Friday, April 27, 2007

Joke place names

Pretty much everybody has joke placenames, I imagine, where a name is twisted into a negative. People from Indianapolis call it India-No-Place, and our corespondent formerly from Purdue calls that place Purdon't (or l'université perdue) and the town West Laffalot.

Here in Wisconsin, I've heard people call Mount Horeb Mountain Horrible (which doesn't quite work for it, since it's a very pleasant place, and I'd love to be able to visit the Grumpy Troll, their brew pub, more regularly.) Yesterday I learned LaCrotch for LaCrosse and the marvelous Crappleton for Appleton. The last one is downright Simpsonian, especially given the name of Bart's teacher. Of course these show up all over the web, at least most of them, and there's a real Mount Horrible, in New South Wales I think, though I've never climbed it.

11 comments:

jangari said...

There's also one in New Zealand, and it's much better for climbing.

Mr. Verb said...

OK then, it's about time I got to NZ anyhow ... . Thanks.

Aimee Olafson said...

Well, there's also the restaurant ones from high school: Pizza Slut, Taco Hell, and Chucky Sleaze, but I'm sure those are nothing new or particular to the Midwest.

Joe said...

And let's not forget the newspaper names: the University of Texas's Daily Texan was the Deadly Toxin, for example. Any 'journal' becomes 'urinal'.

There must be a massive lit out there on this, right?

Anonymous said...

Might I add the ironic british "Amazingstoke" for "Basingstoke" or my own local "Dickson Shitty" for "Dickson City". And then there's the now defunct department store "Monkey Ward".

jangari said...

There's an all-night bar not far from me. It's real name was the Metropole, but it became known as the Megahole. It was a hole.

Mr. Verb said...

OK, this is even richer than I realized. Could be a running series in this topic ... I'm getting bored with Safire. (Sorry, Bill, but maybe it's time I starting seeing other people. Or whatever the kids say these days.)

The Ridger, FCD said...

And the army ones - like Fort Lost in the Woods Misery (for Leonard Woods Missouri), which is of course the only one that will actually come to my mind now.

The Ridger, FCD said...

urg. Leonard Wood, not Woods.

Speaking of which, I watched the movie "Rough Riders", in which Leonard Wood was a character, of course, and I went half the movie trying to figure out why his name sounded so doggone strange. Finally I realized, they were pronouncing it with the stress on Wood - you know, like a person's name ("This is Colonel Leonard WOOD" "Pleased to meet you") and I had only ever heard it with the stress shifted to "Fort LEONard-wood", as a toponym.

Just seemed strange to me.

Mr. Verb said...

Oh yeah, those military ones. I bet that's been worked on for sure.

Anonymous said...

There are several Mount Terribles in Australia; but even better is Mount Buggery (in Victoria on the range between Cobbler and Howitt). I've climbed it: it really is a bugger!