You've heard of Waterloo, right? The famous battle that ended Napoleon's imperial ambitions? As in the phrase, "Napoleon met his Waterloo"? The place-name that's become synonymous with humiliating defeat?
Did you know that Waterloo is in Belgium?! I didn't!
Yet there it was, a name on a highway exit between Brussels and Hasselt. I guess I never really thought about where Waterloo was located...
France, maybe? Not a very French name, though. I mean, "Waterloo"! Is that even Dutch? What kind of a name is that, anyway? And why didn't I ever wonder where it was? I don't think it ever occurred to me that Waterloo might actually be somewhere real.
Well, now I know. It's in Belgium. Just outside Brussels, actually.
Addendum: My Belgian friend Valerie tells me that Waterloo is in fact a very Dutch name. "Loo" is apparently an old word for forest, hence "Waterloo" = water-forest.