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10 Weirdest Town Names – Vote for Your Favorite

Ever passed through Forks of Salmon, California? Or taken a stroll through Bread Loaf, Vermont? You might enjoy visiting this list of towns bearing strange monikers. Vote for your favorite oddly-named town, add your own to the list, and come back to see which one wins the vote!

#1 Normal, Illinois

The somewhat abnormal name of this town of 52,000 was taken from Illinois State Normal University, a normal school (or teacher training institution), which was located there. The school, now known as Illinois State University, is the oldest public building teaching higher education in the state.

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#2 Dummer, New Hampshire

This northern New Hampshire hamlet is home to just over 300 citizens, who are probably just as clever as folks in the surrounding towns. The founder, a wealthy businessman from Portsmouth, clearly didn’t think things through when he named the new town after Massachusetts Governor William Dummer (1677–1761).

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#3 Hell, Michigan

Ready to go to Hell? You’ll find this unincorporated village in south-central Michigan, just 15 miles from the bustling college town of Ann Arbor. The name may come from the German word hell, which means bright, or it could be attributed to the thick clouds of mosquitoes and deep forest found in the area when Western explorers first arrived.

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#4 Rough and Ready, California

With about 900 souls, this former Gold Rush town, founded in 1849, was named for a Wisconsin mining company, which was in turn named for General Zachary Taylor (nicknamed "Old Rough and Ready"), the 12th President of the United States. The company’s founder, A.A. Townsend, had served under Taylor during the U.S.-Mexican War.

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#5 Chugwater, Wyoming

The Chug, a stream that runs through this scenic cattle-herding valley, gives the area its name. The most famous citizen of the town of around 212 was a rodeo horse named Steamboat, who served as the inspiration for the bucking bronco on the Wyoming state license plate.

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#6 Bigfoot, Texas

The state of Texas is rich in bizarrely named towns. This one, a village of 450 in Frio County, was first settled in the 1860s as “Connally's Store," but later was renamed in honor of Texas Ranger William A. A. "Bigfoot" Wallace, a former resident of the town.

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#7 Why, Arizona

This rural desert spot is home to around 115 people and got its name from the Y-shaped intersection of the two major highways, State Routes 85 and 86, that originally comprised the center of town. It’s now a T intersection, but the name stuck.

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#8 Whynot, Mississippi

David Ruffin, one of the crooners in the Temptations, came from this sparsely populated settlement near Mississippi’s eastern border. No one knows who gave it this name, or why—but after all, why not?

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#9 Boring, Oregon

This town at the foot of the Cascade Range is named for William Harrison Boring, a former Union soldier and farmer who settled the area in 1874. The townspeople embrace their low-key moniker with humor, and have adopted the tagline, “An exciting place to live.”

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#10 Peculiar, Missouri

After local folk found that all their other ideas for town names had already been taken, the postmaster settled on this one, figuring it would be too strange to be duplicated. The city now boasts a comical slogan—”Where the Odds Are With You”—and about 4,600 residents.

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