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The corner of Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate and Pavement

Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate is a brief street in York, England, said to be the shortest in the city. It links Colliergate to Pavement and the Stonebow, and runs behind St Crux parish hall, the site of one of York's medieval churches. St Saviourgate adjoins it.

The name is first recorded in 1505 as Whitnourwhatnourgate, and later appears as Whitney Whatneygate.[1] It could mean either "nothing at all" or "neither one thing nor the other" in Middle English,[1][2] although a plaque on the end of the parish hall suggests the meaning "what a street!" In 17th and 18th century documents the alternative name Salvey Rents or Salvegate is also found.[1]

No. 1½ Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate

Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma is the title of a novel by York author Martyn Clayton.[3]


  1. ^ a b c "Houses: Swinegate—Whip-ma-whop-ma-gate". An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in City of York. British History Online.
  2. ^ Butterfield, David. "British street names: short, simple and unpretentious". The Spectator.
  3. ^ Clayton, Martyn (2011). Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma. Lulu. ISBN 978-1-4461-3426-9.

Coordinates: 53°57′33″N 1°04′45″W / 53.959140°N 1.079215°W / 53.959140; -1.079215