I have seen a lot of strange or funny place names in my life. How about you? What’s the strangest name of a place that you know?
Texas, which is my official state of residence, has an abundance of them. Here is a sample.
A community near Waco is named Ben Hur. I do not know if they host chariot races.
In the piney woods of Southeast Texas you can find an apparently rowdy community called Hoop and Holler.
You can probably expect amazing things to happen in the panhandle community of Magic City. It actually got its name from the oil derricks that appeared as if by magic during the oil boom.
You might have trouble deciding whether or not to visit Uncertain, a city in Northeast Texas. It got its name from the fact that early surveyors were not sure where the border between Texas and Louisiana was in that area, because the border is in the middle of Caddo Lake.
You had better be careful if you visit Gun Barrel City. It got its name from the name of a road that runs through it. The story goes that one of the citizens used to sit on his porch with his rifle ready to deter any of the notorious lawbreakers that were in the area, such as Bonny and Clyde.
Texans love their guns. There is a community near Wichita Falls named Gunsight. It was named for the two Gunsight Mountains nearby. The mountains got their name because of the v-shaped gap between them.
Another name that involves weapons is Cut and Shoot. The story behind that one is that a preacher had taken liberties with some females in the church, and so the men of the congregation went to their wagons to get knives and guns in order to cut him and shoot him. A tamer version says that the riot occurred over the proposed shape of the church steeple.
Some place names in Texas just seem out of place, such as Moscow, China, New York, and Camelot. The strangest of these is Tiki Island, a city near Galveston.
If you’re crazy, you could visit Loco or Looneyville. Loco was actually named for the locoweed that grew there. Looneyville was named for John Looney.
If you are hungry, you could visit Bacon, Chocolate Bayou, Pecan Gap, Raisin, or Oatmeal. The last one was either an alteration of the early mill owner, Mr. Othneil, or an attempt to translate the German named Habermil (haber being a nonstandard word for oats in German).