What’s in a name? Sometimes, a lot. With town names like Nothing, Blue Ball, and Cucumber, it goes to show you that early settlers had a sense of humor. Either that or they have no idea how ironic the town names they chose really are.
This is a list of the funniest and most bizarre town names the country has to offer. Let’s go on a road trip together, shall we?
Location: Garrett County, Maryland, United States.
Population: 314 (According to 2017 stats)
Back in 1786, when land venture William Deakins, Jr., was granted the official land grant, to his indefinite stretch of land where the town now stands, he named it ‘Accident.’ According to local people, it was because he and another speculator named Brooke Beall had accidentally simultaneously surveyed the same land.
Location: 3 to 4 miles southeast of Roanoke, in Randolph County, Alabama
Bacon Level is a very very small community a few miles southeast of Roanoke in Randolph County, Alabama. Not much is know about this little town, but we do know that there is a Bacon Level Baptist Church. And the family names of some early settlers were Prather, Meachum, Bonner, Ussery, Vinson, and Gladnys if anyone knows anyone with those last names – maybe they’re from here.
Location: Bald Knob is in White County, Arkansas.
Population: 2,881 (According to 2017 stats)
In the early 1870s, a community founder named Benjamin Franklin Brown posted a sign that read ‘Bald Knob’ which stood along the railroad tracks. In 1978, Bald Knob got its first post office, firmly establishing the name.
Location: Blue Ball is in New Castle County, Delaware, United States
The name came from the Blue Ball Hotel. It was built more than two hundred years ago, which stood on the southeast corner of the PA 23-US 322 crossroads. In the early 18th century, an Irish man named John Wallace opened an inn. Wallace hung a large blue ball from a billboard outside and called the place ‘The Sign of the Blue Ball.’ The town’s original name was Earl Town, but local people started calling it ‘Blue Ball.’ The name was officially changed in 1833.
Location: Burnt Corn is a tiny unincorporated community between Monroe County and Conecuh County, Alabama. You can locate the community at a historic crossroads near the source of Burnt Corn Creek.
The name Burnt Corn seems to be an exciting tale. There are numerous theories as to where the name came from. One story is, ‘People believe that the Creek Indians burned the white settler’s corn farms in an effort to drive them away.’
Location: McDowell County, West Virginia
Population: 94 (According to 2010 stats)
This lovely community takes its name from the cucumber tree (Cucumbertree). No, it’s not what you thought, the familiar vegetable. Some know the cucumber tree as Magnolia Acuminata, which grows in the region.
Location: It’s a city in eastern Montgomery County, Texas
Population: 1,328 (According to 2017 stats)
Local legends are that the name of this city comes from a disagreement back in 1912 at a church. Legend has it that churchgoers were arguing over land claims and who the person that would preach would be. A young boy expressed his annoyance with the situation and said, ‘ I’m going to cut around the corner and shoot through the bushes in a minute.’
Location: Deadhorse is located within the CDP of Prudhoe Bay in North Slope Borough, Alaska, United States, along the North Slope near the Arctic Ocean.
Population: The permanent population is variously listed as being between 25 and 50 residents.
The town got its name from a conspicuous business in the late 1960s and 1970s. The ‘Dead Horse Haulers’ is a trucking company. How the trucking company got its name, remains in dispute.
Location: Bethel Census Area, Alaska
Population: 309 (According to 2017 stats)
Eek’s name may suggest the sound a person that feels disgusted or a sound a frightened person makes. The word Eek derived from an Eskimo’s language, a word which means ‘two eyes.’
Location: Waupaca County, Wisconsin,
Population: 380 (According to 2017 stats)
In the past, lumberjacks in the town were French Canadians. They tried to send logs floating down the river. They found it impossible because of the many trees embedded in the stream, so they named it the Riviere Embarrase. ‘Embarrase’ is a French word which means to obstruct or to entangle.
Location: Allegheny and Juniata Townships in Blair County, Pennsylvania
Population: 672 (According to 2010 stats)
The town was named ‘Foot of Ten’ because of its location. It’s located at the foot of the tenth inclined plane of the Allegheny Portage Railroad. Not what I was expecting, but okay.
Location: Forks of Salmon is a community of Siskiyou County which is in the northern part of California, USA.
Population: 126 people. (-20.25% since 2010)
Forks of Salmon is in the middle of the North and South Fork of the Salmon River, which suggests the name ‘Forks of Salmon.’ The residence there generate their own electricity and live quite the ‘hands-on’ kind of life.
