35 Hilarious Town Names Across the U.S.
You’ve surely heard the phrase, “When Hell freezes over.” Well, that’s not such a far-fetched proposition if you’re from the town in Michigan actually named Hell.
ZigZag, Oregon, got its name from a river that zig-zags its way through the landscape. And Good Grief, Idaho, received a salute on the vintage TV show “Hee Haw” for “having a population of three with two dogs and one old grouch.”
What about other places across the U.S. where people get laughs and maybe even some odd looks when they tell others where they live? We’ve scoured the country to find 35 of the craziest, zaniest, funniest town names in America.
Rumor has it that this Maryland town got its name because a land speculator marked it off by accident.
Still, if you're superstitious, stay far away. You wouldn't want to risk suffering a freak accident while in Accident and then having to deal with your friends making that joke for the rest of your life.
Bacon Level, Alabama
Let's be honest, if there was one state where we would expect a town to have this name it would be Alabama.
How the name of Bacon Level came about is uncertain, but we'd like to assume that it was literal and that the towns people simply loved high levels of bacon.
The unincorporated community is near Roanoke and has its own Bacon Level Baptist Church.
Bat Cave, North Carolina
Sounds like a place for Batman and Robin to hang out, but in reality, this unincorporated community in Western North Carolina got its name from the variety of bats that make their home in a cave on Bluerock Mountain. And it’s not just any cave — it’s North America’s largest known granite fissure cave, protected by The Nature Conservancy.
Public hiking has been discontinued on the property in an effort to prevent the spread of white nose syndrome in the bats. But if you’re looking for a silly photo-op, it may still be worth hitting up this town within a half hour’s drive of Asheville, N.C.
Bitter End, Tennessee
We want to imagine a lonely blues singer making up the lyrics to a song by this name and deciding to name his plot of land like this.
Sadly, nobody knows how this melancholic name came to be or whether a blues singer was involved.
Bitter End is located near Smoky Mountains National Park, so there's a chance it's not all bitterness in this town.
Booger Hole, West Virginia
It seems that the town name of Booger Hole morphed out of the term “boogieman.” People used that nickname in the early 1900s to describe athank you mysterious figure responsible for a spate of murders and disappearances.
Townspeople who were weary of the fear and trepidation in their community formed the Clay County Mob and posted notice in the newspaper stating they intended to drive murder and mayhem out of their community.
The announcement said, in part, “We have pledged our lives to drive these people from our county or kill them… If before you leave, there is any stealing, killing or burning, we will get the blood-hounds and detectives and run you to the ends of the earth.”
That put an end to the violence, but the mysterious tales and the town’s name remain.
Even though there is also a town named Boring in Maryland and Tennessee, this Oregon town takes the price for taking its unfortunate name with stride.
The town uses the tagline, “An exciting place to live.” It is also a sister city to Dull, Scotland, and Bland, Australia.
Despite what you may infer, the town wasn't named because of its lack of things to do but instead was named after Union soldier William Harrison Boring, who owned land here.
Bugtussle may have the most country name in the U.S. — and let's just say the competition for that honor is tough.
As the story goes, the town got its name because seasonal workers who came to help farms during harvest slept in stacks of hay that were infected by doodlebugs. (Trust us, they are not nearly as cute as their name would suggest.)
The workers are rumored to have complained that the bugs were getting so big, they were having to tussle with them for sleep space. If this story makes you never want to visit Bugtussle, we don't blame you.
Gold miners settled here in the late 19th century, and it remains one of the few gold rush towns in Alaska.
When the town was incorporated in 1902, someone suggested calling it Ptarmigan, which was the name of a bird found in the area that looks like a chicken. It later became the state bird. Trouble was, no one knew how to spell Ptarmigan, so they used Chicken instead.
You won’t find many residents here. The 2010 census listed 7 people, but flocks of miners still come into the area during the summers. It’s a place without electricity, phones or internet, if you can imagine, but the town does have a post office, bar, gift shop and café.
