Special Report

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

There are no rules for naming towns. Some are christened, reasonably enough, after their founders or a defining geographical feature. Others have monikers based on other languages or they may pay homage to religious figures. And then there are some places whose names seem completely random, with those naming the towns likely succumbing to boredom, silliness, or simply impatience.

These town names often have intricate — sometimes amusing, sometimes unlikely — origin stories. While some names are funny, others are just plain strange. Of course, “strange” is a matter of opinion. 

24/7 Tempo attempted to identify the strangest in each state. Our editors chose the names often because they are just different. Other times, names were chosen because of their odd history or because they’re hard to say — here are 50 town names most Americans will struggle to pronounce. 

Residents of towns often brag or joke about what they’re called. And of course, there are those who dispute or deny the etymologies. The list is intended for those who enjoy the unexpected, and we’re pretty confident that these are all town names that will make you think twice.

Click here to see the 50 strangest town names in America.
Click here to see our full methodology.

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