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On 10 amusing American place names

I recently edited an article on American place names for a magazine, and here are ten that I found particularly diverting:

Intercourse, Alabama
Fannie, Arkansas (you have to be English to appreciate that one fully)
Kickapoo, Illinois
Dry Prong, Louisiana
Beans Corner Bingo, Maine
Peculiar, Missouri
Bivalve, New Jersey
Idiotville, Oregon
Oral, South Dakota
Looneyville, West Virginia

Tschuh! America, eh? What is it like?

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  1. Oh yeah? What about Catbrain, Pratt's Bottom, Cockermouth, Hoe, and Long Waste? We don't have a corner on this market, Brit Boy.

  2. Snowflake, Arizona was named for Erasmus Snow and William Flake. There are still Flakes in the Arizona statehouse (Republicans, for what it's worth).
    The town of Show Low, AZ also has an interesting naming story: According to the legend, the city was named after a marathon poker game between C.E. Cooley and Marion Clark. The two men decided there was not enough room for both of them in their settlement. The two men agreed to let a game of cards decide who was to move. According to the tale, Clark said, "If you can show low, you win." Cooley turned up the deuce of clubs (the lowest possible card) and replied, "Show low it is." The stakes were a 100,000-acre (400 km²) ranch. Show Low's main street is named "Deuce of Clubs" in remembrance. The city seal features the two of clubs, as well.

  3. Alvernon Way (a road in Tucson, AZ), however, was not named after two cowboy brothers, Al and Vernon Way. That story I made up. My wife is still a little mad at me about that one.

  4. Truth or Consequences, NM was named after the game show. That's not that interesting. Same thing with Metropolis, IL. It was just renamed that as a stunt to attract tourists. Pie Town, NM, however, was apparently really named for the good pie they serve there.


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