ODD SPOTS IN AMERICA
Or, where did you say you live?
It is said that England has more than a few rather quaint placenames 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 places in the "New World".
For those with precious little to do, why not take a wee peek at a few of the curious and entertaining placenames found in the United States of America.
This state of affairs naturally begs several questions.
- 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?
- What do real estate agents say and do to attract new property owners to King of Prussia, Valentine or Santa Clause?
- Who lives in Nags Head or Lynchburg?
- Why would anyone name a place "Punxsutawney" unless of course, one had nothing better to do on "National Groundhog Appreciation Day"?
- Where is Frostproof, Funkstown, Pottawattamie, Romeoville and Willacoochee anyway?
So grab 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, Rooster, Scratch Ankle (Alabama)
- Bagdad, Boneyard, Floss, Goobertown, Nothing, Why (Arizona)
- Fannie, Greasy Corner, Grubbs, Hooker, Okay, Possum Grape, Smackover, Toad Suck, Turkey Scratch, Weiner, Yellville (Arkansas)
- Blunt, Bummerville, Deadwood, Doghouse Junction, Frying Pan, Hellhole Palms, Hells Kitchen, Hooker, Last Chance, Lovelock, Mormon Bar, Needles, Ono, Prunedale, Rescue, Relief, Scarface, Squabbletown, Sucker Flat, Timbuctoo, Toad Town, Volcano, Weedpatch, Wimp, You Bet, Yreka Zzyzx (California)
- Climax, Last Chance, No Name, Parachute, Purgatory (Colorado)
- Giants Neck, Hazardville, Mianus, Moosup (Connecticut)
- Blue Ball, Cocked Hat, Little Heaven (Delaware)
- Christmas, Frostproof, Howey-in-the-Hills, Kissimmee, Niceville, Okahumpka, Panacea, Sopchoppy, Two Egg, Weeki Wachee, Weewahitchka, Yeehaw Junction, Yellow Water (Florida)
- Between, Chickasawhatchee, Climax, Clinch, Cloud Land, Enigma, Hopeulikit, Lumpkin, Talking Rock, Thunderbolt, Willacoochee (Georgia)
- Honaunau-Napoopoo, Kaaawa, Laupahoehoe, Pepeekeo, Poipu (Hawaii)
- Good Grief, Beer Bottle Crossing, Notus, Owyhee (Idaho)
- Bald Knob, Devil's Backbone, Grand Detour, Kickapoo, Ogle, Paw Paw, Roachtown, Romeoville (Illinois)
- French Lick, Gnaw Bone, Loogootee, Naked City, Pottawattamie, Roachdale, Toad Hop, Zero (Indiana)
- Appanoose, Diagonal, Gravity, What Cheer (Iowa)
- Perdition, Ransom (Kansas)
- Beaver Lick, Bugtussle, Chicken Gizzard, Crummies, Do Stop, Dwarf, Flat Lick, Monkeys Elbow, Mousie, Mud Lick, Oddville, Ogle, Spring Lick, Rabbit Hash, Typo, Viper (Kentucky)
- Belcher, Cut-Off, Fort Necessity, Grosse Tete, Mudville, Tickfaw, Waterproof (Louisana)
- Bald Head, Dickey, Beans Corner Bingo (Maine)
- Accident, Assawoman Bay, Boonsboro, Boring, Crapo, Cockeysville, Funkstown, Mattawoman (Maryland)
- Assinippi, Belchertown, Cow Yard, Mashpee, Sandwich, Swampscott (Massachusetts)
- Bad Axe, Climax, Hell, Jugville, Kalamazoo, Owosso, Paw Paw, Pinkney, Podunk, Slapneck (Michigan)
- Climax, Embarass, Fertile, Koochiching, Nimrod, Nowthen, Savage, Sleepy Eye (Minnesota)
- Bobo, Buckatunna, Chunky, Dragon, Pilot Knob, Possumneck, Quitman, Sanatorium, Soso, Yalobusha, Yazoo (Mississippi)
- Conception, Cooter, Enough, Frankenstein, Licking, Peculiar, Roach, Sleeper, Tightwad (Missouri)
- Bitter Root, Elmo, Flat Head, Hungry Horse, Rocky Boy, Square Butt, Two-Dot, Yaak, Zero (Montana)
- Colon, Fort Crook, Hooker, Wahoo, Weeping Water, Worms (Nebraska)
- Bunkerville, Incline Village, Lovelock, Owyhee, Pahrump, Searchlight, Verdi-Mogul, Weed Heights, Winnemucca (Nevada)
- Bungy, Contoocook, Hell Hollow, Little Boar's Head, Lost Nation, Sandwich Landing (New Hampshire)
