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The Town Known as ‘The Land of Rape and Honey’ Is Finally Changing Its Slogan

The 3,200-odd residents of Tisdale, a Canadian town famous for its agricultural products, don't want to sound like a gang of sex criminals anymore.
October 14, 2015, 7:34pm
Photo via Flickr user navvywavvy

For decades, the small town of Tisdale has been the butt of off-color jokes, all thanks to its official slogan: The Land of Rape and Honey.

Jesus wept. But why, you very rightly ask?

Located in central Saskatchewan, Tisdale has a long history as a major producer of both honey and rapeseed, a plant in the mustard family that's used to make everything from industrial lubricants to catch-all "vegetable oil."

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And it would seem that the 3,200-odd residents of Tisdale have had enough of the jokey Instagrams featuring the town sign (and the face-palming irony of hanging a Crimestoppers placard under the words "land of rape").

This week, the town has finally decided that it will change its nickname.

According to the CBC, residents have been mulling a slogan switch since the spring. Officials polled Tisdaleans and found that 57 percent of them favored a change. A little more than a third of them wanted to keep things as-is.

There's been no word yet as to what the new slogan might be, or if "honey" is on the chopping block, too.

This isn't the only unfortunate name the town has labored under. In the early part of the 20th century, Tisdale was known as Doghide. The "rape and honey" slogan was adopted about 60 years ago, but it gained some worldwide notoriety in 1988, when metal band Ministry dubbed its album The Land of Rape and Honey, reportedly after seeing the slogan on a souvenir mug.

If such mugs still exist, they'll surely fetch a pretty Canadian penny on eBay.ca.

A side note: Despite a pervasive urban myth, rapeseed is similar to but not the same as canola, which was developed in Canada in the 1970s by cross-breeding brassica species. "Canola" is actually a quasi-portmanteau of "Canadian" and "oil, low acid," but "canola oil" was, presumably, more marketable than "rape oil."