Special Report

50 Strangest Town Names in America (and Where They Came From)

Source: dno1967b / Flickr

6. Bayonet Point, Florida
> Municipal status: Census designated place
> Population: 25,794

This dangerous-sounding moniker in fact derives from a plant called Spanish bayonet, a kind of yucca, which grew on the site. The name appears for the first time in 1900 on a Florida State Geological Survey map.

Source: JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ, M.D. / Wikimedia Commons

7. Bear, Delaware
> Municipal status: Census designated place
> Population: 19,904

A Colonial-era tavern called The Bear, located somewhere in the area, lent its name to this community. George Washington is said to have stopped at the tavern, which shut down in 1845 and was later torn down. Its name survived on the local railroad station and then the post office.

Source: Ncsr11 / Wikimedia Commons

8. Between, Georgia
> Municipal status: Town
> Population: 275

One George Schaeffer, whose wife was the postmaster of nearby Monroe, reportedly chose the name for this community because it was approximately midway between Monroe and the town of Loganville.

Source: nauright / Flickr

9. Blue Ball, Pennsylvania
> Municipal status: Census designated place
> Population: 856

In the early 18th century, an Irish immigrant named John Wallace opened an inn — which later became a hotel — at a crossroads of two trails (now Pennsylvania routes 23 and 322). Wallace suspended a large blue ball from a post outside and called the place The Sign of the Blue Ball. The town’s original name was Earl Town, but locals started calling it Blue Ball, and the name was officially changed in 1833.

Source: incommunicado / Wikimedia Commons

10. Boring, Oregon
> Municipal status: Unincorporated
> Population: 8,000

Stifle that yawn. The community of Boring — originally Boring Junction — was named for Civil War veteran William Harrison Boring, who donated the land for its first schoolhouse and lent his name to the local hotel and Grange chapter, among other things.