What’s In a Name? – Odd Places in America

 

Truth or Consequences, New Mexico Sign.

Truth or Consequences, New Mexico Sign.

What Do ‘Dead Horse’ And ‘Devil’s Backbone’ Have In Common? — A Misguided Guide to Unusual Place Names in America.

By Victoria Elizabeth

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It is said that England has more than a few rather quaint place names such as Bodmin, Grimbister, Ipswich, Nobottle, No Man’s Land, Pie Corner, Pratt’s Bottom, Scrabster, and Twatt but, they pale in comparison to the plethora of picturesque place names in the “New World”.

For those with precious little to do, why not take a peek at a few of the curious and entertaining place names found in the United States (like Zap, North Dakota and Knockemstiff, Ohio)

This state of affairs naturally begs several questions.

1. Just who might be eager to visit these out-of-the-way, off-the-beaten-track, and some might even say, downright peculiar places like Nothing, Arizona or Floyds Knobs, Indiana?

2. What do real estate agents say and do to attract new property owners to King of Prussia, Valentine or Santa Clause?

3. Who lives in Nags Head or Lynchburg?

4. Why would anyone name a place “Punxsutawney” unless of course, one had nothing better to do on “National Groundhog Appreciation Day”?

5. Where is Frostproof, Funkstown, Pottawattamie, Romeoville, and Willacoochee anyway?

Welcome to Toad Suck, Arkansas.

Welcome to Toad Suck, Arkansas.

So grab yourself an atlas or a map and whatever you do, drop by and say hello to the folks in:

 

Chicken, Deadhorse or Eek, Alaska

Burnt Corn, Intercourse, Muck City, and Rooster, Alabama

Fannie, Greasy Corner, Grubbs, Hooker, Okay, Possum Grape, Smackover, Toad Suck, Turkey Scratch, Weiner, or Yellville, Arkansas

Blunt, Bummerville, Deadwood, Doghouse Junction, Frying Pan, Hellhole Palms, Hells Kitchen, Hooker, Last Chance, Mormon Bar, Needles, Ono, Prunedale, Rescue, Relief, Scarface, Squabbletown, Sucker Flat, Timbuctoo, Toad Town, Volcano, Weedpatch, Wimp, You Bet, and Yreka Zzyzx, California

Climax, Last Chance, No Name, Parachute, Purgatory in Colorado

Giants Neck, Mianus, or Moosup in Connecticut

Howey-in-the-Hills, Kissimmee, Okahumpka, Sopchoppy, Two Egg, Weeki Wachee, and Yeehaw Junction in Florida

Between, Chickasawhatchee, Climax, Enigma, Hopeulikit, or Talking Rock, Georgia

Good Grief or Beer Bottle Crossing in Idaho

Bald Knob, Devil’s Backbone, Grand Detour, Kickapoo, Paw Paw, or Roachtown, Illinois

French Lick, Gnaw Bone, Loogootee, Naked City, Roachdale, and Toad Hop Indiana

Diagonal, Gravity, or What Cheer, Iowa

Perdition or Ransom in Kansas

Oddville, Kentucky courtesy Wikipedia.

Oddville, Kentucky courtesy Wikipedia.

Beaver Lick, Bugtussle, Chicken Gizzard, Crummies, Do Stop, Monkeys Elbow, Mousie, Mud Lick, Oddville, Ogle, Spring Lick, Rabbit Hash, or Typo in Kentucky

Belcher, Cut-Off, Fort Necessity, Grosse Tete, Mudville, Tickfaw, and Waterproof, Louisiana

Bald Head, Dickey, Beans Corner Bingo in Maine

Accident, Assawoman Bay, Boring, Crapo, Cockeysville, Maryland

Belchertown, Cow Yard, Mashpee, Sandwich, Swampscott in Massachusetts

Bad Axe, Climax, Hell, Jugville, Kalamazoo, Podunk, Slapneck, Michigan

Climax, Embarass, Nimrod, Nowthen, Savage, and Sleepy Eye, Minnesota

Bobo, Chunky, Dragon, Possumneck, Sanatorium, Soso, or Yazoo, Mississippi

Conception, Cooter, Enough, Frankenstein, Licking, Peculiar, Roach, Sleeper, and Tightwad, Missouri

Hell, Michigan

Hell, Michigan

Bitter Root, Elmo, Hungry Horse, Rocky Boy, Square Butte, Two-Dot, and Yaak in Montana

Colon, Fort Crook, Road, Wahoo, Weeping Water, or Worms in Nebraska

Bunkerville, Incline Village, Lovelock, Owyhee, Pahrump, Searchlight, Verdi-Mogul, Weed Heights, and Winnemucca in Nevada

Bungy, Contoocook, Hell Hollow, Lost Nation, or Sandwich Landing in New Hampshire

Bivalve, Brick, Ho-Ho Kus, Little Egg Harbor, Love Ladies, or Succasuna in New Jersey

Elephant Butte, Tingle, and Truth or Consequences in New Mexico

Cat Elbow Corner, Climax, Coxsackie, Hicksville, Horseheads, Peekskill, Neversink, Yaphank Yonkers in New York

Climax, Gum Neck, Horneytown, Lizard Lick, Meat Camp, Tick Bite, Toast, and Whynot in North Carolina

Concrete, Hoople, Voltaire, and Zap in North Dakota

Goobertown, Arkansas

Goobertown, Arkansas

Blue Ball, Climax, Fly, Knockemstiff, and Three Legs Town, Ohio

Bowlegs, Frogville, Hooker, Okay, Pumpkin Center, Slapout, or Slaughterville in Oklahoma

