Bizarre Town Names We Couldn’t Make Up

Take Me Down To Boogertown!

Some small towns and communities in the U.S. have quaint names like “Bay Village” and “Terrace Park” (both in Ohio) or names that evoke beautiful scenery, such as Carmel-by-the-Sea (California.) These places are real, and for whatever reason, their designations are a bit…different. We found some international locales, too! So get Google Maps up on another browser tab, and let’s take a look!

Barbecue, North Carolina

If this doesn’t make you want a big ol’ sloppy plate of ribs, we don’t know what will. Barbecue is a small community in, of course, Barbecue Township in Harnett County, North Carolina. One theory suggests it was named after a settler noticed steam rising off the creek, and it reminded him of cooking meat over pits in the Caribbean. Saucy!

Boogertown, North Carolina

The Tarheel State has some great names! Staying in the American southeast for this one- Boogertown is located in Gaston County, North Carolina. How did they, er, pick that name? Apparently, moonshiners told tales about a boogeyman in the woods, to keep visitors (and police) away.

Bucksnort, Tennessee

Bucksnort is a small community in Hickman County, Tennessee. The name comes from…the sound a deer makes. Fun fact: a town with the same name was featured on the very scary Fox TV show Millennium. If you live there, you’re a Bucksnorter. (That’s what’s known as a demonym.)

Earth, Texas

Welcome to Earth! When the Aliens land, they might be a bit confused, no? Nonetheless, Earth is in West Texas, and had just over 1,000 people, er, Earthlings as of 2010. It was originally known as Fairlawn, but the good people of Fairlawn had to change the name when they learned there was already a town with that name. Folks made suggestions, and Earth was chosen. Think of the slogans the car dealers use… “Best Prices On Earth!”

Fifty-Six, Arkansas

Fifty-six is a place in Stone County, Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, it had 173 residents. Fifty-sixers, one supposes. The community was founded 99 years ago, and the original requested name was to be “Newcomb.” That one was turned down, and “Fifty-six” was chosen since they were in school district number…56.

Monkey's Eyebrow, Kentucky

We’re getting close to “you must be joking” territory here, yet Monkey’s Eyebrow is indeed a real place. Located in far western Kentucky, author (and resident) Joe Culver says there are a few possibilities as to how it got its name. On his website, Culver suggests “the western end of Kentucky, bounded by the Ohio River, looks something like the profile of a monkey’s face when you look at a map, and the Monkey’s Eyebrow community is located about where the eyebrows would be.” Right, that takes care of that.

Obama, Fukui Prefecture, Japan

News outlets have reported that in Japanese, the word “Obama” means “little beach.” The village has been around for more than 500 years, relying on tourism, which took off when a certain U.S. president took office. We’re not sure if everything is priced to move since he left office. FWIW – there are three U.S. towns with the name of the current White House occupant.

Popcorn, Indiana

Are you a popcorn fan? You might want to make a pilgrimage to America’s Heartland, because that’s where you’ll find Popcorn, Indiana. Population: 42, and it’s just about 60 miles southwest of Indianapolis. Well, there might’ve been a birth/death or two since they printed that on their website, but you get the idea- it’s tiny. If you visit, they’ll probably have butter on hand, so no need to bring your own.

Punkeydoodles Corners, Ontario, Canada

This is the name of an area in southwestern Ontario. As the story goes, a local innkeeper in the 19th century liked to sing the song “Yankee Doodle” to guests. Somehow, when he sang it, it came out sounding like “Punkey Doodle,” and the bizarre name stuck. Other theories point to an old Victorian term for wasting time, and a nickname given to a lazy pumpkin farmer by his somewhat agitated wife.

Rottenegg, Upper Austria

Rottenegg is a small village in Upper Austria, and is east of the Rottenegg Castle, which is in ruins. This name must be a tough sell for the local chamber of commerce. And since we’re in Austria, we’re not going to go into too much detail about Windpassing, Austria, either.

Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia

According to their website, the name Wagga Wagga comes from the “local Wiradjuri Aboriginal language,” and the term Wagga means “crow.” So for the plural form, they repeated the word, and it comes out to mean “place of many crows.” There are other references to the name referring to a drunken man or “liking to dance”. The site also mentions that Wagga Wagga is one of 250 towns in Australia with a “double-barreled” (or “reduplicated“) name. Good on ya, mate!

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