Etiquette Hell

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Title: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Thipu1 on December 04, 2012, 08:59:09 AM
I believe this was a thread some years ago.  It might be fun to start it up again. It also might relieve a bit of holiday stress.

In Brooklyn, we have a Force Tube Avenue.

The Bronx has a Featherbed Lane. 

New Jersey has places named Peapack and Cheesequake.

One of my favorites is an archaeological site in England named Wetwang Slack. 

There have to be many more goodies out there.  Let's share them.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: whiskeytangofoxtrot on December 04, 2012, 12:10:50 PM
Texas is ripe with odd town names. We have a little town name Raisin which is just about that big- my joke is that the city limit signs are back to back on the same pole! There's Cut & Shoot (aptly named), Happy, and Turkey...and those are just a few.  ;D
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Kimberami on December 04, 2012, 04:00:32 PM
South Carolina has Ninety Six, North, and Due West.  North, South Carolina amuses me.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: aion on December 04, 2012, 04:11:40 PM
I'm fond of Slack's Creek in Queensland Australia.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: mrs_deb on December 04, 2012, 04:41:34 PM
Sometimes in the summer I attend concerts at a venue on Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg in Massachusetts.

I also am a big fan of Mooselookmeguntic Lake in Maine.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Danika on December 04, 2012, 11:44:47 PM
I'm not sure if the filter is going to let this one pass. Let's try. In Littleton, Colorado, there's a "Donkey Hill."

And when we were looking for houses, I found a beautiful one on Prairie Goat Way and I said I didn't want to live there because I didn't want to have to try to explain that street name every time I gave my address.

ETA: the filter did, in fact, change it. It's Jack *something* Hill.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Slartibartfast on December 05, 2012, 12:24:49 AM
Arab, Alabama.  Pronounced AY-rab.  Also Muscle Shoals, which indeed does have a lot of mussels but apparently not a lot of people who know the difference between "muscle" and "mussel."  (To be fair, the etymology is in dispute, but I think the misspelling origin is more plausible than "I guess the river looks a bit like a bicep.")
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Rohanna on December 05, 2012, 01:30:38 AM
Just across the border from me is a place called "Temperance River", named so because it is the only river along that stretch of the Lake without a "sand bar" at it's mouth.

Yeh, sorry.  ::)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temperance_River_State_Park
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: cabbageweevil on December 05, 2012, 05:41:07 AM
Sometimes in the summer I attend concerts at a venue on Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg in Massachusetts.
Is that the one which means, in the original language, "You fish on that side, I'll fish on this side, and nobody will fish in the middle"?  Or maybe someone was being fanciful there !
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: diesel_darlin on December 05, 2012, 05:57:55 AM
Frog Level, VA.

Climax, NC.

Withlacoochee river in FL.



After reading Slarti's post, Sweet Home Alabama popped in my head. ;D
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: cabbageweevil on December 05, 2012, 03:22:07 PM
Being at a bit of a loose end: am latching on to the topic of wildly-long place names.  Here in the UK, we have a classic of such, in Wales:  the village of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch – which outstrips length-wise, the lake in Massachusetts mentioned earlier in this thread.

Honesty compels admitting that this name is reputedly not fully true-bill, although it entirely has a full meaning in the Welsh language: the village’s original name was just Llanfairpwllgwyngyll;  the rest was added on as a satire on “tiny Welsh villages with hugely-long Welsh names”, plus as a publicity stunt (including the village’s having a station on a rail route – thus from then on, the oddity of “the longest-named railway station in the world”).

I understand that there’s a place in New Zealand, the length of whose name makes both the Massachusetts lake and the Welsh village, look brief and terse by comparison; but I’ll leave the details of same, to New Zealand participants on the board.


Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Danika on December 05, 2012, 03:31:23 PM
And how does one pronounce "Llanfairpwllgwyngyll"?
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: blue2000 on December 05, 2012, 03:58:11 PM
And how does one pronounce "Llanfairpwllgwyngyll"?