Ding Dong, Texas
According to legend, a practical joke led to this town’s name. Bert and Zulis Bell founded the town in the 1930s and operated a country store. They needed a sign, so they hired a painter to create one for their store.
Another store owner urged the painter to play a joke. He suggested painting two bells on the sign with Bert’s name on one and Zulis’s name on the other, and adding the words “Ding Dong” underneath.
The painter followed his lead, finished the sign, and the Bells put it up. From then on, townspeople called the place Ding Dong.
The unincorporated community is situated on the Lampasas River eight miles south of Killeen in Central Texas.
How much would you be willing to do for a free satellite TV? For this Texas town, the price was its name.
Formerly known as Clark, the town changed its name to DISH (all capitals) in exchange for free TV from Dish Network in 2005.
Seeing how little more than a decade later streaming would throw satellite TV off its throne, we're curious to know if the people of the town still think it was worth it.
We'd like to report that this town got its name because its funk simply could not be contained.
Sadly, the reality is much less interesting, as it was simply named after early settler Phillip C. Funk.
Still, we can only hope that the residents of the town take the opportunity to walk down the street listening to "Uptown Funk," "Funky Town" or any funk song.
Greasy Corner, Arkansas
As strange as this town's name is, the story of how it came about is even weirder. The town was originally named Mack's Corner after a businessman in the area whose last name was McCollum.
McCollum owned several businesses in the same building, including a restaurant and an auto shop. As anyone could've predicted, this wasn't the cleanest environment, and when one customer received a plate of food with a car grease stain, he bitterly joked that the town should be called Greasy Corner instead.
Somehow, everyone thought this was a great idea, and the town has never been able to live down that fateful day of the greasy plate.
It turns out Hell isn't in the underworld but a mere 15 miles from Ann Arbor. We can't really decide if this town is trying to be metal or if it's trying to warn you to turn back and run away as fast as you can.
The townspeople also don't seem to know. Theories about the origin of the name go to both extremes. One says it comes from the German word for "bright." Another says that Western settlers hated it because of the mosquitoes and impenetrable forests of the area.
We may never know the truth.
Hot Coffee, Mississippi
You have to love a town that has a history of love for a good cuppa Joe. In the late 1800s, storekeeper L.N. Davis hung a coffee pot as a form of advertising on the outside of his store along with the words, “the best hot coffee around.”
He didn’t just brew coffee beans with spring water, he also put in a touch of molasses, which made his coffee distinctive and memorable. The coffee was so good that people would come back to town — located between Natchez and Mobile — for another hot cup of his delicious concoction. And thus, a silly town name was born.
If you ever find yourself in the midst of a terrible can't-sleep-can't-eat heartbreak, head to this Virginian town where your emotional state will be externalized. The fact that Virginia is for lovers will only make the pain more bittersweet.
In all seriousness, the town's name comes from an early settler, Colonel John R. Hurt. Why so many early settlers with weird last names decided to name towns after themselves nobody will ever know.
This town has had to invest in additional signs throughout the years, as it is often the target of thieves who think the name is funny. Originally called Cross Keys in the mid 1700s, the name changed to Intercourse in 1814. But townspeople didn’t consider it a sexual term at that time.
They may have chosen the name because the town was located at the intersection of two major roads. Or it could have reflected the original meaning of intercourse, which described fellowship and social interaction in a community of faith.
Modern-day travelers to the area think it’s especially humorous that Intercourse is located about eight miles from the town of Blue Ball, Pennsylvania, named after the Blue Ball Hotel (torn down in 1997).
Ketchuptown, South Carolina
You'd think that Ketchuptown was named as such because it's the birth place of ketchup, or because its residents were abnormally fond of the condiment. But the name actually has absolutely nothing to do with ketchup.
Instead, it morphed from "catch up town" since a store in the area was where farmers would go on weekends to "catch up" on news and town gossip.
