There are 2469501 cities and about 600,000 towns in the world in total. Out of which there are few cities whose names are so uncommon that one will read them four to five times to get the hang of it. We have listed ten top weirdest names of towns or cities that makes you run to the internet to find why the place is referred so.
When I first read this in Tom Robbin’s AnotherRoadside Attraction, I double checked for it to be right! The Humptulips River is what aids to the name of this unusually named city in Washington. The tiny place with just 300 people (approx figure, 250 according to 2010 Census data) has a not-so-tiny history behind its name and the origin of it.
Origin:The name comes from the local Native American Language, meaning ‘hard to pole’. The Chehalis tribe who lived in this area was also known to have a band named Humptulips.
Fun Facts:The Native Americans found it extremely hard to pole their canoes through this river and thus the name was coined!
2. Condom, France:
When does the line, ‘You should come see us at Condom!’ start getting weird reactions?! Worth a chuckle huh! The place, surprisingly, is famous for its cathedral, which is ironically known as the Condom Cathedral. The name has nothing to do with the English word and its disambiguation.It also majorly attracts tourists, as much for the historical and cultural heritage, as for its name.
Origin:The toponym Condom is derived from the Gaulish words condate-ó-magos which actually mean ‘market of the confluence’.
Fun Facts: The mayor of the town, taking advantage of the name and its ambiguity, opened a museum for population control. It closed down in 2005.
3. Intercourse, Pennsylvania:
“See you at 5, Intercourse?” “Huh? Whutsit again?”
Yeah, well, an expected reply to an unexpected question! I really wonder how the Pennsylvanian fellas react to this! I bet they have to mention Pennsylvania every time they mention their city’s name! Formerly known as “Cross Keys” (which is a far better name if you ask me), the place attracts tourists, merely because of its name.
Origin:The place poses as a joining between four main roads leading to New Holland, Salisbury Heights, Vintage and Bird-In-Hand, in a cross sign, as an intercourse. The city was hence named in 1814. Back then, the word ‘intercourse’ was used in better spirits to mean ‘fellowship’ between people.
Fun Facts:The sign posts in this city are targeted majorly by thieves because of its unusual name.
4. Fucking, Austria:
Guess where the famous musical ‘Sound of Music’ was filmed? You guessed it right! Fucking in Austria! And no I don’t mean slang! The name has been of frequent interest of the many in the English-Speaking world. The original German pronunciation is however ‘Fucking’ (Rhymes with ‘booking’).
Origin:The settlement was found in the 6th century by Focko, a Bavarian nobleman. The German way of adding the -ing signifies the meaning to be a place of, thus implying, ‘a place of Focko’.
Fun Facts:The tiny city of Fucking with about a 100 (approx figure, 104 according to 2005 Census data) people residing, the signs were often stolen by souvenir-hunters and hence had to be made theft-resistant in 2005.
5. Hell, Norway:
“Go to Hell!” “Umm, Well… Ok! Why not!” I’m pretty sure this would be your new response after reading this, if anyone asks you to go to hell! Probably, the next time you will be the one with a crazy vacation plan to a place with the craziest name! The Norwegian populous is surely used to this name but the rest of the world still finds it weirdly fascinating!
Origin: The name Hell originates from the Old Norse word hellir, which means ‘overhang’ or ‘cliff cave’. It also has a more used homonym in modern Norwegian that means ‘luck’.
Fun Facts:Hell is a post town with two post codes; 7517 for delivery route addresses and 7570 for post office boxes.
6. Dildo, Canada:
This does bring out an LOL, doesn’t it? I bet I read your mind! Well, believe it or not, this is a name and people do live here!(When I first read about it, I guessed it was some store in Vegas! But I think Nevada doesn’t need a fun little store with that name!)
Origin: Dildo originally meant a phallus-shaped pin which acted as a pivot for the oar, used in the edging of a row boat. It later on became used as slang for an inappropriate sex toy in ballads around the 16th century.
Fun Facts: Around the 20th century, there had been many failed attempts to change the name of this town. Of all the weird and notorious names across the globe, dildo is found to be the most offensive, according to some over-sensitive readers.
7. Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, Wales:
‘Say again, WHAT!’ Well I’m almost 73% sure I have spelled it right! This large settlement has a history as long as its name! It’s in existence since the Neolithic age, i.e. from around 4000-2000 BC. I wonder how the people back then might be pronouncing it!
Origin:The longest official name with 58 characters. 51 ‘letters’ since ‘ch’ and ‘ll’ are considered to be digraphs and single letters according to Welsh language. The name means ‘St. Mary’s Church In The Hollow of the White Hazel Near to the Rapid Whirlpool of Llantysilio of the Red Cave’.
Fun Facts:The name was artificially contrived in 1860 just as a ‘publicity stunt’. The village’s website however, credits the name to a cobbler from the nearby Village of Menai Bridge. The current postmark shows the name Llanfairpwllgwyngyll.
8. Middelfart, Denmark:
That goes with just an expression, a grin and a colon with a capital D!! Nothing else! Well, as the name (kinda literally) indicates, it implies as the narrow passage between Funen and Jutland. The name thus was coined back then.
Origin: Originally known as ‘Mæthælfar’according to the ‘Valdemar’s Census Book’ in 1231, the name consists of Danish words ‘mæthal’meaning ‘middle’ and ‘far’ meaning ‘way’.
Fun Facts:The history of this settlement is very rich. It offers to display Henner Friiser Hus, a half-timbered house on Brogade from around 1575as an exhibit by the Middelfart Museum.
9. Penistone, UK:
Another additive to the list is the Penistone, located in the South Yorkshire, England. Famous for its civil parish, this market town has its name listed in the unusual names all the time! The primitive Welsh names and their pronunciations create ambiguity in these names causing us to confuse with the English meanings.
Origin: Penistone is coined as a derivative from the word penn which means head or end in primitive Welsh. The suffix tun means an enclosure or an estate like a farmstead. It primarily means a farm or a village called penning.
Fun Facts: Although now the town is known for its overwhelming market, back in 1066, when the township was owned by Ailric and was declared to be a ‘waste’.
10. Anus, France:
Oh yeah, we have saved the best one for last! The most hilarious and notorious names ever, it again finds place in the ‘unusually named cities of the world’.This town has an ancient history and is famous for various historical monuments. It was anciently parished with Fouronnes; the Parish sometimes being called Fouronne et Anus.
Origin:There have been no definite traces of the origin of this name. But it is of clear indication, that it draws us back to the 17th century. This is evident from the fact that Anus had its own seigneur, who in 1598 was Guillaume Girard de Rièrre.
What a funny compilation we have with us! Despite these funny names each of these places have a historical importance and that is what is important for any traveler who visits these places. Next time you plan a holiday are you ready to fly to the intercourse via Condom?
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