According to some of the parents in the Baby Names thread, it is pronounced 'Bob'. ;)
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: cabbageweevil on December 05, 2012, 04:12:29 PM
Or -- Google "Welsh pronunciation". I'm English -- any attempted "pointers" from me, would probably hinder rather than help.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Danika on December 05, 2012, 04:20:58 PM
And how does one pronounce "Llanfairpwllgwyngyll"?

According to some of the parents in the Baby Names thread, it is pronounced 'Bob'. ;)

Yes! When we were looking for baby names, I found one that was spelled Meadghbh. My friend told me it would be pronounced something like "Mave." But DH and I still joke that we missed the boat on naming our daughter Meed Guh Buh.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: mrs_deb on December 05, 2012, 05:54:50 PM
Sometimes in the summer I attend concerts at a venue on Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg in Massachusetts.
Is that the one which means, in the original language, "You fish on that side, I'll fish on this side, and nobody will fish in the middle"?  Or maybe someone was being fanciful there !

That's it!  They do say, tho, that that isn't REALLY the translation.  I don't speak the language of the Nipmuc, though, so can't tell you what it really is.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Julian on December 05, 2012, 10:13:23 PM
There are some great place names here in Tasmania. 

Bust Me Gall Hill and Break Me Neck Hill are indeed quite steep - the first going up, the second coming down.  The names come from the early pioneer era when bullock-drawn drays or horse-drawn coaches (or walking) were the normal form of transport. 

Doo Town is wonderful, it is full of weekend 'shacks' with Doo names.  Doo Wa Diddy, Doo Little, Doo Watchawant, that sort of thing.

Mainland Australia also has some fabulous place names.  One of my favourites is on the Gold Coast hinterland, Wonglepong.  No idea what it means or where it came from, but it just sounds awesome.

I've got a book at home with funny Tassie place names, must have a look at it and refresh my memory. 

Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: cabbageweevil on December 06, 2012, 10:06:39 AM
Sometimes in the summer I attend concerts at a venue on Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg in Massachusetts.
Is that the one which means, in the original language, "You fish on that side, I'll fish on this side, and nobody will fish in the middle"?  Or maybe someone was being fanciful there !

That's it!  They do say, tho, that that isn't REALLY the translation.  I don't speak the language of the Nipmuc, though, so can't tell you what it really is.

And I rather doubt that there's an English / Nipmuc Internet translation facility...

Further curious British place-names: the county of Dorset in southern England, has some splendid examples of same. (The inhabitants of neighbouring areas hold the opinion that the people of Dorset are a little bit bonkers -- no offence meant to eHell participants who may come from the county !) As I've mentioned in the "Putter or potter?" thread, Dorset has a whole string of villages with names on the "Piddle / Puddle" theme. And not very far off, in the same county, there are several marvellously sonorously-named villages: Toller Porcorum, Toller Fratrum, Toller Whelme, and Ryme Intrinseca.

Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: scotcat60 on December 08, 2012, 12:35:37 AM
Wormwood Scrubs.

A famous (infamous) prison in the UK
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: CakeEater on December 08, 2012, 06:13:18 AM
I used to live in Biloela, Australia. Funny hearing people trying to pronounce it. The locals say 'Bill-o-wheel-a', but you would never be able to guess that from the spelling.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Thipu1 on December 08, 2012, 08:21:19 AM
I used to live in Biloela, Australia. Funny hearing people trying to pronounce it. The locals say 'Bill-o-wheel-a', but you would never be able to guess that from the spelling.

Reminds me of Skanateles, NY.  It's pronounced 'Skinny-AT-las'.  Just like a thin book of maps. 
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: cabbageweevil on December 09, 2012, 05:07:36 AM
I used to live in Biloela, Australia. Funny hearing people trying to pronounce it. The locals say 'Bill-o-wheel-a', but you would never be able to guess that from the spelling.

I can't prove this; but anyway, though I've never before come upon the pronunciation set out, I've noticed the town on the map (a relative of mine used to live in Queensland, though not in that part of the state).  I guessed then, at how the name might be spoken, and somehow hit on exactly the pronunciation that you give.

Do I win a stuffed koala?
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Julian on December 09, 2012, 09:01:32 PM
I used to live in Biloela, Australia. Funny hearing people trying to pronounce it. The locals say 'Bill-o-wheel-a', but you would never be able to guess that from the spelling.

