Top 10 Weirdest Town Names IN THE WORLD
If you were to travel the world and stop in every country, you’d cross cities like London, Paris, New York – the big wigs everybody already knows about. What sits beyond these bustling metropolises, though, are these gems - towns with monikers that we can only describe as “weird.”
Meaning "Parish of St. Mary in the Hollow of the White Hazel Near to the Rapid Whirlpool and the Parish of St. Tysillo of the Red Cave", for the sake of sanity and time, let’s just call this town the Parish of St. Mary. The unusually long name is actually only the second longest one-word name in the world, falling short to a region in New Zealand’s South Island, and is a direct description of where the town can be found. Located on the island of Anglesey, the village has a population of about 3,100 people and is believed to have been established as far back as the Neolithic era. Originally, its name was considerably shorter, but in the 19th century, it attempted to attract tourists by giving it the longest name of any railway in Britain.
As the story goes, a 6th-century Bavarian nobleman by the name of Focko arrived in Austria and established a small village for his people, naming it Vucchingen. By the 18th century, the name had been morphed to Fu… er… Fudging, or “place of Focko’s people.” Many of you can probably see the issue with Fu… ahem… Fracking as a town name, and it’s not lost on the visitors that stop off in the Upper Austrian municipality. The most recent census, taken in 2005, tallied a tiny population of only 104 Fu… Flipping residents, all of whom feel the annoyance when the Fu… Farking sign is stolen – a common occurrence for the unfortunate town.
his affluent town in Denmark boasts a population of around 14,800 people and is best known by its iron foundry, which serves as the main industry in Middelfart. We tried, but it’s impossible to discuss this 13th-century town without getting caught up in the fact that its name is Middelfart. Okay, okay. That was the last one, we promise! The first recording of the Danish town was in the Danish Census Book known as Voldemort's Census Book. No, wait… Valdemar! As in the Royal Chancery of Valdemar II. Originally, the town was recorded as this weird looking word Mæthælfar from the Danish word Mæthæl meaning “middle” and far meaning “way.” From there, Middlefart was born.
Just to clear things up and lay to rest a favorite saying amongst wise guys – Hell has frozen over. Time and time again Hell has been a frozen wonderland. Of course, we’re speaking of Hell, Norway, a village that experiences frigid lows as unbearable as -13°F or about -25°C. While the name may seem peculiar for a town that’s almost constantly freezing, it’s etymology has nothing to do with the burning underworld. Hell is said to have been derived from the Norse word hellir, or “overhang”, or the more modern Norwegian homonym meaning “luck.” Hell has a population of approximately 1,400 people and, no, Hitler doesn't live there. And it’s also not the only “Hell” in the world, as travelers can go to Hell in California, Michigan, and the Grand Cayman.
Can you imagine how disappointed we were to find that the small town of Frankenstein has absolutely nothing to do with Mary Shelley’s mad scientist? Here we are, all set to make “It’s alive!” jokes only to find that this tiny speck on the world map was established in the 13th century by the Duke of Silesia, Henry IV Probus. Frankenstein was established after the invasion of the Mongols and has had quite the trying history, starting in the 17th century, when the 5.28 sq mile or roughly 13.67 sq kilometer town was hit with a plague and lost one-third of its population. Following the plague, in the mid-18th century, much of the town burned down and had to be rebuilt. After World War II, the town changed hands from the Germans to Poland and saw its name changed to Ząbkowice Slaskie, or Frankenstein in Silesia.
Intercourse, Pennsylvania, USA
One of the most puzzling things about Intercourse, Pennsylvania is not even the name – it’s the location. Established in Pennsylvania’s famed Lancaster County, otherwise known as the “heart of the Amish Country,” Intercourse serves as a sort of center for locals to conduct business. In 1754, the village of Cross Keys was established, but in 1814, received an unusual name change to Intercourse. Several stories explain how one landed on such a name, though the most historic stems from the old English usage of the word. Before being twisted into its more popular sexual connotation, intercourse once referred to a dealing between people – like those occurring in the business hub of the town.
Humptulips, Washington, USA
While it may sound like some mid-19th-century insult, the town of Humptulips is believed to have derived its moniker from a Native American tribe of the same name. Depending on the source, Humptulips either means “chilly region” or “hard to pole”, though even the town’s own website is unsure of which is most accurate. The small town, which stretches over 9.5 sq miles or about 24.5 sq kilometers, makes up a small sliver of Grays Harbor county and, despite its beauty, is fairly unremarkable besides its name.
Punkeydoodles Corners, Canada
Leave it to Canada to house one of the most innocent-sounding towns in all of history – Punkydoodles Corners. Established in southwestern Ontario and sounding like a children’s TV program, the story behind Punkydoodles name is a contested one. One version blames a 19th-century innkeeper who owned an inn at the Corner and had a tendency to make “Yankee Doodle” sound like “Punky Doodle” - while another story points to a nickname a lazy pumpkin farmer received from his wife.
Eek, Alaska, USA
Yes, the thought of living in the uncomfortably cold southwestern edge of Alaska scares us, but that’s not why we “Eeked.” Meaning “two eyes” in Eskimo, the town of Eek, Alaska is a tiny slice of life sporting a population that hovers around 300 people and an area of land said to be about 1 sq mi- or roughly 2.6 sq kilometers. During the summer months, Eek experiences toasty warm temperatures that average around 56°F or 13°C and, when it’s mildly freezing in the winter at 4°F or -15°C, most residents are forced to use snow vehicles to travel.
Why, Arizona, USA
Seems like a fair enough question, right? Why Arizona when you have 49 other glorious states in America? You could easily travel several hours northwest to Las Ve – oh, Why is the name of the town! The oddly named municipality in Arizona sits a 30-minute drive just north of the Mexican border and was named after an intersection of Highway 85 and Highway 86. As you can guess, the intersection formed the letter Y. Why, Arizona has an approximate population 116 - according to the 2000 census.