According to William Shakespeare’s legendary refrain: “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” But would we even be talking about the towns on this list by any other name? From the funniest to the most head scratching, we’ve rallied some of the most bizarre town names in the United States that have definitely earned their spot on the map.
1. Boring, Maryland
We thought our hometowns were pretty boring growing up, but they are nothing compared to this town in Maryland that’s literally called Boring. According to the history books, Boring, Maryland, was not named for being particularly uneventful. Instead, its moniker was chosen to honor a former resident.
The ridicule over the town’s chuckle-inducing name could have been avoided altogether if the town officials had just stuck with its original name, Fairview. Instead, they wanted a more unique and well, less boring, name since many states have a town called Fairview. So, they named it after the town’s first postmaster, David J. Boring. Amusing indeed!
2. Hell, Michigan
For anyone who has ever been told to “go to Hell,” well, it seems that it is really not that hard to get to. All one would have to do is travel to Michigan and go for a little road trip to the town of Hell, Michigan. See? That was easy enough.
Hell is just 15 miles away from Ann Arbor. No one really knows how the town got its name, but there are a few theories. Our personal favorite is that the man who purchased the land, George Reeves, was arguing over the name of the property when he became frustrated. According to local folklore he said, “I don’t care, you can name it Hell for all I care.” So they did just that.
3. Two Egg, Florida
What came first, the chicken, or the town of Two Egg in Jackson County, Florida? We’re going to guess the chicken, but we could not help ourselves from this pun when talking about this oddly-named town. Not just a quirky quip, the wacky town name actually comes from a pretty interesting moment in American history.
Locals say that the name Two Egg was born from the Great Depression era in the 1930s. At the time, it was common for people who were low on money to barter and trade goods in exchange for other products. Two little boys reportedly traded two eggs to a shopkeeper for sugar, and called the store the Two Egg Store. The name stuck and quickly spread until it became the official name of the small Florida community.
4. Toad Suck, Arkansas
There are some town names in America that are just beautiful. And Toad Suck, Arkansas, is definitely not one of them. Toad Suck is located right smack dab in the middle of the state along the Arkansas River, which helped give the town its name.
According to folklore, many vessels in the era of steamboat travel would stop in the small town along the river as they waited for water levels to rise. While they did so, these boaters would usually just relax and drink. From that practice emerged jokes that the bartenders of the local pubs would say that these fishermen “would suck on the bottle until they swell up like toads.” Enter: Toad Suck.
5. Satan’s Kingdom, Massachusetts (and Vermont, and Connecticut)
Why would a state name one of their towns Satan’s Kingdom? Correction: Why would three states name one of their towns Satan’s Kingdom? Massachusetts and Vermont each have towns with the ominous name, and Connecticut has a large public recreation area with the fiery name. So how and when did the New England area became such a hub of Satan’s Kingdoms?
In Vermont, the town is reportedly named for its rocky terrain that made it impossible to grow just about anything there. In Massachusetts, legend says that the name came from a few battles between European settlers and Native Americans. Regardless of the genesis of the unusual town name, both scenarios sound… pretty unpleasant.
6. Truth or Consequences, New Mexico
To tell you the truth, the New Mexico town of Truth or Consequences did not always have the unusual name that it has today. The town was originally called Hot Springs, and for good reason. The area had 40 natural hot springs when it was initially named. But then the town changed its name, and there were indeed consequences.
In 1950, a very strange game turned into a very strange town name. At the time, Ralph Edwards was a radio host for a show called Truth or Consequences. For the show’s 10th anniversary, Edwards said that he would broadcast the show from whatever town renamed itself after the program. So, Hot Springs changed its name and got its 15 minutes of fame, and years of tourists gawking at its town sign after that.
7. Mexican Hat, Utah
We think it’s hard to figure out a name for a new pet. Just imagine being tasked with naming a brand new town. It must be a lot of pressure. And while some of the names seemingly come out of nowhere, there are others that are pretty obvious.
The town of Mexican Hat in Utah was founded in 1908 and as of 2010, had a population of 31 residents. The founders of the town named it after the rock formation that was in the northeast area of the town. From certain perspectives, the top of the rock formation looks like a sombrero, or a “Mexican Hat,” as the founders referred to it. Hats off to them!
8. Monkey’s Eyebrow, Kentucky
We have heard of a “Monkey’s Uncle,” although we are still trying to figure out what exactly that means, but we have never heard of a Monkey’s Eyebrow. For anyone wondering, after a quick Google search, we found that monkeys actually do not have eyebrows, contrary to what this wacky town name might suggest.