A good friend of mine grew up in 'Bilo'.  It's a great little town, or so I've thought on passing through.

Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: CakeEater on December 10, 2012, 05:22:57 AM
I used to live in Biloela, Australia. Funny hearing people trying to pronounce it. The locals say 'Bill-o-wheel-a', but you would never be able to guess that from the spelling.

I can't prove this; but anyway, though I've never before come upon the pronunciation set out, I've noticed the town on the map (a relative of mine used to live in Queensland, though not in that part of the state).  I guessed then, at how the name might be spoken, and somehow hit on exactly the pronunciation that you give.

Do I win a stuffed koala?

Since the word means 'white cockatoo' in the local indigenous language, you can win a stuffed cockatoo, instead!


A good friend of mine grew up in 'Bilo'.  It's a great little town, or so I've thought on passing through.



That's funny, because I've always thought this town of about 3000 people is somehow the centre of the universe. Everyone I've ever discussed the town with knows someone who grew up there, or lived there, or whose dentist was a local. Funny that on a US forum, I've found someone who knows someone!  ;D

And yes, it was a great town. I really liked it there.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: emwithme on December 10, 2012, 08:25:08 AM
That's where my first ever dentist was from - he was working in the late 70s/early 80s in Coventry, England.

It really *is* a small world. 
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: CakeEater on December 11, 2012, 05:33:08 PM
That's where my first ever dentist was from - he was working in the late 70s/early 80s in Coventry, England.

It really *is* a small world.

Fantastic!  ;D
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: cabbageweevil on December 12, 2012, 04:18:30 AM
Will be seeing next month, my cousin who at one time lived in Queensland (mentioned above). Will ask him what's his "someone from Biloela" story !
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: WillyNilly on December 12, 2012, 09:09:36 AM
There is a small town in New Hampshire called "Dummer".  The larger town next to it, Milan, used to sell t-shirts "The people in Milan might not be smart, but the next town over is Dummer"  ;D


I never thought much about my town's name until The Simpson's made fun of it.  They were visiting NYC and Homer had to pee and a bus drove by, its front sign saying it was headed to Flushing Meadows.  He imagined a large field full of toilets. (I actually just live in Flushing, not Flushing Meadows, but same point.)
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Danika on December 12, 2012, 09:58:47 AM
There's a city in Austria that's name contains the F word (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/(Oh, I'm a pottymouth extraordinaire!),_Austria) as a verb. I've read that street signs are frequently stolen by English tourists because of the name.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: doodlemor on December 12, 2012, 01:48:09 PM
There is a hamlet near us named Versailles, which is pronounced Ver-SALES.  Another hamlet nearby is named Napoli, pronounced Na-POLE-eye.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: tango on December 12, 2012, 03:13:08 PM
North Yorkshire has a village called Appletreewick, pronounced of course "Aptrick".
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: CakeEater on December 13, 2012, 05:58:27 AM
My dad is actually quite an intelligent, well-read man. He had been eating Worcestershire sauce all his life, and calling it 'Whooster-sheer' which I believe is how it's actually pronounced in the UK. (Someone correct me if I'm wrong there.)

At some stage in my teen years, he must have looked closely at the bottle and realised that there was that 'cest' bit in the middle, and started calling it 'war-sest-er-sheer' and insisting that we all do the same. It wasn't until I was an adult and heard someone say the name of the city that I realised he had been right the first time.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Anniissa on December 13, 2012, 06:23:23 AM
My dad is actually quite an intelligent, well-read man. He had been eating Worcestershire sauce all his life, and calling it 'Whooster-sheer' which I believe is how it's actually pronounced in the UK. (Someone correct me if I'm wrong there.)


