Do you like the name of the town where you live? Sam and I live in Lacey, WA. That’s an okay name; it’s not special or anything, and it doesn’t mean anything necessarily, but at least it doesn’t have an “unfortunate” name like the ones that follow:
At internet site toptenz.net we found:
Dead Horse, Alaska
Boogertown, North Carolina
Blue Ball, Pennsylvania
Spread Eagle, Wisconsin
Erica Ho's article on http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/08/08/what-american-towns-have-the-most-unfortunate-names/#ixzz234lCMT88 Time Magazine’s internet news site, also mentions the following towns:
Toad Suck, Arkansas
Loveladies, New Jersey
Monkey’s Eyebrows, Kentucky
A few other unfortunate city names, according to an internet site named The Shark Guys include:
Flushing, New York
Bald Knob, Arkansas
Hicksville, New York
Boogertown, North Carolina
Flea Town, Ohio
Rudeville, New Jersey
Ho points out in her Time article, “Of course, each town’s name is rooted in its very own history. According to urban legend, Toad Suck originally dates back to a time when steamboats ruled the waterways and it wasn’t uncommon to see workers drinking heavily: “They suck on the bottle ’til they swell up like toads,” goes the saying.”
Other town names have more innocent explanations, Ho writes. "Climax received its name, according to the Atlanta Journal, 'because it was the highest point on the rail line between Savannah and the Chattahoochee River.'"
Sam and I can’t help wondering what the history for Hell, Michigan, Hellhole, Idaho, Flea Town, Ohio, Intercourse, Pennsylvania and Looneyville, Texas might be. With names like that, those places probably won’t make our “must see list.”
It’s probably pretty easy to determine though why a town would be named Dismal, Boring, Crapo, Hicksville, Downer, Recluse and so on. We probably won’t ever visit those either. We are tempted to visit Boogertown and Loveladies, however. Hm-m-m.
What’s your town like? When I try to describe Lacey to people all I can think of is a cancerous growth. It’s really difficult to tell where Olympia leaves off and Lacey starts. Lacey has tried to delineate its borders by erecting cutesy statues of children playing with kites at a couple of its city limits. A statue at a third location features a family staring off into the future (I think). Maybe the name Lacey is an attempt to define the down as something delicate like a doily. But wouldn’t the name then be spelled Lacy?
I used to live in Fortuna, CA, which means “fortune” or good fortune, if you will. I’ve always liked that name. I also lived in a nearby town called Rio Dell, which I understand means “river valley.” And I once lived in Paso Robles or El Paso de Robles, the avenue of the oaks (cool huh?). Those names had reason and purpose behind them. Many city names in California have Spanish origins, like San Francisco, meaning Saint Francis or Los Angeles, meaning City of Angels.
A number of city names in Washington have Native American origins. Up here we have Sequim (betcha’ can’t pronounce that properly), Nisqually, Hoh and so one. Unfortunately, Sam and I have no idea what those names mean.
No doubt the good citizens of many unfortunately named cities have petitioned to have the names changed - but to no avail. Human nature being perverse as it is other people probably liked names such as Monkey's Eyebrows, Chicken and Hellhole and vetoed any change. There's no explanation for bad taste you know?
Hey! Maybe we could name someplace Three Bags of Poop. That would be an unfortunate name.