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By John Pawlak
Having been in Blue Ball, my wife and I soon found ourselves passing through Intercourse. Naturally, we ended up in Paradise. Okay, if you've ever visited Amish country in Pennsylvania, you know that those are towns in the area. Much like when we found ourselves driving through Dog Face, California, we've always been amused at the amusing and often questionable names given to towns around the country. By the way, Hatchechubbee is not Robin's exclamation for dicing up a fat man. It's a small town in Alabama (population 564).
For a state with a city called Truth or Consequences, New Mexico should be well acquainted with odd sounding city names. But outside names like Elephant Butte, Pie Town, Hard Luck Crossing, or Weed, N.M. can't hold a candle to some of the bizarre names given to towns across the nation.
For example, our country has Toad Suck (Ark.), Boogertown (N.C.), Bushyhead (Okla.), Lizard Lick (N.C.), Possum Grape (Ark.) and Goosepimple Junction (Va.). There's even a Timbuktoo (Calif.) and a Kalamazoo (Mich.)
And what's with all the animal parts? Birds Eye, Ind., Horsehead, Va. and Deerhead, N.Y., Bearmouth, Mont., Monkey's Eyebrow, Ky.? Boar Tush? Frog Eye, Pig Eye, Hog Jaw, Rabbit Ears Pass, Chickenbone? I mean, I don't want to kick a Dead Horse (Alaska), but it sounds like the world is going to the dogs (or Dogtown, Ala.).
If you want to get out there and whoop it up, there's Hoop and Holler (Tex.), Belchertown (Mass.), Wahoo (N.E.), Yellville (Ark.), Screamer (Ala.) and Yeehaw (Fla.).
Suggestive humor also seems to play a part in naming some towns. There's Love Ladies (N.J.), Romance (Alaska), Virginville (Pa.), Girdletree (Md.), Hooker (Okla.), Goodnight (Tex.), Climax Springs (Mo.), Can Do (N.D.), Do Stop (Ky.), Weiner, (Ark.), Fertile (Minn.), Conception (Mo.), Horneytown (N.C.), Ding Dong (Tex.) and Zipdown (Pa.). There's even a Needmore (Va.) and a Whynot (N.C.).
Ah, but by far, my favorite town names would have to be Accident, Md. and its appropriately named sister-town across the Chesapeake Bay, Crapo. It's a real shame though that both towns are so far away from Flushing, N.Y.
Seriously though, one has to wonder why some towns end up with the names they have. What possible motivation would one have for choosing names like Sopchoppy (Fla.), Humptulips (Wash.), Looneyville (W.Va.), Idiotville (Ore.), Smackover (Ark.), Dead Woman Crossing (Wy.), Kooskooskie (Wash.), Knockemstiff (Ohio), Weeki Wachee (Fla.), or Woonsocket (R.I.)?
Find this topic boring? Well then, you can visit Boring, Md. and Boring, Ore.
Some town names however are rather cute, if not downright festive. You can celebrate Christmas in Christmas, Arizona, Alabama and Florida, too. Santa Claus can be found in Indiana, Arizona and Georgia. Those wishing to visit North Pole need only travel as far as Alaska. Then there's Mistletoe Ky., Garland, Tex., and Holiday, Fla. Shepherd(s) seem ubiquitous and can be found in Montana, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas. There's also Eggnog, Utah, Chestnut, Ala., and Pumpkintown S.C. You can even see North Star, Neb. and spend some time in Bethlehem Penn.
With all these looney names, it's no surprise that there's a Looneyville ... one in Minnesota, one in New York, one in Texas and another in West Virginia! Hey, New Mexico! You too good to have a Looneyville?
Yes, the list of wacky names is endless. Two Egg (Fla.), Mudlick and Shoulderblade (Ky.), Hot Coffee (Miss.), Pahrump (Nev.), Goochland (Va.), Drooping (W.V.), Bumpass (Va.), Bath Addition (Pa.), and Humansville (Mo.). And then there are those towns that had trouble picking a name, like Nameless (Tenn.) and Notown (Vt).
The list of bizarre and even embarrassing town and city names across the world is Endless. You can even visit Bitter End (Tenn.) and World's End (United Kingdom).
If you think about it though, there really isn't anything wrong with trying to spice up a town's image with an unusual name. Forty-six states have a Riverside. There are forty-five Centervilles. Most names are unusual only in that they are unusually common. Midway, Franklin, Middletown, Union, Fairfield, Madison ... boring, boring, boring!
Maybe it's a little embarrassing living in a place like Suckerville (Maine) or Lollipop (Tex.), but reading the other choices made across our nation, it could be worse. The residents of Dinkytown (Minn.) would probably agree.