that’s not a problem. I’d like to think that going from Piccolo to Oboe musically is a bit of an upgrade, because – and I held back on this – in that tooty-fluity neighbourhood, there’s also a street called Fagot, the Dutch name for a bassoon, which nobody seems to complain about.