We think the origin of the name is much more interesting than if it had been related to ketchup.
There are many legends about brawls and fights that try to explain how this town in Ohio received its rowdy name.
The most believable theory, however, is that it was named after a slang word for moonshine, which was once popular with locals.
Donald Ray Pollock's book, "The Devil All the Time" and its movie adaptation — which stars Tom Holland and Robert Pattinson — are partly set in Knockemstiff.
Monkey’s Eyebrow, Kentucky
Apparently, this unincorporated community got its moniker because people said that from the air, Ballard County resembled a monkey’s head, and this town is where the eyebrow would be. Another theory posits that the town itself looked like a monkey’s eyebrow when viewed from a nearby hill.
However it got its name, it rates a lot of laughs from visitors and locals alike. Distance-wise, you’ll find it about a half hour from Paducah.
Kentucky is a treasure trove of amusingly named towns, including Pig, Hippo, Chicken Bristle, Mud Lick and Krypton.
No Name, Colorado
As you may have guessed, the original intention was never to keep this name. Instead, officials used it as a placeholder while legal transactions were underway.
But the people of the area thought the name was absolutely hilarious. So much so, that they petitioned for it to stay this way.
We can imagine that whenever they leave the small town they get giddy when someone asks where they're from, just so that they can reply "No Name" and see the reactions.
We dare not even think of how terrible the dad jokes must be here.
By all account, this Illinois town really is normal. Still, when it has to go out of its way to assert itself as such, it makes you wonder if you're not getting into a "Hot Fuzz" situation.
The unusual name came from the Illinois State Normal University, which later had the indecency of changing its name to Illinois State University.
The university acted like that friend in middle school that convinces you to get a weird hair color together and then re-dyes it back to normal without telling you.
You know how sometimes you hear someone's ugly name and wonder why their parents would do that to them? That's also how we feel about this poor town, whose founders clearly did not love it very much.
In all fairness, there really is nothing in Nothing, as it is an uninhabited ghost town. And the people who named it, according to local legend, were a group of drunks who thought it would be funny to bully the abandoned town.
Coming up with an acceptable town name proved frustrating in one Missouri town in the 1800s. Townspeople came up with three different names and the postmaster submitted them, but all were rejected because they were already in use.
The postmaster sent a letter to the Postmaster General saying, “We don’t care what name you give us so long as it’s sort of Peculiar.”
The Postmaster General responded, “In all the land it would be difficult to imagine a more distinctive, a more peculiar name than Peculiar.” And so it was. Peculiar became the official town name.
Pee Pee, Ohio
Some early-day graffiti led to this town’s comical name. As the story goes, a man by the name of Peter Patrick carved his initials into a tree — P.P . — and over the years it became known as Pee Pee as well as Pee Pee Creek.
The area was tied to the Underground Railroad, with Pee Pee Settlement known as a free African-American community.
Some residents will say they live in the neighboring town of Waverly to avoid the jokes that follow when you tell someone you live in Pee Pee.
Random Lake, Wisconsin
We all have rough days at work where we are simply just not feeling it. So we can understand why the first surveyors may have simply wanted to get the naming of this town over and done with.
What we don't understand is why nobody has thought to change it yet.
Rough and Ready, California
This town would be the kind of person you would want to avoid on dating apps. Back in the days of the Gold Rush, the people in this mining town wanted the government to know they were not OK with the new mining taxes that were being proposed.
Their solution? To declare independence and name their new town after a mining company that strangely decided the name was appropriate.
The town rejoined California three months later but kept its name, and residents today still celebrate the declaration of (short-lived) independence every June.
Santa Claus, Indiana
Name a town after the Jolly Old Elf and mail will come — lots of it.
The Santa Claus, Indiana post office opened officially in 1856. James Martin, the town’s 14th postmaster, began mailing response letters from “Santa” at his own expense in 1914.
