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Ballyspitteen was a city in Ireland where the Shrine of Saint Floradora was located before it was demolished (Saint Fidgeta and Other Parodies, 83).

Inspiration

Many Irish place names begin with "bally" (or "baile", Gaelic for a place where people live)[1]; add to that the Gaelic diminutive ending "-ín" which is usually spelled "-een" in English.  As for what comes in between, we assume Bellairs is playing with an echo of spittoon.

References

  1. Wiktionary: baile

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