Two towns: HAMM and TWO EGG
TWO EGG is the quirky name of a small town in Florida. Its official
website says there are more stories on how it changed its name from
Allison than it has people. And HAMM is a city in North
Since we first wrote about amusing or peculiar names of towns a
decade ago, readers around the world have told us of dozens of their
favorite weird place names, .
Here are some of their e-mails:
Have you heard of the town of HOTAZEL in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa? It gets quite warm there!
- RG, (Johannesburg, South Africa).
In addition to HELL, Michigan has a town named PARADISE. (It's in
the Upper Peninsula, on the shore of Lake Superior.) When we bought a
cottage there, one of the previous owner's wall decorations was a road
map of Michigan with the route from Hell to Paradise highlighted and
"325 Miles from Hell to Paradise" scrawled across the top! Oh, and while
Pennsylvania has INTERCOURSE, Michigan has a CLIMAX.
- Barbara Bushey.
There is a CLIMAX, Michigan that may be worth a visit... or maybe CHRISTMAS, Michigan as well.
- Nathan Miller.
Here in Arizona we have WHY without a question mark, and a place
between Wickenburg and Wikieup called NOTHING. It really is a nothing.
New Mexico boasts TRUTH AND CONSEQUENCES, named after a long since gone
- Stanley Dickes.
Here's some more for you: DIMBOX, GODLY, CUT AND SHOOT (all in Texas), and one of my favorites: TOAD SUCK, Arkansas.
- Don Cooper.
Just read about the various town names, and thought I'd send a greeting from my town of ROUGH AND READY, California.
- Rosie Mariani.
(Reminds us of Ben Ryan's 1926 song, Heart of My Heart:
When we were kids
On the corner of the street,
We were Rough and Ready guys,
But oh, how we could harmonize!)
My father knew the man who named ZZYZYX (I am sure it is pronounced
"zai-zix"). As I recall, he was a bit of a promoter, who wanted to
create a town there, and sell land. He selected the name in order to
create interest. I guess he succeeded!
- Radha, St John, U S Virgin Islands.
Hello from the UK. It is quite common to live in HOPE around here
- there's one in Montgomeryshire, Wales and the other just over the
border in Shropshire, England. There is also a village in Shropshire
called GREAT NESS. I always thought I was destined for greatness but
never could afford a house there.
- Chris Bartram.
You missed mentioning PARADISE, Pennsylvania, which is not far
from INTERCOURSE,Pennsylvania: and both are also close to BIRD-IN-HAND,
- Lisa A. Hallett.
You don't have to go to California to find PARADISE. Near
LANCASTER, Pennsylvania you can find both PARADISE and INTERCOURSE. On a
highway there is a sign there pointing in two different directions, one
to PARADISE and the other to INTERCOURSE. Most people opt to take the
road to INTERCOURSE, out of curiosity. I am not sure if they go straight
to PARADISE after INTERCOURSE or return disappointed and then opt to go
to PARADISE. The three cities, BiRD IN HAND, INTERCOURSE, and PARADISE
are all within 5 miles of each other.
- Sethuraman Subramanian.
Another place to visit, other than HELL, is DILDO, Newfoundland
- Dave Ritchie, Canada.
I have been to Intercourse, PA. If you love fun place names, you
should check out a map of Newfoundland. My mother-in-law is from there,
and we have visited. Some are just picturesque, like Harbour Grace, Bay
Bulls, Tickle Cove, Tickle Beach, Tickle Harbour, Leading Tickles (a
jolly bunch those Newfies must be), Cupids, Mosquito, Goblin, Garnish,
Harbour Buffet (to go with the Garnish, perhaps?), Goobies, Come by
Chance, Renews, Dildo, Dildo South, Bacon, Old Shop, Gin Cove, Doting
Cove, Noggin, Tilting, Little Seldom (emphatic redundancy, perhaps), Joe
Batt's Arm, Too Good Arm, Virgin Arm, Whale's Gulch, Lushes Bight,
Black Duck, Jerrys Nose, Witless Bay, and Blow Me Down.
Some tell stories of great hardship, which is remarkable
considering the penchant of most New World pioneers to give their
godforsaken new home a name with some gloss and hopeful (if not outright
deceptive) - but what do we make of Hungry Hill, Burnt Islands, Little
Burnt Bay, Isle aux Morts, Camp Boggy, Bareneed, Farewell, Gallows Cove,
and such? But some must have found contentment and prosperity there.
There are Heart's Content, Heart's Delight, and Heart's Desire, all just
across Trinity Bay from Little Heart's Ease. - Randal Allred.
There is also a town in Norway, just north of Trondheim, called
Hell. They get no shortage of English speaking visitors in this little
town who go there just so they can say they have gone to Hell and back.
- Kerilyn Cole.
Paradise, Pennsylvania and Hell, Michigan seem to call for
Purgatory, Maine. It is actually quite a disappointing place. Its corner
grocery store didn't even have post cards celebrating the name!
- James and Helen Miller.
We found two websites with huge lists of even weirder U.S. place names.
First, we discovered a story written by Sherry Stripling in the
Seattle Times, which mentions Scratch Ankle, Alabama; Good Grief, Idaho;
Panic, Pennsylvania; Stinking Point, Virginia; Yum Yum, Tennessee
(reminds us of Australia's Woy Woy and Wagga Wagga); Dynamite,
Washington, and Tranquility, California, Nothing, Arizona and Zero,
Sherry was reviewing New York photographer Gary Gladstone's book,
Passing Gas: And Other Towns Along the American Highway (Ten Speed
Press, $19.95), so named because people who drive through Gas, Kansas,
are told not to blink or they'll pass Gas.