Boring, Drain, Halfcom, Idiotville, and Zig Zag in Oregon

Balltown, Bird-in-Hand, Blue Ball, Climax, Drab, Experiment, Fear Not, Gobbler’s Knob, Hempfield, Intercourse, Loyalsockville, Panic, Porkey, Scalp Level, Uno, and Virginville in Pennsylvania)

Mooseup Valley, Quidnick, Quonochontaug, and Woonsocket in Rhode Island

Coward, Due West, Ninetimes, or Sugar Tit in South Carolina

Bath, Igloo, Lemmon, Peever, and Red Shirt, South Dakota

Bugscuffle, Bucksnort, Defeated, Difficult, Duck Town, Finger, Nameless, Only, Smartt, Sweet Lips, Static, and Yum Yum, Tennessee

Cut-n-Shoot, Dime Box, Ding Dong, Frognot, Gun Barrel City, Hoop and Holler, Leaky, Loco, Looneyville, Muleshoe, Notrees, Pointblank, Possum Kingdom, Run and Shoot, Tarzan, Trophy Club, Turkey, Twitty, and Uncertain in Texas

Boring, Oregon

Boring, Oregon

Bald Knob, Hurricane, Lovelock, Orderville, Utah

Bread Loaf, Mosquitoville, Notown, Satans Kingdom, Vermont

Bumpass, Croaker, Frogtown, Goochland, Goosepimple Junction, Mutt, Nuttsville, Ordinary, Virginia

Enumclaw, Humptulips, Klickitat, Kooskooskie, Tumtum, and Tumwater in Washington

Big Ugly, Crum, HooHoo, Looneyville, Lost City, Nitro, Odd, Paw, Pinch, War in West Virginia

Embarrass, Footville, Imalone, Spread Eagle, Ubet, or Wanderoos in Wisconsin

Bill, Camel Hump, Meeteetse, and Muddy Gap in Wyoming

And, if you want to find these places on a map, go to: http://geonames.usgs.gov/

Copyright © Victoria Elizabeth 2004. All rights reserved, Updated July 2019.

About the Author:  Victoria Elizabeth. “The Quipping Queen”, enjoys musing about mirthful things in Life, the Universe and Everything In between from the pages of her blatherskating blog at www.quippingqueen.blogspot.com

Readers’ Additions:

  • Alligator, Mississippi
  • Assinippi, Massachusetts
  • Bald Knob, Arkansas
  • Bates Motel, Ontario, Oregon
  • Big Bone Lick, Kentucky
  • Bird-In-Hand, Pennsylvania
  • Black Lick, Pennsylvania
  • Blue, Oklahoma
  • Blue Balls, Arkansas
  • Boring, Oregon
  • Booger Hollow, Arkansas
  • Booger Hollow, North Carolina
  • Buffalo Soapstone, Alaska
  • Christmas, Michigan
  • Coffeeville, Kansas
  • Coon Hunter, Pennsylvania
  • Dry Prong, Louisiana
  • Dildo, Newfoundland, Canada
  • Donner and Blitzen River, Frenchglen, Oregon
  • Erect, North Carolina
  • French Lick, Indiana
  • Frog Jump, Tennessee
  • Home, Kansas
  • Hot Coffee, Mississippi
  • Hygiene, Colorado
  • Hurt, Virginia
  • Ice, Oklahoma
  • Jackass Flats, Virginia
  • Joe, Montana
  • Jump Off Joe Lake, Washington
  • Knob Lick, Missouri
  • Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg, Webster, Massachusetts – Wow, now that’s a mouthful and we couldn’t resist doing a little research on this. The lake is most often referred to by locals as “Webster Lake,” as the actual pronunciation is too difficult. Given the name by the Nipmuk Indians, the name loosely translates to “fishing place at the boundary.” Long ago it was considered neutral territory and became a meeting place and powwow site among the Nipmuks and the Narraganssett, Pequot and Mohegan tribes. However, when the Webster Times ran a humorous article about the lake with a tongue-in-cheek translation of, “You Fish on Your Side, I Fish on My Side, Nobody Fish in the Middle,” it became so popular that many don’t know today what the actual translation is. “Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg” is the longest place name in the United States and 6th longest in the world. See more about the lake and its history at History of the Lake.
  • Lickdale, Pennsylvania
  • Maggie’s Nipples, Wyoming
  • Mary D, Pennsylvania
  • Monkey Eyebrow, Kentucky
  • Oatmeal, Texas
  • Panther Burn, Mississippi
  • Pie Town, New Mexico
  • Piggot, Arkansas
  • Pink, Oklahoma
  • Possumneck, Mississippi
  • Possum Kingdom, South Carolina
  • Possum Trot, Kentucky
  • Puseyville, Pennsylvania
  • Racket, Missouri
  • Rooster Poot, Arkansas
  • Rough and Ready, California
  • Seven Devils, North Carolina
  • Shickshinny, Pennsylvania
  • Shivers, Mississippi
  • Skookumchuck River, Washington
  • Shoot, Texas
  • Skullbone, Tennessee
  • Snow, Oklahoma
  • SoSo, Mississippi
  • Speedway, Indiana
  • Spot, Alabama
  • Strawberry, Arizona
  • Time, Illinois
  • Tookiedoo, South Carolina
  • Tum Tum, Washington
  • Wapwallopen, Pennsylvania
  • Walla Walla, Washington
  • Weiner, Arkansas
  • Welcome, North Carolina
  • Whorehouse Meadows, Oregon
  • Wing, Alabama – Pronounced like “wang,” as in pass me some more of them chickin’ wangs.
  • Why Not, Mississippi
  • Y, Alaska

Also See:

Destinations Across America

Quirky America Photo Gallery

Quirky and Off Beat Roadside Attractions

Scenic Byways & Historic Trails

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