- Bivalve, Brick, Ho-Ho Kus, Little Egg Harbor, Love Ladies, Nutley, Succasuna (New Jersey)
- Elephant Butte, Loving, Tingle, Truth or Consequences (New Mexico)
- Climax, Coxsackie, Hicksville, Horseheads, Peekskill, Neversink, Yaphank Yonkers (New York)
- Climax, Gum Neck, Horneytown, Lizard Lick, Locust, Meat Camp, Nags Head, Scotland Neck, Tick Bite, Toast, Whynot, Zebulon (North Carolina)
- Concrete, Hoople, Voltaire, Zap (North Dakota)
- Blue Ball, Climax, Dry Run, Flushing, Knockemstiff, Licking, Lynchburg, Three Legs Town (Ohio)
- Bowlegs, Canute, Frogville, Hooker, Nowata, Okay, Okfuskee, Pink, Pumpkin Center, Slapout, Slaughterville, Wetumka (Oklahoma)
- Boring, Clackamass, Drain, Halfcom, Idiotville, Owyhee, Scappoose, Umatilla, Zig Zag (Oregon)
- Balltown, Bird-in-Hand, Blue Ball, Climax, Drab, Experiment, Fear Not, Gobbler's Knob, Hecktown, Hempfield, Intercourse, Lackawanna, Leechburg, Loyalsockville, Panic, Porkey, Punxsutawney, Scalp Level, Uno, Virginville (Pennsylvania)
- Mooseup Valley, Pawtucket, Quidnick, Quidnessett, Quonochontaug, Woonsocket (Rhode Island)
- Coward, Cowpens, Due West, Folly Beach, Lugoff, Ninetimes, Sugar Tit (South Carolina)
- Bath, Deadwood, Igloo, Lemmon, Peever, Red Shirt (South Dakota)
- Bugscuffle, Bucksnort, Bulls Gap, Defeated, Difficult, Duck Town, Finger, Lynchburg, Nameless, Only, Smartt, Soddy Daisy, Sweet Lips, Static, Yum Yum (Tennessee)
- Cut-n-Shoot, Dime Box, Ding Dong, Frognot, Glasscock, Gun Barrel City, Hoop and Holler, Humble, Leaky, Loco, Looneyville, Muleshoe, Notrees, Pointblank, Possum Kingdom, Run and Shoot, Swisher, Tarzan, Trophy Club, Turkey, Twitty, Uncertain, Valentine, Wink (Texas)
- Bald Knob, Honeyville, Hurricane, Lovelock, Orderville, Plain City (Utah)
- Bread Loaf, Mosquitoville, Notown, Satans Kingdom, Shaftsbury, Winooski (Vermont)
- Bland, Bumpass, Croaker, Dooms, Disputanta, Frogtown, Goochland, Goosepimple Junction, Hurt, Mutt, Nuttsville, Ordinary, Pratt, Rescue, Temperanceville, Tookland (Virginia)
- Enumclaw, Humptulips, Klickitat, Kooskooskie, La Push, Puyallup, Tukwila, Tumtum, Tumwater, Walla Walla, Wishram, Zilla (Washington)
- Big Ugly, Crum, HooHoo, Looneyville, Lost City, Nitro, Odd, Paw, Pinch, War (West Virginia)
- Bloomer, Dickeyville, Door, Embarrass, Footville, Imalone, Oshkosh, Outagamie, Pewaukee, Pittsville, Spooner, Spread Eagle, Ubet, Wanderoos (Wisconsin)
- Bill, Camel Hump, Crook, Eden, Meeteetse, Muddy Gap, Ten Sleep (Wyoming)
And, if you want to find these places on a map, go to: http://geonames.usgs.gov/pls/gnis/web_query.gnis_web_query_form
For a complete list of placenames go to: http://www.census.gov/tiger/tms/gazetteer/places2k.txt
Several interesting books come to mind, you might want to check out:
-- The Deeper Meaning of Liff - A Dictionary of Things That There Aren't Any Words For Yet, by Douglas Adams and John Lloyd, (a treasure chest of odd placenames from the "Old" and "New" worlds).
-- Dictionary of Canadian Placenames, by Alan Rayburn, (the only national dictionary of Canadian placenames -- 5,075 entries plus 1,150 associate names).
-- A Place Called Peculiar: Stories About Unusual American Placenames, by Frank Gallant (more than 40 storeis of oddly named towns from Turth or Consequence, N.M., to Bivalve, N.J.).
-- All Over the Map Again, by David Jouris (33 unusual black-and-white thematic maps of continental US with towns grouped by topics rather than geographic location, e.g. an animal map; a sporting map; a mineral map etc., and selected stories on how various towns were named).