List o’ Top 10 Odd Names for Places

List o' Top 10 Odd Names for PlacesEverybody has to be from somewhere, so every place has to have a name. But what gets interesting is what name some places choose to have, and at times, some places can choose some very odd and unusual names. This list presents 10 places with strange names.


10. Ketchankookem Trail, Manitoulin Island, Canada

Ketchankookem Trail - Manitoulin Island

Manitoulin Island is located at the northern edge of Lake Huron in the province of Ontario (Canada). It is the world’s largest freshwater lake island and itself has 108 freshwater lakes. This is a hugely popular destination for outdoor adventure and eco-tourism, including drawing thousands of visitors each summer for fishing and camping. One of the more popular places to stay is Ketchankookem – interesting name when considered in context of all the fishermen there.

9. Toad Suck, Arkansas

Toad Suck ArkansasToad Suck Arkansas

Not to be confused with the equally unfortunately-named Frog Suck, Wyoming, Toad Suck, Arkansas, is a suburb of Little Rock on the Arkansas River. Toad Suck is rumored to have been named for the riverboat captains and their crews who frequently stopped in the town and among whom drinking was a popular activity. Early residents of the town were said to remark that the shady characters who got off the riverboats sucked up whiskey until they swelled up like toads. Today, a nearby state park has made Toad Suck a popular destination for fishing and picnicking.

8. Pee Pee, Ohio

Pee Pee gas mart

Why is this an odd name? Because no matter how old or “mature” we get, bodily functions are always amusing. The name of this township in the state of Ohio is said to derive from Pee Pee Creek, which in turn is said to come from the initials of an Irish settler. The township was organized in 1798 as the first township in Pike County.

7. Bat Cave, NC

Bat Cave NCBat_Cave_North_Carolina

Sounds exciting – a trip to this city could get you a face to face with the Caped Crusader himself, the Dark Knight in person. But unfortunately, while this place is most likely a charming town in its own right, it is named for a nearby cave inhabited by bats and other mammals, and not for the Bruce Wayne after-dark dude. Still would be a cool place to call home.

6. Knob Lick, USA

Knob Lick

In the Ozarks, knob typically refers to a bare, isolated summit, and lick is a natural “salt lick” or salt spring. Now, the name in itself is certainly an odd one. But the really odd thing is that there are actually two towns in the USA with this name: one in Missouri and one in Kentucky. So, apparently in the realm of strange names for places, one knob licker is strange, but 2 is an event.

5. Assawoman, Virginia, USA

Assawoman, Virginia

Look around the map and you will see various Assawoman landmarks

Assawoman is an unincorporated community in Accomack County, Virginia. Assawoman was originally known as Assawaman until 1966 when the Board on Geographic Names decided upon its current spelling. Nobody knows why the spelling was changed, but that is all behind them now.

4. Panic, Pennsylvania

Apparently Panic and Desire live on the same street

David Bowie wrote a song years ago called Panic in Detroit, but apparently he had the wrong state. Pennsylvania has some other interesting names for towns, including Blue Ball, Intercourse, Climax, Virginville, Moon, Mars, Bird-In-The-Hand, Panic (Desire is nearby) and Slippery Rock. This state apparently has town founders with a good sense of humour. Other interesting factoids about the state: Edwin Drake drilled the world’s first oil well in Titusville, Pennsylvania (1859); the first daily newspaper in the US was published in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1784; Punxsutawney Phil, the most famous groundhog in the world, makes his home in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, another town with an odd name. And, judging from the road sign, apparently Panic and Desire live on the same street.

3. St Louis du Ha! Ha!, Quebec, Canada

St Louis du Ha! Ha!, Quebec

Yes, the exclamation marks are part of its name. Not a definite theory how it got its name. Only that haha is an old French word for obstacle and some guy named Louis was one of the first settlers in the area.

2. Dildo, Newfoundland

Dildo Newfoundland highway road signDildo Newfoundland

Dildo is a small town located between South Dildo and New Harbour in Newfoundland on Canada’s east coast, and can be plainly seen from the neighbouring town across the bay, Spread Eagle.  One of the main attractions for tourists is the boat trip to Dildo Island, the long spit of land off the shore. Dildonians have long put up with snickers and comments from outsiders. In the 1980s there was even a half-hearted proposal by some residents to change the community’s name. Fortunately, tradition and good old-fashion Newfoundland tenacity won out.

1.Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu,  New Zealand

Taumata signTaumata sign

If you can read and pronounce the name of the above town, you should run for Prime Minister of New Zealand. This is in fact the M?ori name for a hill, 305 metres (1,001 ft) high, close to Porangahau, south of Waipukurau in southern Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand. The name is shortened to Taumata by the locals for obvious reasons. The New Zealand Geographic Placenames Database records the name as “Taumata­whakatangihanga­koauau­o­tamatea­pokai­whenua­ki­tana­tahu”. It has been recognized as the longest place-name found in any English-speaking country.

ENDNOTE: By the way, in the Weird Names of Places road trip, according to documented sources and plces on Mapquest/Google Maps, it is possible to go from Hooker, Arkansas to Intercourse, Pennsylvania and finishing up in Climax, North Carolina. Then off to Hot Coffee, Mississippi to relax.


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5 Responses to "List o’ Top 10 Odd Names for Places":

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