The Weirdest Town Names in Every State



Slide 1 of 51: What's in a name? For a town, quite a bit. A beautiful-sounding name like Savannah or Palm Beach naturally inspires curiosity. But then again, so does an odd name. We dare you not to be curious about the town of Slickpoo.
Slide 2 of 51: Though all you'll find in this tiny village is a big old building called the Music Barn and a few storage buildings, it does have a pretty odd story behind its moniker. Named after a brawl in which two relatives got into a fight, one was hit by a skillet in which it was reported "he licked him with the skillet." There was also another Lickskillet in Alabama at one point (without a colorful backstory), but that one's now known as Oxford.See 50 weird facts about all 50 states »
Slide 3 of 51: There are a number of theories about the name of this super-tiny town, which only has about 35 people (mostly workers). One describes a potential investor to the town as remaking that he "wouldn't want to put money into feeding a dead horse." Another says that an early company in the area had an exclusive contract to cart away dead horses from Fairbanks. Either way, the name remains.See the most underrated attractions in 50 states »
Slide 4 of 51: A simple handshake between two developers in the "Carefree Development Group" christened the town's name.See the surprising trend in Arizona schools »

Slide 5 of 51: This distinctive name came from a nearby train station, which was named after a railroad official in St. Louis.Photo by Thomas R Machnitzki via Wikimedia Commons
Slide 6 of 51: A mining company that paid homage to the nickname of General and President Zachary Taylor inspired this town's name. Today, it's more of a tourist stop, but around 1,000 people do call Rough and Ready home. See the best coastal towns in America »
Slide 7 of 51: This unincorporated community was named for a nearby sanitarium that helped tuberculosis patients. Here's one of the oldest buildings in the community, the Church of the Brethren, which dates back to 1888.See the best Colorado city for pups »
Slide 8 of 51: This town isn't filled with danger, but with charming historical buildings. Hazardville got its name from Colonel Hazard, who owned the Hazard Gunpowder Company.See inside a Connecticut ghost town »
Slide 9 of 51: Local legends attribute this name to either the springtime masses of horseshoe crabs that come to lay their eggs, or simply from a circa-1800s postmaster with the last name.See the must-visit flea market in Delaware »

Slide 10 of 51: Property owners attempted to boost sales in this town by burying wooden chests that they pretended held treasure. Today, the theme is still strong in this community, with many pirate-themed businesses (in addition to more tasteful high-rises and vacation homes).See why the worst drivers are in Florida »
Slide 11 of 51: This small town got its distinctive name from a 1920s dance hall called "Hope You Like It."Photo by JDinBawlmer via Flickr
Slide 12 of 51: Nope, not a town filled with people named Kurtis, but a town named for A.G. Curtis, who had a general store that became the town's post office.26 odd facts about a top Hawaiian crop »
Slide 13 of 51: Giggle all you want, but this extremely tiny unincorporated town isn't filled with, um, hazards. Instead, it's named after Josiah Slickpoo, who provided a site for a church.See the most-searched cookie in Idaho »
Slide 14 of 51: After a night of drinking, a game warden declared he was sober enough of to shoot a walnut off someone's head. After successfully shooting the walnut off a volunteer's head, it was said to be "one damned goofy thing to do" and the name stuck. Today, Goofy Ridge is notable for being close to the beautiful Henry Allan Gleason Nature Preserve, shown here.Photo by Curtis Albert via Flickr

