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Strange City Names: Top 25

December 5th, 2016 - 3:39 PM

The weirdest city names in the United States

Have you ever driven past a sign for a nearby city and thought, “I wonder how they came up with that?” You’re not alone! The United States is full of places with interesting histories, and learning more about them can be fun. If you’re moving long distance or simply taking a family road trip, you’ll want to add these towns with unique names to your list of stopping points.

weird city names


25 funny city names

Anaconda, Montana

Located in southwestern Montana, Anaconda was named by Marcus Daly in 1883. He built a smelter in the area for his Anaconda Company and the city was named after it. Learn more

Bald Knob, Arkansas

The naming of this town came from a round rock that covered nearly an acre of the ground. It’s believed that Hernando De Sota named the rock “Bald Knob” in 1541 while he was exploring the Mississippi River Valley.

Bean Station, Tennessee

William Bean was the first permanent white settler in Tennessee. It's said that his sons constructed a fort at the intersection of two famous trails, and the area became known as Bean Station.  

Bunkie, Louisiana

Originally named Irion, this area was reportedly renamed “Bunkie” due to Captain Samuel Hass. It’s believed that he returned from a trip and gave a stuffed monkey to his daughter who couldn’t correctly pronounce the word “monkey.”  See the entire story on Bunkie.com.

Coffeyville, Kansas

Named after its primary founder, Colonel James A. Coffey. Rumor has it that the naming of the town was left to a coin toss between Coffey and U.S. Army Captain Napoleon B. Blanton.

Dish, Texas

In 2005, residents of the town agreed to change the name from Clark to Dish in order to receive free basic service and digital video recorder equipment from Dish Network. Read the New York Times story for more information.

Eclectic, Alabama

This unusual name is believed to have come from a Civil War-era surgeon who attended the Cincinnati School of Eclectic Medicine. He reportedly donated property to anyone who would settle in the area.

Egg Harbor City, New Jersey

The origin of this strange city name isn’t completely clear. Some say it was named when a nest of eggs was found on the shore by the area’s first settler, others say it was named after a battle for a piece of land that resulted in eggs being thrown.

Fries, Virginia

Pronounced “freeze,” this town was named after Colonel Francis Fries, who realized the potential of the remote area.

Frostproof, Florida

This city in Polk County, Florida was named to assure potential land owners that the town wouldn’t receive any frost that could destroy the citrus trees.

Humansville, Missouri

Though the name sounds like a description of the residents, it actually derived from James G. Human. He settled the area in 1834.

 Kitty Hawk, North Carolina 

The town of Kitty Hawk is most often associated with the Wright brothers’ historic first flight, but the origin of the name isn’t fully known. The widely-accepted theory is that it originates from a Native Indian name for the area.

 Lima, Ohio 

This city was named after the capital city of Peru. However, the pronunciation is not the same. Instead of “Lee-mah,” it’s pronounced “Lime-ah.”

 Little Canada, Minnesota  

Just as you may think, Little Canada received its name from the settlers who were proud of their French-Canadian heritage.

Nothing, Arizona

This abandoned ghost town got its name for a good reason — there’s nothing to see or do.

Old Lyme, Connecticut

Old Lyme (previously named South Lyme) was named after Lyme Regis, a coastal town in England. Interestingly, it’s not the only “Lyme” in the area. Town of Lyme and East Lyme are also present.

Pahrump, Nevada

Named after the indigenous term “Pah-Rimpi” or “Water Rock,” this city got its name due to the artesian wells located nearby.

Riddle, Oregon

A small town known for its timber industry, Riddle was named for early settler William H. Riddle.

Rough and Ready, California

A mining company known as the Rough and Ready Company created the first established settlement in the area. The name was a tribute to General Zachary Taylor (known as “Old Rough and Ready”) who had just been elected president. Learn more here.

Santa Claus, Indiana

Stories credit a child with the inspiration for this Christmas-themed name. Apparently, residents in the community could not agree on a name until a child yelled “It’s Santa Claus!” on Christmas Eve. Read more about the history of the name on the Town of Santa Claus website.

Slaughterville, Oklahoma

The name Slaughterville is said to be related to a small business located off of Slaughterville Road that was a frequent stopping point for travelers.

Thermopolis, Wyoming

Greek for “hot city,” Thermopolis received its name from the natural hot springs located nearby.

Thunderbolt, Georgia

Legend says a lightning strike created a freshwater spring near the area and sparked the idea for the name.

Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

This town underwent a name change in 1950 after Ralph Edwards (host of the popular game show “Truth or Consequences”) asked a town to do so in honor of the show’s 10-year anniversary. Learn more about the town and its name here.

Unalaska, Alaska

Some assume this unique city name has to do with the residents’ attempt to separate themselves from the state, but that’s not the case. Instead, “Unalaska” is simply a standardized spelling of the Russian and Aleut words previously used to name the area.

Do you know any other interesting places?

If we missed any strange town names, let us know in the comments below!

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