Wacky European Town Names
Sometimes when you travel, things get lost in translation, which can be especially funny when venturing through Europe. It is very possible to encounter a small town or village with a name that makes you go "hmmm."
In all fairness, the U.S. is filled with weird town names, too, but we are honing in on the European ones that pretty much guarantee a chuckle or two.
What an unfortunate name for such a pretty coastal town in Spain. Even it's beautiful beaches are called Playa de Poo.
(Of course, Spanish "poo" doesn't have the same meaning as it does in English.)
Imagine being the Ugley School or the Ugley dentist?
Essex, England, is anything but ugly, and the town name stems from Uggele, first appearing in 1041 with the meaning, "land clearing of a man named Ugga."
Here's one where the meaning is similar in English, as the Italian town name means "illegitimate."
The town can be found in Umbria and got its name from Osteria del Bastardo, the "Bastard's Inn," in the 17th century.
Christmas Pie, England
No, this hamlet isn't named for pie. Its name actually dates back to the landowners who were named Christmas.
And pie is an old Saxon word that means "fertile land."
At least the Scots have a sense of humor about being called Dull — the village is paired with Boring, Oregon.
Located in the Scottish Highlands, this town couldn't possibly be as lame as its name.
Bad Kissingen, Germany
It's not about a bad kiss that gives Bad Kissingen its name.
The "bad" means "spa" or "bath," and this spa town in Germany has long drawn people seeking a medicinal retreat.
Considering the tallest spot in the Netherlands is a 1,058-foot hill called Vaalserberg, it's odd Gebergte has a name that means "mountain range."
Los Infiernos, Spain
The name literally means "hell." How's that for a tourism slogan?
Must be very hot in this southern Spanish village.
There are only 80 people who live in Niemyje-Zabki, which translates into "I don't wash my teeth."
If this were in the Deep South of America, we'd expect to hear banjos.
Another translation that doesn't bode well for the town is Lemu, which means "bad smell."
Located in southwest Finland, perhaps its name refers to a fishy odor from the sea?
Similarly, the commune of Mirosi's name translates into "you stink."
And there is no water in sight.
Officially the longest name of a town anywhere in Europe, go ahead and try to pronounce it!
Thank goodness the Welsh are kind to visitors and simply refer to the town as Llanfair.
While Wales took it to one extreme, looks like Norway took it to the other. This is it for the town name: the letter A.
The name means "small river," but that doesn't make it better. One letter? Why?
Estonia saw Norway's A and doubled down.
This small village is found on the coast of the Gulf of Finland and is having fun with its short name, even getting attention in The New York Times for being named the country's new "National Capital" (sort of).
Horny Bar, Slovakia
Go ahead, do a quick internet search for Horny Bar, and see what appears in your results.
Well, maybe you shouldn't.
Get your mind out of the gutter. Horny means "upper" in Slovak, and Upper Bar doesn't refer to a pub but the land.
We would have understood Rottenburg, which means "ruined castle," but this town named for its ruined castle is called Rottenegg.
Maybe the castle's owner was a bad apple?
Oh, come on, you snickered, too.
The village is found across Little Belt, and its name is Old Danish for "Middle Way."
This small village dates back to 684, and the translation of this Polish town means "sea of pee."
This French commune's name translates into "screw up."
Maybe that is why it recently merged into the new commune of Oree-d' Anjou?
Returning to towns where the meaning doesn't do it justice, this poor Austrian town's name means "boring."
But they have a Burger King!
But boring is at least better than having no name! As it sounds, Namlos translates into "nameless."
Ironically, its name is actually well-known by skiers who hit the village every winter for its slopes.
Horni Police, Czechia
This town is home to the church of the Visitation and welcomes pilgrims annually, so its name's English translation is rather unfortunate.
The town was even offered a million hours of free porn to capitalize on its suggestive name.
Originally named Bialy Kal, this small village changed its name in 1999 because it translated into "white feces" in Polish.
Sure, you can join the words together, but doesn't it still have the same meaning? And why was this the original town name in the first place?
So many questions...
Maybe there was a time when many tears were shed in Feuchtwangen, which means "moist cheeks" in German.
The Bavarian town may be laughing more than crying after celebrating its 1,200th birthday in 2019.
It may have an unusual name, but Ballinspittle is more famous for its self-moving Virgin Mary statues.
(The name means "ford mouth of the hospital" in Irish.)
Wonder how many people mispronounce this?
The village is home to runestones that date back to the 1000s, but just as the name is close to an unprintable English word, it contains "juck," a bad word in the Swedish language, so the stones don't get as much attention.
The name means "farmstead on the stream used as an open sewer."
Sounds like this name isn't just a play on words.
This idyllic island in Sweden has a name that may get a laugh, but it clearly doesn't match its landscape.
Translated from German, Akniste means "acne." Why does this matter?
Akniste first appears in records in 1298, when present-day Latvia would have been under Prussian control.
Seems the Prussians were not a fan of this village.
You have a dirty mind if you thought this eastern French commune's name translated into anything other than "long pig."