Slide 15 of 51: Originally called Santa Fe, but due to conflicts with the city in New Mexico the town was renamed by its citizens. Meet a real-life Santa Claus »
Slide 16 of 51: After a dispute on what to name the town (after its previous name was actually in use), a blindfolded mayor pointed at Jamaica on a map to gives this town its name.Photo by Ashton B. Crew via Wikimedia
Slide 17 of 51: It's not a coincidence: This town was founded by the sons of the former Speaker of the Canadian Senate in 1883. Then, lots of Canadians soon followed.There's also an Ottawa, Kansas (shown here, circa 1942), but that's named for the Native American tribe instead of the city in Canada.See the weird thing Kansans hates most »
Slide 18 of 51: If you look on the town from a hill, it apparently looks just like this very specific monkey facial feature.Photo by Appalachia Service Project via Flickr
Slide 19 of 51: Thank the Houlton Lumber Company, whose slogan was simply "You Need Us." You might find this town on your way to the Global Wildlife Center, where you can meet interesting animals like this rhea.Photo by Vegasjon via Wikimedia
Slide 20 of 51: There isn't anything strange about Norway, but the story behind it is. The town name is the result of a clerical error after someone misheard the original name, Norage.50 weird facts about all 50 states »
Slide 21 of 51: After Harry M. Martin bought land from nearby Chevy Chase (shown here), the holdings were named "Martin's Additions to Chevy Chase" and then a 1985 referendum passed to incorporate Martin's Additions as its own separate town.Photo by ehpien via Flickr
Slide 22 of 51: Locals put up with off-color jokes about provocative pronunciations of its name, which came from the Scottish second Duke of Atholl. See the happiest states in the country »
Slide 23 of 51: While there isn't a clear idea why this town was named Hell, the town has embraced it with a "Go to Hell" slogan and other pun infused advertisements.Photo by Sswonk via Wikimedia
Slide 24 of 51: Though the name will make you raise an eyebrow, this extremely small town of under 300 was named after a local tobacco company.Photo by Tim Kiser via Wikimedia
Slide 25 of 51: Legend has it that Postmaster Jim Eaton's constant usage of "so-so" in regards to how he was doing or feeling was the catalyst for this name.Photo by Jimmy Emerson DVM via Flickr
Slide 26 of 51: This town was indeed (allegedly) named out of spite after an incident in which a store owner ripped off a postman on a transaction. One of the smallest towns on our list, the population of Tightwad was around 64 people at the time of the 2010 Census.Photo by Granger Meador via Flickr
Slide 27 of 51: The town founder originally wanted to call it "Copperopolis," but that was surprisingly taken. Instead, he decided on "Anaconda," after his mining company. Fun fact: Lucille Ball spent some of her childhood here!See a Montana bank-turned-home »
Slide 28 of 51: Settlers were surprised that the land was so much better than they previously expected. One of the biggest draws in the early 20th century was the modestly-sized Surprise Opera House, shown here.The top misspelled words by state »
Slide 29 of 51: Though it may not immediately jump out as an odd name to you, its rumored translation will make you laugh. Allegedly, back in the 1800s, a railroad speculator of ample proportions visited the now-tiny town and inspired the Paiute to coin this name — which (again, allegedly) means "Ample Posterior."See the most popular perfume in Nevada »
Slide 30 of 51: It's not a commentary on intelligence, but instead a tribute to former Massachusetts governor William Dummer. Visitors still visit the town to see the scenery, especially the gorgeous Pontook Reservoir (formerly Pontook Lake, seen in this 1908 post card).The best states to raise kids »
Slide 31 of 51: Named after founder Thomas Lovelady who owned the nearby island that was called "Lovelady's."Photo by thisisbossi via Flickr
Slide 32 of 51: Formerly Hot Springs, the town was named after the NBC radio show of the same name. Host Ralph Edwards promised to visit the first town to name itself after the program.Why you can nap in this state's schools »
Slide 33 of 51: It's not quite the most glamorous of origin stories, but this town got its name from the remains of Military Pack horses who belonged to the armies of Major-General John Sullivan and has passed in the 1779.Meet New York's first police pit bull »