But the letter-writing didn’t really take off until Robert Ripley of Ripley’s Believe it or Not published a cartoon featuring the town’s post office in the 1930s.
This town was originally called Santa Fe, but there was already a town in Indiana by that name. It was a cold December night as townsfolk gathered to discuss a name. Children shouted “Santa Claus!” when they heard jingle bells, and that became the moniker.
Today, the town is home to many Christmas-themed businesses, making this a great, kitschy road-trip stop.
Scratch Ankle, Alabama
People here were often seen scratching their ankles to relieve itching from mosquito, flea or black-gnat bites, leading to a very literal town name.
A few years ago, one resident was quoted by the local TV station as saying, “If you roll up your pants and sit out in the afternoon, you’d call it Scratch Ankle too.”
The town of some 200 residents is located about 80 miles southwest of Montgomery.
This town probably believes in practicing daily affirmations so it can get everything it wants and deserves.
No, but really, the founders gave it this name because they wanted to attract people to a mineral spa that was built here. Assumedly, they hoped people would think that bathing in the spring would bring them success.
What kind of success is not specified though.
Truth or Consequences, New Mexico
In the 1950s, there was a radio/TV quiz show called “Truth or Consequences.” Contestants tried to answer trivia questions before “Beulah the Buzzer” sounded. If they were wrong, they had to pay the consequences, such as performing a zany stunt.
On one show, the announcer, Ralph Edwards, said the 10th anniversary show would be broadcast from the first town that renamed itself Truth or Consequences. Officials in Hot Springs, New Mexico quickly said “We will!”
The town’s name was officially changed on March 31, 1950, just in time for the live broadcast on April 1.
Turkey Scratch, Arkansas
The origins of this town name is anyone's guess. Not even its few residents know.
This leaves plenty of space for making up wild stories that will hopefully become legends one day.
Let's imagine that one of the founders had a pet turkey that liked to be scratched. When the turkey died of old age, the owner buried it and named the land after his beloved animal. Rumor says the ghost of the turkey sometimes wakes up townspeople, asking for a scratch.
Two Egg, Florida
The Great Depression left many marks in the American conscience. This town's name is one of them.
According to lore, the name came from this difficult time when a local store would let people pay for goods with two eggs instead of money. The store eventually earned the nickname, which spread to the rest of the town.
We don't mind an unusual name, but why does it have to be grammatically incorrect?
Geographic locators often play a role in how a town is identified. In this case, people referred to the place as “Y” because it was at a Y-shaped intersection of two roads.
This was changed to the word “Why” when Arizona law required the names of places to be a minimum of three letters.
Why is located 30 miles from the Mexican border and just north of the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, a gorgeous desert preserve worth visiting.
Whynot, North Carolina
Sometimes finding the right town name can be tiring and even exasperating. That’s what happened in the Piedmont region of North Carolina when residents debated what to call the place.
One person would say “Why not call it this.” Another would say “Why not call it something else.” Growing frustrated, one man said, “Why not call it ‘Why Not’ so we can go home.” It stuck.
Originally it was two words, but it changed to one word over the years. It’s located on N.C. 705, also called “North Carolina Pottery Highway.” The road is known for its community of potters and historic outposts like Jugtown Pottery, founded in 1921 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Quack doctor Curtis H. Springer and his wife claimed the land for Zzyzx by filing a mining claim for 12,800 acres of public space in 1944. They then enticed tourists and those seeking better health to their “Zzyzx Mineral Springs and Health Resort.”
The name was chosen for the marketing campaign “last word of health,” so it would literally be last in any directory listing.
After running his business for 30 years, the federal government finally realized Springer didn’t have a legitimate claim to the land and evicted him in 1974. He was also sent to jail for a short period for bogus health claims. He had been dubbed “King of Quacks” by the American Medical Association.
Zzyzx is currently the site of the Desert Studies Center, which is a field station of the California State University.
As for how to pronounce it? That would be Zye-Zex.