That's about right - the "cest" isn't pronounced as a separate syllable. Hence, Worcestershire is woostersher, Leicestershire is lestersher, Gloucestershire is glostersher. However, contrary to how De Niro pronounces it in Ronin, there are three syllables in Hereford (her-uh-fud NOT heer-fud).
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: cabbageweevil on December 13, 2012, 11:26:11 AM
And -- from a Briton -- just to compound the confusion, there is in the just-mentioned Gloucestershire, the small town of Cirencester.  Several alternative pronunications known for this one: "sister", "sisiter", and "syre-en-ses-ter" (accent on first syllable in each case). The last of the three is, I believe, the most generally in favour nowadays.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: blue2000 on December 13, 2012, 05:03:17 PM
And -- from a Briton -- just to compound the confusion, there is in the just-mentioned Gloucestershire, the small town of Cirencester.  Several alternative pronunications known for this one: "sister", "sisiter", and "syre-en-ses-ter" (accent on first syllable in each case). The last of the three is, I believe, the most generally in favour nowadays.

That... would confound me no end. if you follow the same rules as Gloucestershire (Glou-ster-shire) then Cirencester should be Syren-ster not sis-ter! ??? ??? ???

I think if I ever go to England, I'm going to have to make a cheat sheet of town names!
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Danika on December 13, 2012, 09:00:07 PM
My dad is actually quite an intelligent, well-read man. He had been eating Worcestershire sauce all his life, and calling it 'Whooster-sheer' which I believe is how it's actually pronounced in the UK. (Someone correct me if I'm wrong there.)


That's about right - the "cest" isn't pronounced as a separate syllable. Hence, Worcestershire is woostersher, Leicestershire is lestersher, Gloucestershire is glostersher. However, contrary to how De Niro pronounces it in Ronin, there are three syllables in Hereford (her-uh-fud NOT heer-fud).

And if you ever find yourself in Worcester, Massachusetts, it is pronounced wuss-ta.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: pinklightbulb on December 13, 2012, 09:41:22 PM
I'm a Tasmanian as well Julian :)

Have you heard of Dismal Swamp or Detention? They are places in the North-West where I am.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: snowdragon on December 13, 2012, 11:42:35 PM
There is a hamlet near us named Versailles, which is pronounced Ver-SALES.  Another hamlet nearby is named Napoli, pronounced Na-POLE-eye.

We have Chil ( pronounce CH-EYE-LIE) and Honeoye  ( Honey-EYE)
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: scotcat60 on December 14, 2012, 06:26:15 AM
Mainland Australia also has some fabulous place names.  One of my favourites is on the Gold Coast hinterland, Wonglepong.  No idea what it means or where it came from, but it just sounds awesome.

I like Grong Grong and Woy Woy. Spike Milligan's Mum lived in Woy Woy, I believe.

There was a fascinating programme on TV a couple of nights ago where the presenter travelled on the  Gan. He stopped off at Quorn and Farina.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: cabbageweevil on December 14, 2012, 06:48:46 AM
And -- from a Briton -- just to compound the confusion, there is in the just-mentioned Gloucestershire, the small town of Cirencester.  Several alternative pronunications known for this one: "sister", "sisiter", and "syre-en-ses-ter" (accent on first syllable in each case). The last of the three is, I believe, the most generally in favour nowadays.

That... would confound me no end. if you follow the same rules as Gloucestershire (Glou-ster-shire) then Cirencester should be Syren-ster not sis-ter! ??? ??? ???

I think if I ever go to England, I'm going to have to make a cheat sheet of town names!

Rule 1 of English place-name pronunciation is, for sure -- there are no rules !

Re cheat sheets: the humorist Paul Jennings tried to create one such -- in rhyme, to boot. Part of it, follows.