Slide 34 of 51: Famous for the reality show Lizard Lick Towing and a 1998 launch of "Yoshi's Story" video game; Lizard Lick was actually named after passerbys noticed lizards licking themselves. (Perhaps the sight looked a bit like these Australian lizards?)See the smartest cities in this state »
Slide 35 of 51: Particulars of the naming of this town are mysterious, though some like to believe it was named after a prominent banking family with the last name Zapp. Mostly well known for its "Zip to Zap" riot.Photo by Andrew Filer via Flickr
Slide 36 of 51: One of a few townships around Lake White, this was named after the Pee Pee Creek that took its name from a settler who carved his initials "P.P." on a nearby tree.Photo by Aesopposea via Wikimedia
Slide 37 of 51: Though it sounds like it would be the setting for a horror movie, this small town of around 4,000 people was named after a small business owned by a resident named Jim Slaughter. On an even nicer note, it's the location of WildCare Foundation, which helps injured wildlife (like this majestic owl).Photo by Rex Brown via Flickr
Slide 38 of 51: Named after a Union soldier, William H Boring, Boring became a sister city with "Dull, Scotland" to help promote tourism between the two cities.Photo by Jeff Hitchcock via Flickr
Slide 39 of 51: Several theories range from it being named due to crossing intersections or as a symbolism of social interaction and faith. Regardless, this town features some of the most stolen signs in the country due to its unique name.Tour an 18th-century Pennyslvania barn »
Slide 40 of 51: A waterfall by the same name likely inspired this town. Some say that the name means "thunder mist," which certainly supports the waterfall-as-inspiration theory.See the best food town in Rhode Island »
Slide 41 of 51: Named by a visitor who was in awe of the large pumpkins grown on the nearby Oolenoy River. Of course, one of the highlights of the year is a local festival that includes pumpkins of all sizes. Photo by Bill Herndon via Flickr
Slide 42 of 51: Another town that got its name from a railroad official during the late 1800s.Photo by Jerry Huddleston via Flickr
Slide 43 of 51: There is no definitive explanation on "Nameless." But hey, even that fact makes the unincorporated community very distinctive. Photo by Brian Stansberry via Wikimedia
Slide 44 of 51: Early settlers Bert and Zulis Bell hired a painter named C.C. Hoover to create a logo for their country store. Hoover was advised to be creative by Fred Foster and created a logo with two bells and underneath each right "ding" and "dong."Photo by Oyoyoy via Wikimedia
Slide 45 of 51: Strong winds were the remarkable feature of this town when it was founded by Erastus Snow. (A whirlwind blew off the top of his buggy.)Photo by Adam Foster via Flickr
Slide 46 of 51: This beautiful (and tiny) town is thought to be inspired by two English towns that have similar-sounding names: Tynemouth and Teignmouth.Photo by Jared and Corin via Wikimedia
Slide 47 of 51: It was truly a tight squeeze for travelers navigating a narrow highway between two shops in the 1800s, giving rise to the town's name. It's much easier to navigate the streets these days, especially if you're en route to nearby Danville (shown here). P.S. If you were wondering where the "Made in the USA" IKEA pieces come from, it's Danville! This city is home to Swedwood, a subsidiary of the Swedish brand.Photo by Miguel Gereda via Wikimedia
Slide 48 of 51: Founded in 1888, this town is named for its beautiful lake that was thought to have healing powers.Photo by Gneek via Wikimedia
Slide 49 of 51: Named after the "Paw Paw" Bends of the Potomac that received its name from the pawpaw trees that border the river.Photo by Bob Marquart via Flickr
Slide 50 of 51: Though there are other Egg Harbors in the United States, Wisconsin's has an odd backstory that makes it worthy of this list. The village was named for a truly epic egg fight that occurred when a six-boat trading flotilla competed for a same spot of land. Photo by A.amitkumar via Wikimedia
Slide 51 of 51: There once was a herd of bison that, when chased by hunters, fell off a cliff into a stream. The hunters had said the sound of this event sounded like someone "chugging." Thus, the name Chugwater. Today, it's home to the oldest soda fountain in the state, in case you're thirsty.Photo by Derek Bruff via Flickr