Location: Northwestern Osage County, Missouri
This town’s name was in honor of a man named Gottfried Franken, who donated land to the town back in 1890. The area became known as Franken Hill. ‘Stein’ means rock, so the name may have simply been a way of honoring the donor for his rock or hill.
Location: Greasy Corner is located in Saint Francis County.
The town was initially named Mack’s Corner for B. M. McCollum, a resident, and landowner from the community. McCollum ran a store, restaurant, and automobile repair shop out of one building. It got its current name when a farmer was eating in the restaurant and was given a plate with grease on it. He said the community should be called ‘Greasy Corner.’
Location: Northwestern corner of Wasatch County, Utah
Population: 945 (According to 2017 stats)
Hideout was a newly established town in 2008. Its name derives from an old landmark nearby, Hideout Canyon. The Canyon was named that because of its famous hideout for rustlers and other outlaws in earlier days.
Location: Flathead County, Montana
Population: 826 (According to 2010 stats)
Hungry Horse and the Hungry Horse Dam were named after two horses who got lost in the snow in the winter of 1900-01. They were found starving and weak a month later. Luckily, they were nursed back to health.
Location: Delta County in the northeast side of Texas
This town was previously known as Mohegan, Mudding Prairie, and Bagley. Jot Em Down is a reference from a radio comedy series called ‘Lum and Abner.’ A local resident named Dion McDonald opened a store in the town in 1936 and gave it that name. Later, the town adopted the name.
Location: Modoc County, California
Population: 63 (According to 2010 stats)
Back in 1878, locals were asked to find a name for their post office, after their old one was rejected, ‘South Fork.’ The locals suggested three alternatives, each of which was denied because they already existed in California. Somebody mentioned that they wouldn’t find a new name. Another local supposedly said, “It is not likely that there will be another post office in the state called ‘Likely.” They submitted that, and it was accepted.
Location: It lies on the San Juan River on the northern edge of the Navajo Nations borders in south-central San Juan County, Utah.
Population: 31 (According to 2010 stats)
Mexican Hat was founded by an oil speculator in 1908. This communities name derived from a rock formation which is about 2.5 miles to the northeast that is said to resemble a sombrero (Mexican hat), from certain angles.
Location: Ballard County, Kentucky
According to an unofficial historian, Joe Culver, he reports that there are several stories about why it got called that. In his opinion, it’s because western Kentucky slightly resembles the profile of a monkey’s face, outlined by the Ohio River.
Location: Town in McLean County, Illinois
Population: 54,284 (According to 2017 stats)
Legend has it that this town was originally called North Bloomington. Its name derived from its supposed founder named Abner Normal, known as ‘Ab,’ get it? In reality, it was named after the new state university which opened there in 1861. It was described as a regular school, an old name for a teachers college.
Location: Garfield County, Colorado
Population: 123 (According to 2010 stats)
It seems that this name selection was supposed to be a temporary solution but became a point of pride for locals in No Name, Colorado. Visitors can find the spot near the No Name Creek, No Name tunnels, and the No Name hiking trail.
Location: Nothing is located 100 miles northwest of Phoenix, Arizona, and roughly 20 miles south of Wikieup, the ‘Rattlesnake capital of Arizona.’
Population: Zero. Nothing had a population of 4 until it was occupied then abandoned four times.
The dedicated locals had faith in Nothing, worked at Nothing, and hoped for Nothing. The locals told it to travelers that the town got named by a bunch of people that were drunks. The settlement was established back in 1977 by a man named Richard ‘Buddy’ Kenworthy.
Location: Along the east bank of the Verdigris River in Wagoner County, Oklahoma.
Population: 673 (According to 2017 stats)
This town has had numerous names. The Oklahoma town’s present name settled in 1919. It was bestowed in recognition to the ‘O.K @ ton Truck and Trailer which was being manufactured in this town by Oklahoma Auto Manufacturing Company.
Location: Garfield County, Colorado.
Population: 1,115 (According to 2017 stats)
Legend has it here that their name derives from either the shape of an adjacent creek, called Parachute Creek or because hunters on the cliffs above the town used to say they needed a parachute to get down there.
Location: Cass County, Missouri
Population: 5,118 (According to 2017 stats)
This naming story is also based on a post office story back in the 1800s. The locals applied for names which were rejected because they already existed in Missouri. Frustrated, the locals asked the department to give them a ‘peculiar’ name, which they abbreviated. As you can imagine, they then had a new post office called Peculiar, hence the towns name today.
