The Funniest Names of American Towns

“Ha, look at these funny names.  At least I live somewhere with a normal and awesome name.”

~Residents of Manly, Iowa

accident sign

Names are a lot like metaphors—we’ve never successfully created one.  But, when we really think about it, our comfort with the names of most people, places, or things come from a level of familiarity—we don’t think twice about the name “Jonathan” but the first time some parents gave that name to their kid, they were probably viewed as whatever you’d call hippies during the Bible days.

The point being, names are weird, until you let yourself get used to them.  But sometimes, a name is just…well, weird, and no amount of time will make it seem normal.  This is especially true with certain towns you might find on the Wikipedia entry for “unusual place names.”  The fact is, you don’t see a lot of new towns sprout up that often, so most of the names we have are pretty much set in stone, and they’ve had time for us to adjust.  We talk about New York and never pause to think about Old York, we read about Chicago and never stop to think about how it’s really a gibberish word, and we only reference the fact that Los Angeles means The Angels when we’re a private investigator giving a gritty monologue at the beginning of a film noir.

So for a town to have an “unusual” name, it’s likely not to be a case of a town that just got named and we haven’t had time to get used to it.  No, these town names are hilarious, and absolutely not the name of a place you’d be proud to live.  Let’s take a look at America’s funniest town names.

The Funniest Names of American Towns


Listen, we’re not going to try to pretend this is anything more than what it is—us looking at a list of funny names, picking our favorites, and telling you a little about the towns.  This is not exactly our Citizen Kane, but hey, no one’s looking for that anyway.  So how about we just delve into these bad boys?

Beaverlick, Kentucky


Beaverlick, Kentucky is an unincorporated community that was founded at a more innocent time where people didn’t snicker at cunnilingus jokes.  Apparently, the name Beaverlick came about because the community is located at the source of the Beaver Branch of Big Bone, Kentucky which, okay come on, Kentucky, you’re clearly fucking with us here, right?  Are we being punk’d?  Dammit, someone clearly must have just made up a bunch of incorporated communities in Kentucky, posted about them online, and hoped some American-fact-based website would pick up on it and include it in their article about funny named town.  Well played, Beaverlickians.  Well played.

Climax Georgia, Michigan, and North Carolina


There are three different towns or unincorporated communities with the name of Climax in America, probably because we honestly as a society need as many chances to fake an orgasm while driving by a city limit sign during a road trip as we can get.  For those of you thinking that it’s excessive for three different towns in America to name themselves Climax, we would counter by saying that more towns, hell, even cities should change their name to Climax.  If you lived in Climax, your life would be wonderful!  Every minute of your day would be filled with hilarious dirty-but-not-obscene jokes, sort of like when you were in middle school and you’d play that game where every movie title turns into a porno if you add “in my pants” to the end of it.

Between Climax, Michigan, Climax, North Carolina and Climax, Georgia, a little bit more than 1,000 Americans are able to say things like, “After I go to the Climax theater, I’ve got to stop off at the Climax laundromat.”  We think that’s wonderful.  We want to live in Climax.

Dickshooter, Idaho


Every fiber of our being wants to make a South Park joke here, but we’ll resist.  Instead, we’ll focus on the fact that there is community in Idaho that is called Dickshooter.  Dickshooter.  It was named after a man by the name of Dick Shooter, who established a homestead there and, instead of doing something sensible like saying, “Oh, no, seriously, please, call me Richard” decided to just name that chunk of land after his hilarious, hilarious name.

Dickshooter has three geological features, which we assume are named after the area and thus have hilarious names themselves.  There’s a Dickshooter Ridge, Dickshooter Creek and, our personal favorite, the Dickshooter Reservoir which, if no one has copywritten that name as a condom brand yet, we call dibs.

But seriously, you don’t shoot a guy in the dick, Butters.

Dicktown, New Jersey


Well, now, that’s just being redundant.

DISH, Texas


DISH, a small Texas town with a population of around 200, was established in the year 2000 as “Clark” which is one of the more boring town names imaginable.  Now, you might think that DISH isn’t that strange of a name for a town, probably mumbling to yourself, “I mean, it’s all capitalized, I guess, but what’s the big deal” while your coworkers nose over the cubicle divider trying to figure out who you’re talking to.  And that’s true.  The reason why this is great is the way it came to get that name.

The town was originally named after its founder, Landis Clark, who incorporated the town and served as its first mayor, at which point he was promptly kicked out of office in 2005 (losing an election by just one vote).  As much as it sucks to lose after one term of mayor in a town that you founded and had named after you, things just got worse for Landis (and better for the rest of the residents of DISH) when the name was taken away in November, 2005, after the community accepted an offer from the Dish satellite television company to change the name for 10 years in exchange for free cable and DVR from the Dish Network.

That’s awesome.  “What’s that?  Yeah, no, fuck this name, let’s get some free cable.”  The Daily Show did a feature about the name change, so if you’d like to see actual proof of the hilarious feud between Landis Clark and the Bill Merritt, the man who kicked him out of office and removed the legacy of his name.

Merritt is no longer the mayor of DISH, and with the 10 year deal expiring at the end of this year, we have to wonder if they plan on changing the name back to Clark, or even go a different direction and try to get with the times.  NETFLIX, Texas has a nice ring to it, if you ask us.

Hell, Michigan


You’ve probably heard about Hell, Michigan, because it’s named Hell, it’s in a part of the country that gets really cold, and people can’t help themselves with the “Hell froze over” jokes during particularly brutal winters.  It’s appeared in popular culture ranging from a Red Robin special giving away free chili when the temperature in Hell dropped below freezing to its integral role as the primary setting of the best Christmas horror film ever.

Hell itself has a population of about 250.  It was founded in the 1830s, and the name became official in 1841 with a few theories (one is that some German immigrants set foot there and were overheard saying “so schön hell” which is German for “so beautifully bright” and the name just stuck, and the other that it was named after the hellish conditions encountered by early explorers there) but the important thing to keep in mind is that, yes, we do have a Hell in America.  And it freezes over, like, pretty often.

Hooker, Oklahoma


Hooker, Oklahoma has a population of about 2,000 people, and probably one or two of the most literal prostitutes you’ve ever encountered.  It was named after a local ranch foreman named John “Hooker” Threlkeld, a man who proved that apparently you could be given a really shitty nickname but still live an important enough life that a town chooses to name itself after you(r really shitty nickname).

To Hooker’s credit, which is funny ‘cause they normally just take cash, the town embraces it’s odd name, even giving themselves the motto of, “It’s a location, not a vocation.”  Hey, if you live in a town named Hooker, yeah, you gotta own that shit.

Intercourse, Pennsylvania


Okay, Intercourse, what the fuck is your actual problem?  You had a perfectly good name when you were Cross Keys!  Cross Keys is a totally fine name for a city!  So what if it’s named after a tavern?  That makes it even better!  Damn fools.

Intercourse is best known as having a large Amish population, and also, well, you know, being called fucking Intercourse (redundant phrasing there).  It’s a decently big tourist center for these reasons, and also because we’d have to imagine someone somewhere decided to disappoint their significant other by saying, “Wake up!  We’re going to intercourse!” and waiting to see how long it takes until they realize there’s not going to be any car sex.  Maybe that’s just us.  Okay full disclosure, one of our staffers absolutely went to Intercourse by doing that.  They’ve since broken up.  We never really liked the guy anyway, to be honest, Vicki could do much better.  And that takes us to our final entry…

Zzyzx, California


Go home, California.  You’re drunk.

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