Even though this map of the allegedly weirdest town names in the United States is more than five years old now it still popped up in my news feed recently because, I guess, someone was looking for something to write about, and it was good timing because I was looking for something to write about. This is probably one of those things that’s going to pop up regularly until the end of the internet, even though the internet has long since confirmed the common wisdom that weird is relative, which anyone who has relatives already knew.
For instance, I’m surprised Big Bottom is the pick for Washington, the state that also has Walla Walla, Humptulips, Tokeland, and Seattle. And I know that for Indiana some people consider French Lick to be weirder than Santa Claus, and, having been to French Lick, and having visited a lot of Indiana, I can confirm this is true. French Lick may be the weirdest place in Indiana, and not just because it’s the home town of Larry Byrd. And I really don’t understand why Handsome Eddy gets the nod for New York when Poughkeepsie is passed over.
It’s Tennessee that really gets my attention, though. Whoever picked “Smartt” as the weirdest town name in Tennessee obviously missed Frog Jump. Or Bell Buckle. Or Soddy-Daisy. Or Finger. Or Bucksnort. I will never forget Bucksnort not only because of the name but because many years ago when I worked in a mailroom I overheard a guy I worked with telling someone about the Bucksnort Trout Ranch. Only he couldn’t remember the name of the town—just that there was a trout ranch there, and he said, “If you’re going to Memphis…it’s on the right.”
I laughed and said, “Uh, Chip, you do realize Memphis is about a three and a half hour drive from here, don’t you? How many things do you think are on the right between here and there?” And everyone laughed.
That evening I told my wife about it but she didn’t find it funny, or even weird.
“Oh,” she said, “he means Bucksnort.”
Like I said: weird is relative.
I have in-laws who live in Soddy Daisy. I’ve seen pictures. In fact, my BIL was a policeman there. But I really like Bucksnort. Hard to say without actually snorting. So I’m juvenile – big deal.
??? Interesting (and comical).
I’m so glad you liked it and that you’re back!
I had a customer in Bucksnort. Went there several times to do training. It’s about what you’d expect of a smallish TN town. They had a Walmart, railroad tracks, a few fastfood places, and I conducted training in a trailer. Which is not the weirdest place I’ve ever conducted training.
One of my favorite TN place names is Fort Pillow. But I haven’t been.
Tennessee has a lot of interesting place names, although it’s not unusual in that. I also remember several years ago one of the Scene’s YASNI winners was something like “You learn about a lot of towns you didn’t know existed from the Channel 2 Storm Tracker.”
I envy you having been to Bucksnort, though, even though it doesn’t sound like much of a going concern.
Oh those poor boys named everything else who had to grow up in Handsome Eddy, Chris. Wait, it probably has to do with a water ripple in upstate New York.
It always seems to be water that influences place names. People make fun of French Lick but there are towns all over with the word “Lick” in their names that usually comes from a mineral spring. The town in Indiana just happened to have originated with French settlers.
I think it’s weird that in a post with so many strange names you misspelled Larry Bird, Chris, but maybe that’s because I come from the state that includes the town Satan’s Kingdom, which I never knew until today.
I started to spell Larry Bird’s name correctly then changed it, which is a mistake I shouldn’t have made since I’ve been to French Lick, but, well, we all make mistakes. Satan’s Kingdom sounds like it might be worth a visit, though.