From a place named after a successful novel to a place that does indeed have a name even though its name makes it sound like it doesn’t have a name, there are all sorts of weird and wonderful place names to be found all over the world. Here are 9 of the strangest ones…
There are three places called ‘Boring’ in the USA, one in Maryland, one in Oregon and one in Tennessee. The one in Oregon is actually twinned with a place called ‘Dull’ in Scotland.
2. Westward Ho!, UK
The only place in the UK to have an exclamation mark in its name, the seaside town of Westward Ho! got its name from the Charles Kingsley novel of the same name, which was set in the nearby town of Bideford.
3. Why, USA
A small town of over 100 people in Arizona. Why got its name from two highways that intersected in a Y-intersection. It was originally going to be called ‘Y’ but Arizona law required all place names to have at least three letters, so ‘Why’ was chosen as the town’s name instead. The Y-intersection was later replaced with a T-intersection.
4. Happy Adventure, Canada
If you want a happy adventure, head to the island of Newfoundland, which is where you’ll find the village Happy Adventure. The name of this village was first used in 1817, though no one today quite knows for certain where it came from. Some thought it was named by a British hydrographer, some think it was named to commemorate a ship, while others think it was named because people who landed here thought they would indeed have a ‘happy adventure’ as they explored the area.
5. Frankenstein, USA
This place name surprisingly has nothing to do with the classic Mary Shelley novel that spawned goodness knows how many horror movies. It was supposedly named after Godfried Franken, an early settler who owned a lot of land in the area.
6. Inexpressible Island, Antarctica
This island can be found in Terra Nova Bay in Antarctica and was given its name by a group of explorers who had a truly miserable time here during their expedition. They had to spend a gruelling winter here with only four weeks of rations. After the rations ran out, they had to resort to killing and eating seals and penguins to survive. Throughout their prolonged stay here, they suffered from things such as dysentery, frostbite and hunger.
7. Hospital, Ireland
Located in County Limerick, the town of Hospital got its name from the Knights Hospitaller who built the town’s cathedral back in the 13th century. You might expect the town to have a hospital given its name, but alas it doesn’t.
8. No Name, USA
Located in Colorado, the town of No Name is home to just over 100 people. It got its name when a Colorado Department of Transportation officer noticed it didn’t have an official name and put down ‘No Name’ on the Exit 119 sign leading to the town. The name stuck and has remained the town’s name ever since.
9. 1770, Australia
Pronounced ‘Seventeen seventy’, this Australian town lies on the country’s east coast and has a population of just 76. It was originally called ‘Round Hill’ – name after the creek it’s on – but in 1970 its name was changed to celebrate the bicentenary of James Cook’s visit to the town, which was his first landing in the state of Queensland. What makes this place name so remarkable is that very few places have numbers in their names.