Of the many things our ancestors were great at, naming places wasn't always one of them. If you're lucky enough to come from one of these legacy towns, then you know how a wacky name might be the only thing that got you on the map. From gut-busting phrases to locker room humor, these are 30 US places with some seriously unusual names.
Boring, Oregon is anything but. How could it be when it's located in the Pacific Northwest aka the land of Twilight vampires, Starbucks, and serial killers? Just a stone's throw away from Portland, Boring was originally named for its settler William Harrison Boring. Though now - it's better known for housing the North American Bigfoot Center and the Boring Volcanic Field.
Buttzville, New Jersey
Named after its founder Michael Buttz, Buttzville, New Jersey feels like exactly the kind of fake town name you'd hear in an adult swim cartoon. Located in Warren County, this teeny unincorporated community boasts a delicious hot dog place called Hot Dog Johnny's.
Ding Dong, Texas
Unfortunately, Ding Dong, Texas, isn't the home of everyone's favorite Hostess cupcake. Rather, the town gets its name from its founders Burt and Zulis Bell…as in ding, dong. It's also located in Bell County, which just adds layers on layers to the bell-related humor.
There's nothing to be embarrassed about Embarrass, Minnesota's origins. The moniker comes from the French word embarrass, which means "confusing or put in a difficult situation." Residents can thank the French fur traders who struggled their way through the nearby freezing river's waters and spoke the land's name into existence.
Hell For Certain, Kentucky
Naming towns after nearby geographic features is a super common thing in the south; it's just that not every river has such an eyebrow-raising name as Hell For Certain. A name that normally wouldn't cut it in Sunday church, Hell For Certain, Kentucky, makes for one great road trip pit stop.
Last Chance, Iowa
Last Chance, Iowa sounds like a place where there's always a close-out sale happening. Over time, the town's origin story has faded away, but what remains is a golden opportunity for people to make up their own stories instead.
Odd, West Virginia
Given West Virginia's pop culture reputation, it feels cruel to have one of its towns named Odd. Yet, Odd perfectly fits the unincorporated hamlet's vibe, considering there's only a lonely post office located in the area. Head to the southern liminal space and see what mountain folktales might come to life.
Pee Pee, Ohio
While Kentucky lucked out with their Hell For Certain river name, Pee Pee, Ohio wasn't so fortunate. Residents can begrudgingly thank Major Paul Paine, aka Mr. P.P., for carving his name in a tree that sat alongside the creek, marking it forever Pee Pee, Ohio.
Rough and Ready, California
There's nothing tougher than eating your own boots like the Little Tramp does in The Gold Rush, and the rushers of Rough and Ready, California, were just as tough. Named after the Rough and Ready Mining Company, this town did something Texas desperately wished for in the 1840s-1850s - secede from the Union. But, it found its way back into the fold, where it's remembered for its mining past today.
Toad Suck, Arkansas
Toad suck sounds like a Shakespearean insult you'd lob at someone who insulted your home's décor, but its actual origins are less literary and more contested. It was perhaps named after the French settlers' term (aka 'suck') for the protected river eddy or, as a euphemism for measuring drunkenness. Either way, Toad Suck is stuck for good.
Truth or Consequences, New Mexico
Truth or Consequences, New Mexico sounds like something Dostoevsky would've been jealous that he didn't come up with (*cough* Crime and Punishment *cough*). Instead, it was named after something much less high stakes - the radio show Truth or Consequences. Can you imagine naming a town today after Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy?
Why, Arizona had a way with words…or the lack of them. Originally called "Y" after the two highways that intersected in town, they eventually had to give themselves a written name beyond the letter because Arizona killed their vibe by forcing town names to have at least three letters.
Whynot, North Carolina
In true Carolinian fashion, Whynot residents couldn't make up their minds over what to name their town and settled on the less-than-fabulous "Whynot." Located along the North Carolina Pottery Highway, you can pass through this Piedmont town on your way to picking up some new handmade ceramics.
The Weird City Names Just Keep Coming
Of course, America didn't fight for independence to settle for average town names like Washington or Raleigh. Instead, the weird city names just keep on coming:
- Accident, Maryland
- Bacon, Indiana
- Bat Cave, North Carolina
- Bee Lick, Kentucky
- Best, Texas
- Bigfoot, Texas
- Big Rock Candy Mountain, Vermont
- Booger Hole, West Virginia
- Bugscuffle, Tennessee
- Cheesequake, New Jersey
- Chicken, Alaska
- Fart, Virginia
- George, Washington
- Greasy, Oklahoma
- My Large Intestine, Texas
- Rabbit Shuffle, North Carolina
- Sweet Lips, Tennessee
Weird Is Just Another Word for Wonderful
Whether it's for their name or being home to the world's largest (insert any random object), every town has its claim to fame. And while some towns have way weirder names than others, remember that weird is just another word for wonderful.