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There’s a reason behind the names given to most towns, but historical reasoning is often lost to time, and nowadays these names just sound ridiculous. There are some town names internationally that sound hilarious in English (Batman, Denmark, comes to mind), but if English isn’t spoken there, the names probably aren’t so bizarre to those who live there. Luckily for us, there’s a whole list of weird English names in North America for us to laugh at, and they are funny in the official language of the country. Here are some of the weirdest and worst names for cities and towns in North America.
Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha!, a small town in Quebec, is no joke. This town of 1,318 really does have exclamation points in its name; one of my former coworkers posted photos of the road signs announcing the exit for the town on a local highway. Wikipedia says the Ha! Ha! comes from an old French word meaning an “unexpected obstacle or abruptly ending path.” Maybe early settlers couldn’t do anything but laugh at the obstacles they faced in the settlement?
FindMyPast.com’s survey to find the worst town name in America named Toad Suck, Arkansas, number one. Time reports that urban legend explains the name came from a saying about steamboat workers’ drinking habits: “They suck on the bottle ’til they swell up like toads.” Another animal-themed town name is Monkey’s Eyebrow, Kentucky. Do monkeys even have eyebrows?
Turns out Climax is a popular name for a town at a high elevation: there’s Climax, Georgia; Climax, Saskatchewan; and Climax, Minnesota. When you think of it as the highest point in the area, it doesn’t seem so dirty, so get your mind out of the gutter.
There’s a whole bunch of towns named after terrible adjectives. The local chambers of commerce must have their work cut out for them when trying to promote tourism. There’s Dismal, Tennessee; Boring, Oregon; and Boring, Maryland. Hellhole, Idaho, and Hell, Michigan, really aren’t as warm as the names might lead you to believe, but they would make hilarious answers to coworkers’ questions about where you’re taking your vacation days.
What do these town names say about the people who live there? Chicken, Alaska; Hooker, Oklahoma; Bald Knob, Arkansas; Roachtown, Illinois; and Dead Horse, Alaska all sound like insults. Rudeville, New Jersey, sounds like a place that should be avoided, as does Bastard, Ontario. Do you have to pee on a roadtrip? If you stop in Rudeville or Bastard, you can see if the locals live up to the name. Recluse, Wyoming, also doesn’t sound very welcoming.
The following names may give us a clue about the local pastimes, like Squabbletown, California; Belchertown, Massachusetts; Flushing, New York, Lynch, Kentucky; and Drain, Oregon. Each town sounds like something unpleasant is going on there, so we can imagine promoting the area may have unique challenges.
So are some places all right with letting the world know it’s full of hicks and fleas? Hicksville, New York, and Fleatown, Ohio, sound unpleasant. Asbestos, Quebec, sounds downright deadly. Boogertown, North Carolina, sounds like a place a seven-year-old would threaten to send a younger sibling to. Then there’s Swastika, Ontario. Yeah, that’s just not good.
Want to live in a place as smooth as you are? Note that the towns may not be as smooth as the names suggest, but Loveladies, New Jersey, and Sexsmith, Alberta, seem like they must get their signs stolen a lot.
Then there’s some dirty ones. There’s Dildo, Newfoundland; Blueball, Pennsylvania; and Spread Eagle, Wisconsin.
Newfoundland must have given up while naming some of their towns, because the Maritime province ended up with Nameless Cove and Come by Chance. Saskatchewan seems to have a similar lack of interest in their town names, or maybe it was a surname of a famous person, because there is a town called Forget.
I thought Plainville, Connecticut, sounded anti-climatic and neutral, but it’s still a much more flattering name than the weird ones on this list.