13 Craziest Named Towns in the South and How they Got their Names

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Photo courtesy of Ken Lund
Photo courtesy of Ken Lund

Hell For Certain, Kentucky
It is said that a preacher went to this area. When he went home his peers asked him where he went. His reply was, “I have no idea, but it was hell for certain.” This story has been passed down for generations.

Hot Coffee, Mississippi
In 1870, L.J. Davis built a store and hung a coffee pot over his door, advertising “the best hot coffee around”. Local politicians would visit Davis’ store and buy coffee for constituents and passing travelers. The popularity of Davis’ coffee led to the name of the community.

War, West Virginia
War is the only place in the United States with this name. War was formerly known as Miner’s City and is named for its location on War Creek, which was named from the frequent battles between Native Americans near this stream

Toad Suck, Arkansas
The origin of the name Toad Suck is disputed. Some hold it received the name when idle rivermen would congregate at the local tavern where they would “suck on the bottle ’til they swell up like toads”.

Big Ugly Creek, West Virginia
The naming of this creek was due to an early settler who is said to have lived at the mouth of the waterway who was… shall way say, “unpleasing to the eyes”!

Monkey’s Eyebrow, Kentucky
One theory on the origin of this unique name is that, when looking at a map of Ballard County, it resembles a monkey’s head. Monkey’s Eyebrow is located where the monkey’s eyebrow would be located. It has also been said that, when viewed from a nearby hill, the shape of the town resembles a monkey’s eyebrow… A common joke in the region is to provide directions to the city of Paducah!

Santa Claus, Georgia
Incorporated in 1941, the City of Santa Claus is one of the Peach State’s lowest populated incorporated city, with only 165 residents. The city has several Christmas-themed street names: Candy Cane Road, December Drive, Rudolph Way, Dancer Street, Prancer Street, and Sleigh Street.

Big Butt Mountain, North Carolina
Believe it or not, but North Carolina actually has several Big Butt Mountains… which shouldn’t be too surprising, considering the fact that the state is home to the highest elevation east of the Mississippi!  North Carolina counties that have Big Butts include Buncombe, Haywood, Macon and Madison.  At least in some instances, the name is believed to be a corruption of “Butte” and others… well, they’re just big mountains!

88, Kentucky
The town’s biggest claim to fame was the celebration of August 8, 1988 (8/8/88). People with an affinity for the number 8 descended upon the town from various parts of the nation and world, and the celebration was televised on national television. A similar celebration was held August 8, 2008 (08/08/08). As reported in a New York Times article, the town was named in 1860 by Dabnie Nunnally, the community’s first postmaster. He had little faith in the legibility of his handwriting, and thought that using numbers would solve the problem. He then reached into his pocket and came up with 88 cents.

Two Egg, Florida
The origin of the name Two Egg is obscure. Some believe poor families during the Great Depression would trade eggs for goods at the local store, while others say two eggs were dropped by accident, causing the name to be selected.

Tightsqueeze, Virginia
The community of Tightsqueeze got its name due to the construction of two buildings close to a road that connected Chatham and Danville during the 19th century. In 1870, W. H. Colbert built his general store close enough to the road that women could go straight from their carriages to the store without getting muddy or dusty

Fries, Virginia
Pronounce this community as “fries” in a 50-mile general vicinity of this Southwest Virginia community and be ready for an ear full from a passing local.  Pronounce it as “freeze” and you’ll fit right in. The town was named for North Carolina cotton mill owner Colonel Francis Henry Fries (“freeze”).

Sugar Tit, South Carolina
Sugar Tit received its name when the men spent so long socializing at the local general store, their wives complained they took to the store like a baby to a sugar tit.

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13 COMMENTS

  1. Smut Eye and Burnt Corn, Alabama
    I’ve actually been to Smut Eye but there’s not much left there except a crossroads. I do have a picture of an old gas station there.
    Burnt Corn is south of Montgomery.

  2. Santa Clause, Ga was named such as a way to attract tourists during the heyday of motor travel to Florida. Highway U.S. 1 was one of the main routes to Fl before interstate travel was available. It runs right through the middle of the “town” and they wanted to attract weary travelers headed to FL to their motels. Today it’s nothing more than a name on a map with a post office, gas station. The decaying roadside motels now sit empty or full of weary travelers of a different type, migrant farm workers harvesting Vidalia Onions. During December people still travel from all around to have their Christmas Cards postmarked Santa Clause, GA.

  3. I realize this name comes from an area that technically is not “the south” but Knockemstiff, Ohio is in the foothills of the Appalachians. As the name implies, the town has an interesting history.

  4. Ninety-Six, South Carolina, Pink, West Virginia, Pee Wee, West Virginia, and several from Alabama: Boar Tush, The Bottle, Frog Eye, Lick Skillet, Scratch Ankle and Slick Lizard. Up North they have Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania and Hell, Michigan just name a couple.

  5. Hungry Mother State Park, Virginia
    Possum Trot, KY, the other part of the directions to Paducah, KY, along with Monkeys Eyebrow, KY

  6. I was in the town of Big Ugly, WV attending a workshop and the story I heard about the name was a little different. Woods men who cleared land for logging used to refer areas of dense brush on steep hills that were difficult if not impossible to clear for logging as ugly. Hence the name of the workers settlement was given the name of Big Ugly. When I was there in the 80s the most remarkable thing to me was the fact that the old cemetery was right in the center of town. And all the streets were very narrow and hard to navigate.

  7. Mundelein Illinois named after Cardinal Mundelein who donated it’s first fire engine was once named ROCKEFELLER ILLINOIS. Hearing that Mr. Rockefeller would be passing through by train the elected officials felt if he noticed a village named Rockefeller, he would stop and invest in the community. Story goes he was asleep in his sleep car when passing through the community. The same community was also named Area, Illinois.

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