What’s in a name? For a town, quite a bit. A beautiful-sounding name like Savannah or Palm Beach naturally inspires curiosity. But then again, so does an odd name. We dare you not to be curious about the town of Slickpoo.

Alabama: Lick Skillet

Though all you’ll find in this tiny village is a big old building called the Music Barn and a few storage buildings, it does have a pretty odd story behind its moniker. Named after a brawl in which two relatives got into a fight, one was hit by a skillet in which it was reported “he licked him with the skillet.” There was also another Lickskillet in Alabama at one point (without a colorful backstory), but that one’s now known as Oxford.

See 50 weird facts about all 50 states »

Alaska: Deadhorse

There are a number of theories about the name of this super-tiny town, which only has about 35 people (mostly workers). One describes a potential investor to the town as remaking that he “wouldn’t want to put money into feeding a dead horse.” Another says that an early company in the area had an exclusive contract to cart away dead horses from Fairbanks. Either way, the name remains.

See the most underrated attractions in 50 states »

Arizona: Carefree

A simple handshake between two developers in the “Carefree Development Group” christened the town’s name.

See the surprising trend in Arizona schools »

Arkansas: Weiner

This distinctive name came from a nearby train station, which was named after a railroad official in St. Louis.

Photo by Thomas R Machnitzki via Wikimedia Commons

California: Rough and Ready

A mining company that paid homage to the nickname of General and President Zachary Taylor inspired this town’s name. Today, it’s more of a tourist stop, but around 1,000 people do call Rough and Ready home.

See the best coastal towns in America »

Colorado: Hygiene

This unincorporated community was named for a nearby sanitarium that helped tuberculosis patients. Here’s one of the oldest buildings in the community, the Church of the Brethren, which dates back to 1888.

See the best Colorado city for pups »

Connecticut: Hazardville

This town isn’t filled with danger, but with charming historical buildings. Hazardville got its name from Colonel Hazard, who owned the Hazard Gunpowder Company.

See inside a Connecticut ghost town »

Delaware: Slaughter Beach

Local legends attribute this name to either the springtime masses of horseshoe crabs that come to lay their eggs, or simply from a circa-1800s postmaster with the last name.

See the must-visit flea market in Delaware »

Florida: Treasure Island

Property owners attempted to boost sales in this town by burying wooden chests that they pretended held treasure. Today, the theme is still strong in this community, with many pirate-themed businesses (in addition to more tasteful high-rises and vacation homes).

See why the worst drivers are in Florida »

Georgia: Hopeulikit

This small town got its distinctive name from a 1920s dance hall called “Hope You Like It.”

Photo by JDinBawlmer via Flickr

Hawaii: Kurtistown

Nope, not a town filled with people named Kurtis, but a town named for A.G. Curtis, who had a general store that became the town’s post office.

26 odd facts about a top Hawaiian crop »

Idaho: Slickpoo

Giggle all you want, but this extremely tiny unincorporated town isn’t filled with, um, hazards. Instead, it’s named after Josiah Slickpoo, who provided a site for a church.

See the most-searched cookie in Idaho »

Illinois: Goofy Ridge

After a night of drinking, a game warden declared he was sober enough of to shoot a walnut off someone’s head. After successfully shooting the walnut off a volunteer’s head, it was said to be “one damned goofy thing to do” and the name stuck. Today, Goofy Ridge is notable for being close to the beautiful Henry Allan Gleason Nature Preserve, shown here.

Photo by Curtis Albert via Flickr

Indiana: Santa Claus

Originally called Santa Fe, but due to conflicts with the city in New Mexico the town was renamed by its citizens.

Meet a real-life Santa Claus »

Iowa: Jamaica

After a dispute on what to name the town (after its previous name was actually in use), a blindfolded mayor pointed at Jamaica on a map to gives this town its name.

Photo by Ashton B. Crew via Wikimedia

Kansas: Canada (and Ottawa)

It’s not a coincidence: This town was founded by the sons of the former Speaker of the Canadian Senate in 1883. Then, lots of Canadians soon followed.There’s also an Ottawa, Kansas (shown here, circa 1942), but that’s named for the Native American tribe instead of the city in Canada.