This small Kentucky town in Ballard County was, for some baffling reason, originally split into two parts: Old Monkey and New Monkey. When the two joined together, officials wanted a new name. Why Monkey’s Eyebrow? Legend has it that Ballard County’s outline looks like the profile of a monkey’s face, and this small town would be located right where the eyebrow would theoretically be found (given if monkeys even had eyebrows to begin with).
9. Ding Dong, Texas
For anyone who has ever been on a road trip in central Texas, this oddly-named town might ring a bell. Many might assume that this small town was named after its location in Bell County, Texas, but those people would be mistaken. If only it was that easy. In fact, the town was named after another set of Bells.
The town of Ding Dong was actually named after two of the town’s original residents: Zulis and Bert Bell. The two opened a store with a sign donning their two belled logo. Under the bells, the artists who designed the sign wrote “ding” and “dong.” Somehow, the sign sparked an entire town name.
10. Forks of Salmon, California
Forks of Salmon seems more like the name of a menu item at a seafood restaurant than it would for the name for a small, West coast town. But tourists of the Pacific Northwest can find the small town of Forks of Salmon in northern California.
While this might be one of the most bizarre town names in the United States, the story behind it is actually surprisingly not all that weird. The town is located right where the north and south forks of the Salmon River meet. See, officials didn’t just give Forks of Salmon a strange name for the ‘halibut.’
11. Why, Arizona
Some of the town names on this list just have us scratching our heads and asking, “why?” And this very small town with a population of under 200 people is no exception. So when it came to picking out a name for this tiny Arizona township, why exactly did officials pick the name ‘Why?’
The most widely-believed theory behind the naming of Why, Arizona, describes the old residents of the town wanting to name it after the Y shaped highway intersection that went straight through the middle of the town. Laws at the time required towns to have a name with at least three letters, so Y turned into Why. Other accounts joke that the name came from residents frequently being asked why the heck they choose to live in that town.
12. Whynot, North Carolina
If the Arizona town of Why had us asking questions, then this North Carolina answered them with its own quirky town name — Whynot. And the story behind the name of this tiny community is actually one of our favorites on this list, and shows that sometimes the sassiest names prevail.
The town located in the middle of North Carolina was originally the site of German and English settlers. Apparently, when it came to naming their town, the settlers were taking a while to decide. Some suggested, “Why not name it this” or “Why not name it that?” One community member got fed up and interrupted, “Why not name it ‘Why Not’ and let’s go home?” The name stuck. Hey, why not?
13. Frankenstein, Missouri
Nothing says quaint, quiet, and a nice place to raise a family like a town seemingly named after a scientist who created a horrifying monster. Okay, we will admit, there are a few town names that sound a bit more welcoming. But the truth is that this Missouri town name has nothing to do with the famous Mary Shelley novel.
Frankenstein, Missouri, is located just 12 miles away from Jefferson City, in Osage County. Shockingly, there are no scientifically produced monsters residing there. According to the State Historical Society of Missouri, the town was actually named in honor one of its early, original settlers, Godfried Franken.
14. Cut and Shoot, Texas
When it comes down to it, there are two ways to react to a potentially dicey situation: fight or flight. And while the name Cut and Shoot might seem like one based off of a potential fight, the Texas town name is actually based off of one little boy and his flight. The legend of how the town of Cut and Shoot, Texas, got its name is based off of a 1912 dispute over a community house.
At one point, there was a debate about whether a clergyman named Preacher Stamps should hold a meeting in the community center, and things got a little heated. It was then that a little boy reportedly said, “I’m scared! I’m going to cut around the corner and shoot through those bushes in a minute.” The little boy had no idea at the time that he would spur the name a whole Texas town.
15. Accident, Maryland
Anyone traveling through the very western portion of Maryland might find themselves accidentally running into a town called Accident. The tiny town in Garrett County is only 0.5 square miles large, so even if someone went looking for it they may accidentally miss it.
The town of just over 300 people was actually named after a real life accident in 1786. When surveyors working on the land, one named Brooke Beall was surveying the territory in Maryland unaware that his friend, William Deakins, Jr., was doing the same. In short, they accidentally surveyed the same area. Moral of the story, accidents happen, and they can make for hilarious town names.
16. Nothing, Arizona
It is popular for teenagers living in quaint suburban towns to say that there is nothing to do in their hometowns. And this one town in Arizona is proving to all of those teenagers that they haven’t seen ‘nothing’ yet. In Nothing, Arizona, there is literally nothing to do and nothing to see.
The entire town of Nothing hosts, well, nothing. It is abandoned, and before it was left desolate, only four people shortly resided there. The abandoned town‘s sign reads, “Thru-the-years, these dedicated people had faith in Nothing, hoped for Nothing, worked at Nothing, for Nothing.” Today, anyone driving by the desolate town can watch it in the rear view mirror, and literally say: there goes Nothing!
