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What’s in a Name? The 50 Weirdest Town Names in America

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.

Truth or Consequences sign

Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. Source: legendsofamerica.com

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?

Accident, Maryland

Location: Garrett County, Maryland, United States.

Population: 314 (According to 2017 stats)

Accident Maryland town sign

Source: accidentmd.org

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.

Bacon Level, Alabama

Location: 3 to 4 miles southeast of Roanoke, in Randolph County, Alabama

Population: N/A

Bacon Level Alabama town sign

Source: twitter.com

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.

Bald Knob, Arkansas

Location: Bald Knob is in White County, Arkansas.

Population: 2,881 (According to 2017 stats)

Bald Knob Arkansas town sign

Source: pinterest.com

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.

Blue Ball, Delaware

Location: Blue Ball is in New Castle County, Delaware, United States

Population: N/A

Blue Ball Barn town sign

Source: discoverlancaster.com

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.

Burnt Corn, Alabama

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.

Population: N/A

Burnt Corn, Alabama town sign

Source: alabamapioneers.com

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.’

Cucumber, West Virginia

Location: McDowell County, West Virginia

Population: 94 (According to 2010 stats)

Cucumber, West Virginia logo

Source: teepublic.com

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.

Cut and Shoot, Texas

Location: It’s a city in eastern Montgomery County, Texas

Population: 1,328 (According to 2017 stats)

Cut and Shoot, Texas town sign

Source: texascooppower.com

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.’

Deadhorse, Alaska

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.

short description of the photo’s content

Source: exploratorium.edu

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.

Eek, Alaska

Location: Bethel Census Area, Alaska

Population: 309 (According to 2017 stats)

Eek, Alaska town sign

Source: amazon.co.uk

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.’

Embarrass, Wisconsin

Location: Waupaca County, Wisconsin,

Population: 380 (According to 2017 stats)

Embarrass, Wisconsin town sign

Source: pinterest.com

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.

Foot of Ten, Pennsylvania

Location: Allegheny and Juniata Townships in Blair County, Pennsylvania

Population: 672 (According to 2010 stats)

Foot of Ten, Pennsylvania city map

Source: usgwarchives.net

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.

Forks of Salmon, California

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, California town sign

Source: pinterest.com

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.

Frankenstein, Missouri

Location: Northwestern Osage County, Missouri

Population: N/A

Frankenstein, Missouri town sign

Source: pinterest.com

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.

Greasy Corner, Arkansas

Location: Greasy Corner is located in Saint Francis County.

Population: N/A

Greasy Corner, Arkansas town sign

Source: arcgis.com

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.’

Hideout, Utah

Location: Northwestern corner of Wasatch County, Utah

Population: 945 (According to 2017 stats)

Hideout, Utah town sign

Source: wikimedia.org

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.

Hungry Horse, Montana

Location: Flathead County, Montana

Population: 826 (According to 2010 stats)

Hungry Horse, Montana town sign

Source: wheretraveler.com

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.

Jot Em Down, Texas

Location: Delta County in the northeast side of Texas

Population: N/A

Jot Em Down, Texas town sign

Source: Pinterest

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.

Likely, California

Location: Modoc County, California

Population: 63 (According to 2010 stats)

Likely, California town sign

Source: americasheartland.org

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.

Mexican Hat, Utah

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, Utah lodge sign

Source: wikipedia.org

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.

Monkey Eyebrow, Kentucky

Location: Ballard County, Kentucky

Population: N/A

Monkey Eyebrow, Kentucky town sign

Source: pinterest.com

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.

Normal, Illinois

Location: Town in McLean County, Illinois

Population: 54,284 (According to 2017 stats)

Normal, Illinois town sign

Source: photoshelter.com

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.

No Name, Colorado

Location: Garfield County, Colorado

Population: 123 (According to 2010 stats)

No Name, Colorado town sign

Source: qqriq.blogspot.com

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.

Nothing, Arizona

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.

There is nothing in Arizona sign

Source: amusingplanet.com

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.

Okay, Oklahoma

Location: Along the east bank of the Verdigris River in Wagoner County, Oklahoma.

Population: 673 (According to 2017 stats)

Okay city limits sign

Source:

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.

Parachute, Colorado

Location: Garfield County, Colorado.

Population: 1,115 (According to 2017 stats)

Parachute, Colorado town sign

Source: fromthestyx.wordpress.com

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.

Peculiar, Missouri

Location: Cass County, Missouri

Population: 5,118 (According to 2017 stats)

Peculiar, Missouri town sign

Source: cityofpeculiar.com

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.

Pillow, Pennsylvania

Location: Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.

Population: 297 (According to 2017 stats)

Pillow, Pennsylvania town sign

Source: gratzpa.org

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.

Pinch, West Virginia

Location: Kanawha County, West Virginia

Population: 3,262 (According to 2010 stats)

Pinch, West Virginia town sign

Source: pinterest.com

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.’

Screamer, Alabama

Location: Henry County, Alabama.

Population: N/A

Screamer, Alabama local garage

Source:

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.

Slickpoo, Idaho

Location: Lewis County, Idaho

Population: N/A

Slickpoo, Idaho town sign

Source: travelobscura.com

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.

Smock, Pennsylvania

Location: Franklin and Menallen townships in Fayette County, Pennsylvania

Population: 583 (According to 2010 stats)

Smock, Pennsylvania

Source: orgsites.com

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.

Tea, South Dakota

Location: Lincoln County, South Dakota

Population: 5,448 (According to 2017 stats)

Source: geographicallyyourswelcome.blogspot.com

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.

Toad Suck, Arkansas

Location: Perry County, Arkansas

Population: N/A

Toad Suck, Arkansas town sign

Source: thefw.com

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.”

Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

Location: T or C is in the county seat of Sierra County, New Mexico

Population: 5,948 (According to 2017 stats)

Truth or Consequences, New Mexico town sign

Source: legendsofamerica.com

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.

Two Egg, Florida

Location: Jackson County, Florida,

Population: N/A

Two Egg, Florida town sign

Source: traquo.com

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.

Unalaska, Alaska

Location: Aleutians West Census Area of the Unorganized Borough of the U.S. state of Alaska.

Population: 4,524 (According to 2017 stats)

Unalaska town sign

Source: City of Unalaska

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.

War, West Virginia

Location: McDowell County, West Virginia

Population: 715 (According to 2017 stats)

War, West Virginia road sign

Source: Wikimedia Commons

‘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.

What Cheer, Iowa

Location: Keokuk County, Iowa.

Population: 621 (According to 2017 stats)

What Cheer, Iowa sign

Source: Flickr

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.

Why, Arizona

Location: Pima County, Arizona

Population: 116 (According to 2000 stats)

Why, Arizona sign

Source: Flickr

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?”

Whynot, North Carolina

Location: Randolph County, North Carolina

Population: N/A

Whynot, North Carolina sign

Source: Alchetron

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?”