See the weird thing Kansans hates most »

Kentucky: Monkey’s Eyebrow

If you look on the town from a hill, it apparently looks just like this very specific monkey facial feature.

Photo by Appalachia Service Project via Flickr

Louisiana: Uneedus

Thank the Houlton Lumber Company, whose slogan was simply “You Need Us.” You might find this town on your way to the Global Wildlife Center, where you can meet interesting animals like this rhea.

Photo by Vegasjon via Wikimedia

Maine: Norway

There isn’t anything strange about Norway, but the story behind it is. The town name is the result of a clerical error after someone misheard the original name, Norage.

50 weird facts about all 50 states »

Maryland: Martin’s Additions

After Harry M. Martin bought land from nearby Chevy Chase (shown here), the holdings were named “Martin’s Additions to Chevy Chase” and then a 1985 referendum passed to incorporate Martin’s Additions as its own separate town.

Photo by ehpien via Flickr

Massachusetts: Athol

Locals put up with off-color jokes about provocative pronunciations of its name, which came from the Scottish second Duke of Atholl.

See the happiest states in the country »

Michigan: Hell

While there isn’t a clear idea why this town was named Hell, the town has embraced it with a “Go to Hell” slogan and other pun infused advertisements.

Photo by Sswonk via Wikimedia

Minnesota: Climax

Though the name will make you raise an eyebrow, this extremely small town of under 300 was named after a local tobacco company.

Photo by Tim Kiser via Wikimedia

Mississippi: Soso

Legend has it that Postmaster Jim Eaton’s constant usage of “so-so” in regards to how he was doing or feeling was the catalyst for this name.

Photo by Jimmy Emerson DVM via Flickr

Missouri: Tightwad

This town was indeed (allegedly) named out of spite after an incident in which a store owner ripped off a postman on a transaction. One of the smallest towns on our list, the population of Tightwad was around 64 people at the time of the 2010 Census.

Photo by Granger Meador via Flickr

Montana: Anaconda

The town founder originally wanted to call it “Copperopolis,” but that was surprisingly taken. Instead, he decided on “Anaconda,” after his mining company. Fun fact: Lucille Ball spent some of her childhood here!

See a Montana bank-turned-home »

Nebraska: Surprise

Settlers were surprised that the land was so much better than they previously expected. One of the biggest draws in the early 20th century was the modestly-sized Surprise Opera House, shown here.

The top misspelled words by state »

Nevada: Beowawe

Though it may not immediately jump out as an odd name to you, its rumored translation will make you laugh. Allegedly, back in the 1800s, a railroad speculator of ample proportions visited the now-tiny town and inspired the Paiute to coin this name — which (again, allegedly) means “Ample Posterior.”

See the most popular perfume in Nevada »

New Hampshire: Dummer

It’s not a commentary on intelligence, but instead a tribute to former Massachusetts governor William Dummer. Visitors still visit the town to see the scenery, especially the gorgeous Pontook Reservoir (formerly Pontook Lake, seen in this 1908 post card).

The best states to raise kids »

New Jersey: Loveladies

Named after founder Thomas Lovelady who owned the nearby island that was called “Lovelady’s.”

Photo by thisisbossi via Flickr

New Mexico: Truth or Consequences

Formerly Hot Springs, the town was named after the NBC radio show of the same name. Host Ralph Edwards promised to visit the first town to name itself after the program.

Why you can nap in this state’s schools »

New York: Horseheads

It’s not quite the most glamorous of origin stories, but this town got its name from the remains of Military Pack horses who belonged to the armies of Major-General John Sullivan and has passed in the 1779.

Meet New York’s first police pit bull »

North Carolina: Lizard Lick

Famous for the reality show Lizard Lick Towing and a 1998 launch of “Yoshi’s Story” video game; Lizard Lick was actually named after passerbys noticed lizards licking themselves. (Perhaps the sight looked a bit like these Australian lizards?)