17. No Name, Colorado
Picking the name for a town can be difficult, so why not go with no name at all? That is apparently what happened in this small town in western Colorado. With less than 125 residents reported in the last census in 2010, No Name is situated right off of the I-70 highway, and it was that roadway that gave the town its name.
Once the interstate highway was constructed, the state of Colorado wanted to improve their road signage for it. When builders noticed that the particular area did not have a name, they put up a temporary ‘No Name’ sign. From there, the sign became not so temporary and No Name would not accept any new names.
18. What Cheer, Iowa
If at first you do not succeed, try and try again. That is what happened in What Cheer, Iowa, after it was first founded in 1865. It turns out that the founder, Peter Britton, was seemingly very into himself and wanted to originally name the town Petersburg. That did not work out.
The name was rejected for unknown reasons by the US Postal Service, but what is even more unknown is just how the post office went on to, instead, accept the name What Cheer. The town’s name reportedly comes from a miner saying “what cheer!” when he found coal in the area.
19. Burnt Corn, Alabama
For any motorist who finds themself a little burnt out while driving through Alabama, may we suggest that they take a pit stop in Monroe County and visit the town of Burnt Corn. While the current town population is unknown, Burnt Corn itself is well known in the surrounding area for its odd town name.
There are two prevailing stories for how the town received such a strange name. According to the first, one of the earliest settlers in the area stopped traveling only when he found a giant pile of burnt corn. The other story involves the burning of corn fields during the Creek War. Regardless of which story is to be believed, the name is still pretty corny.
20. Greasy Corner, Arkansas
This corner town in Arkansas is located west of the state’s borders with Tennessee and Mississippi, in St. Francis County. And for anyone who hears the name Greasy Corner and thinks of a greasy and delicious diner, they would be kind of right.
The Greasy Corner name reportedly came from a place called Mack’s Corner, run by a local merchant. At Mack’s Corner, locals could find a restaurant, gift store and an auto repair shop. One of the patrons of the restaurant commented on the amount of grease between the restaurant and the auto shop, calling the store Greasy Corner, and the name caught on.
21. Hungry Horse, Montana
Some TV lovers might recognize this funny town name from the show Twin Peaks, which makes reference to a Hungry Horse jail. But for those who are new to the name, we hope this introduction leaves you hungry to learn more.
This small town in Northwestern Montana was actually named for an almost tragic incident. But don’t worry, there’s a happy ending. Back in 1900, two horses escaped from a Montana stable. When they were found, they had nearly starved to death. The pairs of horses, luckily, were nursed back to health. Can anyone guess where exactly those hungry horses were found?
22. Jot Em Down, Texas
Sometimes a small town can inspire a television, movie or radio series. Sometimes, it works the other way around. Take, for example, Jot Em Down, Texas, where the story behind the name is just as strange as the name itself. Take out your notebooks and jot this one down.
It seems that one of the residents of Jot Em Down was a big fan of the Lum and Abner radio show, which aired from 1931 to 1954. The show featured two friends who owned the Jot Em Down store. In Texas, a resident opened up their own Lum and Abner Jot Em Down Store, creating a tourist attraction and, later, an entire town name.
23. Bacon Level, Alabama
This town name has us hungry on a whole other level. The town of Bacon Level, Alabama is located just four miles north of Roanoke and is right on the border of Georgia. And while Bacon Level has attracted a little bit of attention for its strange name, it has otherwise flown under the radar for years.
Not much is known about Bacon Level or how the name came to be. The US census has not really collected data on the population of the town, and a search for local landmarks or fun things to do in the area pulled up… just about nothing. We’d like to hope that there is at least some good bacon there.
24. Okay, Oklahoma
Throughout the United States, some towns have reputations as being amazing, some as bad, and other towns, apparently, just as okay. But before Okay, Oklahoma had its name, it took on a few other, less comical names like Falls City, North Muskogee and Coretta.
The current name of the town of roughly 615 people came about in 1919. In October of that year, O.K. Truck Manufacturing Company, an oil and tanker producer, moved into town and opened a factory there. The town was so proud to host the factory that it took on the name Okay. Now it is known as Okay, OK, which doubly convinces us that it’s just a swell place.
25. Unalaska, Alaska
There’s being very Alaska, and then there is being very unalaska. But then there is Unalaska, Alaska, a name that has us scratching our heads. Unlike many of the oddly named towns on this list, Unalaska actually has a pretty sizable population of about 4,500 according to the United States census in 2017.
Unalaska is the largest city in the Aleutian Islands off of Alaska’s coast. The name might seem a little confusing, but it is not nearly as much of a tongue twister as the names that came before it. The city was originally named Agunalaksh, was later changed to Ounalashka, and was henceforth named Unalaska.
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