Eager to learn more about Gary's book, we found a detailed description of it, plus a gallery of superb photos, on his website
"I drove 38,000 miles visiting tiny places with funny names,"
says Gary. "I made a portrait in a different town every day and posted
daily journals on the Photo News Network website. It is now a book."
His photos have appeared in Life, Look and the Saturday Evening
Post. Making nine trips in five years, he shot 21,000 frames of film,
and visited (among many other odd places) Ding Dong, Surprise, Goofy
Ridge and Monkey's Eyebrow.
If you visit his website, be sure to look at his remarkable slide
show. There are great pictures of Gas, Purgatory, Tightwad, Rough and
Ready, Sweetlips, Good Grief, Bitter End, Suck Egg Hollow and Lovely.
Two Egg, Florida: http://www.twoeggfla.com/
Posted by Eric Shackle at 23:09 Saturday, 19 May 2012
Condom, Intercourse and other strange places
Most countries have towns with strange names. PITY ME is in
England, INTERCOURSE is in Pennsylvania, HELL is in Michigan, while
MORON is in Cuba; PARADISE is in California, while SURFERS PARADISE is
"INTERCOURSE is the hub where the Amish and local folks do their
business and host thousands of visitors each year," says that town
beautiful Amish farms surround the Village.... INTERCOURSE is [near] our sister Villages of BIRD-IN-HAND and STRASBURG .
"The Village stands as a clear reminder of our traditional
American heritage as people live by a simpler way of life. Formerly
known as CROSS KEYS from a noted old tavern, this village was founded in
No one knows for sure how INTERCOURSE acquired its name, says the Centre. It cites these theories:
The entrance to a racecourse east of the town was known as
ENTERCOURSE, which gradually evolved into INTERCOURSE, the name given to
the town in 1814.
Two major roads crossed there. The junction could have led to the town being called CROSS KEYS or eventually INTERCOURSE.
"Old English" language was more common in 1814. Intercourse
referred to the "fellowship" or social interaction and friendship which
was so much a part of an agricultural village and culture at that time.
So much for Intercourse. Now what about PITY ME? My friend Ian
Scott-Parker, an Englishman living in HURRICANE, Utah, used to live near
that oddly-named English village just north of DURHAM (pronouced
He recalled other odd names: "COCKERMOUTH and GREAT COCKUP are
always worth a giggle," he said. "The Scottish town of ECCLEFECHAN
(birthplace of Thomas Carlyle), not far north of Carlisle, seems to
please, though I never figured out why; visitors to Cumbria are amazed
to find that TORPENHOW is pronounced Trapenna, and the delightful town
of APPLETREEWICK in North Yorkshire is pronounced Apptrick."
British historian David Simpson says "It has been suggested PITY
ME was the site of a small lake or 'mere' and that the name means Petit
Mere, Petty Mere or Peaty Mere.
"A more fanciful suggestion is that St Cuthbert's coffin was
dropped there by wandering monks on their way to Durham. The
miracle-working saint is said to have pleaded with the monks to be more
careful and take pity on him.
"Another suggestion is that PITY ME is the cry of the Peewits (or
Lapwings) which inhabit the area. Other PITY MEs can be found in the
north of England, including a small place near BARRASFORD in the North
Tyne valley, and a PITY ME near BRADBURY in south Durham."
Yorkshire boasts the villages of CRACKPOT, FANGFOSS, SCAGGLETHORPE, BLUBBERHOUSES, SLAPE WATH, WETWANG and GREAT FRYUP.
Across the Atlantic, there's a place named HELL in Michigan.
"Tucked away as it is amidst the hills, creeks, and rivers, HELL
maintains a strange combination of notoriety and attraction," says the
hell2u.com website. "People come to visit, to see HELL, to say they've
been to HELL and back."
It says there are two theories as to how the town gained its name in the early 1830s.
Theory # 1: Two German travelers slid out of a curtained stagecoach
one sunny summer afternoon, and one said to the other, "So schoene
hell." "Hell," in the German language, means bright and beautiful. Those
who overheard the visitors' comments had a bit of a laugh and shared
the story with the other locals, who [promptly adopted the name for
Theory # 2: The area in which HELL exists is pretty low and
swampy. Traveling through the area would have been wetter, darker, more
convoluted, and certainly denser with mosquitoes than other legs of the
journey. River traders would have had to portage between the Huron and
the Grand River systems near the present location of Hell. You can
picture them pulling their canoes, heavy with provisions and beaver
pelts, through the underbrush, muttering and swatting bugs as they
fought to get to the banks of the next river.
In California, there's a place named ZZYZYX (just the place for a quiet zizz).
Other countries have place names which sound strange to
English-speaking visitors. Cuba, for instance, has a town called MORON.
It has a population of 50,000. What do they call themselves?
Readers of the Sydney Morning Herald's quirky Column 8 trivia pagecontributed these imaginary yet familiar place names:
- Going to Buggery
Drinking in Moderation
Living in Sin
Living in Exile
Living in Poverty
Living in Hope
Dying in Vain
Placed in Jeopardy
Bombing at Random
Escapees at Large
Random has its place in history, says Ian Hunt, of Carlingford.
After a foggy night during the World War II blitz, he says, the BBC
reported that German planes had dropped their bombs at random in
south-east Britain. That afternoon, the German propaganda broadcasts
proudly boasted that "the town of Random has been heavily bombed".
We're reminded, too, that in the 1944 northern Burma campaign
around Myitkina, the US forces, having captured the airfield, grandly
announced they had captured the town, where the Chindits were still
fighting. It's said a message went out that the "the British have taken
umbrage". The Americans couldn't find Umbrage on the map. -- Sydney
Link: Intercourse: http://www.800padutch.com/intercourse.shtml
Posted by Eric Shackle Wednesday, 9 May 2012, from Sydney, Australia.
Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online