See the smartest cities in this state »

North Dakota: Zap

Particulars of the naming of this town are mysterious, though some like to believe it was named after a prominent banking family with the last name Zapp. Mostly well known for its “Zip to Zap” riot.

Photo by Andrew Filer via Flickr

Ohio: Pee Pee

One of a few townships around Lake White, this was named after the Pee Pee Creek that took its name from a settler who carved his initials “P.P.” on a nearby tree.

Photo by Aesopposea via Wikimedia

Oklahoma: Slaughterville

Though it sounds like it would be the setting for a horror movie, this small town of around 4,000 people was named after a small business owned by a resident named Jim Slaughter. On an even nicer note, it’s the location of WildCare Foundation, which helps injured wildlife (like this majestic owl).

Photo by Rex Brown via Flickr

Oregon: Boring

Named after a Union soldier, William H Boring, Boring became a sister city with “Dull, Scotland” to help promote tourism between the two cities.

Photo by Jeff Hitchcock via Flickr

Pennsylvania: Intercourse

Several theories range from it being named due to crossing intersections or as a symbolism of social interaction and faith. Regardless, this town features some of the most stolen signs in the country due to its unique name.

Tour an 18th-century Pennyslvania barn »

Rhode Island: Woonsocket

A waterfall by the same name likely inspired this town. Some say that the name means “thunder mist,” which certainly supports the waterfall-as-inspiration theory.

See the best food town in Rhode Island »

South Carolina: Pumpkintown

Named by a visitor who was in awe of the large pumpkins grown on the nearby Oolenoy River. Of course, one of the highlights of the year is a local festival that includes pumpkins of all sizes.

Photo by Bill Herndon via Flickr

South Dakota: Blunt

Another town that got its name from a railroad official during the late 1800s.

Photo by Jerry Huddleston via Flickr

Tennessee: Nameless

There is no definitive explanation on “Nameless.” But hey, even that fact makes the unincorporated community very distinctive.

Photo by Brian Stansberry via Wikimedia

Texas: Ding Dong

Early settlers Bert and Zulis Bell hired a painter named C.C. Hoover to create a logo for their country store. Hoover was advised to be creative by Fred Foster and created a logo with two bells and underneath each right “ding” and “dong.”

Photo by Oyoyoy via Wikimedia

Utah: Hurricane

Strong winds were the remarkable feature of this town when it was founded by Erastus Snow. (A whirlwind blew off the top of his buggy.)

Photo by Adam Foster via Flickr

Vermont: Tinmouth

This beautiful (and tiny) town is thought to be inspired by two English towns that have similar-sounding names: Tynemouth and Teignmouth.

Photo by Jared and Corin via Wikimedia

Virginia: Tightsqueeze

It was truly a tight squeeze for travelers navigating a narrow highway between two shops in the 1800s, giving rise to the town’s name. It’s much easier to navigate the streets these days, especially if you’re en route to nearby Danville (shown here). P.S. If you were wondering where the “Made in the USA” IKEA pieces come from, it’s Danville! This city is home to Swedwood, a subsidiary of the Swedish brand.

Photo by Miguel Gereda via Wikimedia

Washington: Medical Lake

Founded in 1888, this town is named for its beautiful lake that was thought to have healing powers.

Photo by Gneek via Wikimedia

West Virginia: Paw Paw

Named after the “Paw Paw” Bends of the Potomac that received its name from the pawpaw trees that border the river.

Photo by Bob Marquart via Flickr

Wisconsin: Egg Harbor

Though there are other Egg Harbors in the United States, Wisconsin’s has an odd backstory that makes it worthy of this list. The village was named for a truly epic egg fight that occurred when a six-boat trading flotilla competed for a same spot of land.

Photo by A.amitkumar via Wikimedia

Wyoming: Chugwater

There once was a herd of bison that, when chased by hunters, fell off a cliff into a stream. The hunters had said the sound of this event sounded like someone “chugging.” Thus, the name Chugwater. Today, it’s home to the oldest soda fountain in the state, in case you’re thirsty.

Photo by Derek Bruff via Flickr

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