Unusual Town Names in America

America was founded by people who were independent, resourceful, hard-working, and some times a bit idiosyncratic — as revealed by the names that they chose for their towns. There are more than 3 million placenames in America — names for villages, towns, cities, mountains, rivers, and so forth. Some of these places are tiny, some even uninhabited — but they do have a formal placename. A list of the most unusual town names in America is largely due to the fact that west of the thirteen original colonies, most towns were named by individuals with little education, and no official authority. Early pioneers just happened to be there and if they wanted a post office to receive mail, they needed a name for their town or village. They gathered in local establishment, like a school, church or market and voted on a name. Here are some of the more unusual and colorful to add as destinations on your next roadtrip:

Afterthought, California
Bar Nunn, Wyoming
Boring, Oregon
Christmas, Arizona
Cuckoo, Virginia
Ding Dong, Texas
Double Trouble, New Jersey
Elephant Butte, New Mexico
Embarrass, Wisconsin
Fleatown, Ohio
Frankenstein, Missouri
Intercourse, Pennsylvania
Looneyville, Texas
North Pole, Alaska
Santa Claus, Georgia
Screamersville, Virginia
Toad Suck, Arkansas
Why Not, North Carolina
Zigzag, Oregon
Zzyzx, California

In a recent poll conducted by Findmypast.com, the following ten American cities were voted as the most unfortunate town names:

Toad Suck, Arkansas
Climax, Georgia
Boring, Oregon
Hooker, Oklahoma
Assawoman, Maryland
Belchertown, Massachusetts
Roachtown, Illinois
Loveladies, New Jersey
Squabbletown, California
Monkey’s Eyebrow, Kentucky

For further reading: A Place Called Peculiar: Stories About Unusual American Place-Names by Frank Gallant, Merriam Webster Press (1998)

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