Here's a fun way to find strange place names in the United States using the Internet. Once you've found an interesting-sounding place, you can go to another site to get a map of where it is!
Begin your search here:
Type a single word where it says "Placename." Try your own first or last name, or words like "happy" or "hungry." Click on "Submit." You will get a list of all the places in the United States that have the word within the name (if the place exists and is on the database). Keep trying different words. It's fun!
To locate a place on a US map, go to: mapping.usgs.gov/www/gnis/gnisform.html
At "Feature Name," type in the name of the city or town you wish to locate Use the pull-down menus to select the state or territory name. Click on "Send Query." You will receive lots of information about your location (if it's in the database). To view a map, click on "Show Feature Location."
For more weird town names, try these books:
A Place Called Peculiar: Stories About Unusual American Place-Names, by Frank Gallant. (Merriam Webster, 1998). More than 40 stories of oddly named towns, from Truth or Consequences, N.M., to Bivalve, N.J.
All Over the Map and All Over the Map Again, by David Jouris (Ten Speed Press, 1994 and 1996, respectively). Maps of the US with towns grouped by themes: an Animal Map; Sporting Map; a Mineral Map, and so on. Included are selected, brief stories on how various towns were named.
(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society