Location: Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.
Population: 297 (According to 2017 stats)
The borough of Pillow was founded back in 1818. It was founded by a land developer named John Snyder. According to Pillow Historical Society, it was in honor of the infamous Brigadier General Gideon Johnson Pillow, who was almost court-martialed because he took false credit for victories during the Mexican-American War.
Location: Kanawha County, West Virginia
Population: 3,262 (According to 2010 stats)
According to an account from 1945, Pinch is named after a creek named Pinch Gut. The word gut is a synonym for the creek. According to locals, ‘white men were hunting here in pioneer times, they were attacked by Indians; and for quite some time, they were besieged that they almost starved to death,’ hence the name, ‘their guts were pinched.’
Location: Henry County, Alabama.
Screamer has an interesting history. According to a local historian, the name might have two origins. The version he believes to be true, in the 19th century, Native Americans used to always heckle white train travelers loudly, as they passed by what was then a reservation.
Location: Lewis County, Idaho
This land was gifted to a missionary by the name of Joshua Slickpoo. The town was then named after him, and the name ‘Slickpoo’ stuck. Well, he’s lucky to be from his generation and not ours.
Location: Franklin and Menallen townships in Fayette County, Pennsylvania
Population: 583 (According to 2010 stats)
This town is named after a man named Samuel Smock. He was a speculator, farmer, and blacksmith. He bought a farmhouse and a 190-acre piece of land in 1869 and later sold most of the property to coal companies. Pennsylvania Railroad wanted to run tracks through a portion that he owned, Smock agreed on the condition that the railway station will be named after him. Smock Station then gave its name to the village.
Location: Lincoln County, South Dakota
Population: 5,448 (According to 2017 stats)
This city was originally called Byron, but of course, it’s another post office story dating back to the 18th century. Town locals came up with nine name suggestions and couldn’t think of the 10th. Somebody suggested that they should go on a tea break, they decided to write “Tea” as the 10th alternative. That, of course, is the one the Post Office Department chose for them.
Location: Perry County, Arkansas
According to town history, steamboats used to ply the Arkansas River. When it temporarily grew too shallow, they would tie up their boats near a local tavern and await better conditions. Their crews drank so freely that somebody cracked, “They suck on the bottle until they swell up like toads.”
Location: T or C is in the county seat of Sierra County, New Mexico
Population: 5,948 (According to 2017 stats)
This town used to be called Hot Springs. In 1950, a radio host named Ralph Edwards owned a popular quiz program named Truth or Consequences. He was in search of a town that he could name in honor of his programs 10th anniversary. The Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce held an election and decided the matter, they voted, and the town decided to become Truth or Consequences.
Location: Jackson County, Florida,
Two got its name during the Great Depression. According to locals, two young, little boys had absolutely no money that they paid a shopkeeper with two eggs for a bag of sugar. These business transactions were common; they called the shop a ‘two egg store.’ Eventually, the name stuck.
Location: Aleutians West Census Area of the Unorganized Borough of the U.S. state of Alaska.
Population: 4,524 (According to 2017 stats)
Unalaska is as Alaskan as it comes. Unalaska is the largest city in the Aleutian Islands. Unangan residents named it Agunalaksh. This is a word that means ‘near the peninsula.’ Russian fur traders soon arrived at the town and morphed the spelling to Ounalashka. Later, it became Unalaska.
Location: McDowell County, West Virginia
Population: 715 (According to 2017 stats)
‘War’ derives from War Creek, which was named by local Indians after a battle that occurred near its headwaters back in 1788. It was previously named Miner’s City. The settlement becomes ‘War’ back in 1920.
Location: Keokuk County, Iowa.
Population: 621 (According to 2017 stats)
According to one legend, this town connected to a railways station. Back in 1908, a Scottish miner who discovered coal in their area exclaimed, “What a cheer!” According to another legend, a local could have suggested it to a postal office, and it stuck.
Location: Pima County, Arizona
Population: 116 (According to 2000 stats)
According to locals, the town got its name for the simple fact that it was near the Y-shaped junction of two state highways. According to one of the early settlers in the community, it inspired by people driving through who asked, “Why are you living way out here?”
Location: Randolph County, North Carolina
Whynot was officially founded back in the 18th century by English and German immigrants. According to local people, back then there was a discussion about what they should call the community, and eventually, somebody asked: “Why not name the town ‘Why Not,’ then we can go home?”