...Tourists, attention ! Nor forthwith assume
You say as spelt each little town, like Frome.
The Welsh have funny names your tongue to twist with
Like Penmaenmawr and Gwlch and Aberystwyth:
That you expect. But when in England, how
Dare any tourist ask the way to Slough,
Who yesterday put someone in a huff
By thinking "brow" homophonous with Brough?
Though Glyndebourne opera for the cultured few is,
How can they get there but by way of Lewes?
Under the Sussex Downs, where snug they both lie
Are many other gems -- for instance, Hoathly.
What lord of maps, what orthographic jouster
Grapples with Bicester and its sicester Towcester*,
And never gets in something like a panic
If blank stares greet him when he asks for Alnwick,
Nor ends by thinking people downright spooky
Who make a place spelt Stiffkey rhyme with Newquay?
Tourists, you needn't be alarmed unduly
By England's treatment of a word like Beaulieu.
These Norman names (or Saxon ones, like Wrotham)
Unlettered men have modified to suit 'em,
And pundits long since gave up trying to teach 'em
How you should really say a name like Beauchamp.
Our names and views hold unexpected joy:-
Views English-Channel seaward, as at Fowey;
Views over sands, or rocky views and pebbly;
Pastoral views, near inland towns like Weobley;
East Anglian views, with churches old and mossy,
Each as unique as disyllabic Costessy*...

*A rhyming guide has the flaw that it can't cater for alternative pronunciations. Some people pronounce the T-place not like "Touster" as per the verse, but "Toaster", or "Tosseter"; and the C-place is alternatively pronounced "Cozzy".



Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: WithoutIssue on December 15, 2012, 03:01:18 PM
I understand that there’s a place in New Zealand, the length of whose name makes both the Massachusetts lake and the Welsh village, look brief and terse by comparison; but I’ll leave the details of same, to New Zealand participants on the board.

Ah you mean Taumata­whakatangihanga­koauau­o­tamatea­turi­pukakapiki­maunga­horo­nuku­pokai­whenua­kitanatahu

Most of he amusement in place names here stems from the pronunciation of "wh" as an F sound in Maori words and there are many place names (and other words) which start with whaka... the letter A is said as in car but said quickly whaka words do sound rude to unaccustomed ears. One such example is a popular ski field Whakapapa

We also have odd names in English too like a hill called Bob's Knob (and the roadside rest spot there is called Bob's Knob Lookout - always sounds like an hilarious warning to me)
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Dazi on December 15, 2012, 07:01:56 PM
I sent out a letter once to a street called  "Acclaim at Lionspaw"
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Lady Snowdon on December 15, 2012, 07:24:59 PM
I've always been amused by Cripple Creek, Colorado, and Niwot, Colorado.  There's a Savage, Minnesota (the water tower says something like "the Ports of Savage" on it, which just makes me giggle).  My dad used to work in a town named Nunn, Colorado.  That water tower had the phrase "Watch Nunn Grow!" on it.  :P  Minneapolis has the lyrically named Minnehaha Falls Park.  There's also Wayzata, Minnesota, which I still can't pronounce correctly, despite having lived here for 13 years.  A very good private academy in St. Paul is named Cretin-Durham, and is near Cretin Ave.  Yes, they do pronounce it cree-ton and I can't say it with a straight face.   >:D 
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Danika on December 15, 2012, 11:43:26 PM
I never thought about the origin of the name Cripple Creek. I grew up hearing it. Many of my ancestors came to Colorado during the gold rush and lived in Cripple Creek although no one in my family has lived in that city for nearly 100 years now.

This website (http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/co/cripplecreek.html) says this about the origin of the name: "It is said a cattleman was building a shelter close to a nearby creek assisted by a helper. The helper accidentally discharged a gun, wounding another man in the foot. The excitement and confusion frightened a calf, which broke its leg jumping over the creek. The calf was crippled causing the rancher to refer to the creek as 'Cripple Creek.'"
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: cabbageweevil on December 16, 2012, 07:51:57 AM
I understand that there’s a place in New Zealand, the length of whose name makes both the Massachusetts lake and the Welsh village, look brief and terse by comparison; but I’ll leave the details of same, to New Zealand participants on the board.

Ah you mean Taumata­whakatangihanga­koauau­o­tamatea­turi­pukakapiki­maunga­horo­nuku­pokai­whenua­kitanatahu

That's the one ! Definitely "a name to conjure with".

The village in Wales is called generally in conversation by those who live thereabouts, "Llanfair P.G.". I presume there's a similar abbreviation used for Taumata-etc.; in situations of wanting to buy a bus ticket to the place, or such things.

Quote
Most of he amusement in place names here stems from the pronunciation of "wh" as an F sound in Maori words and there are many place names (and other words) which start with whaka... the letter A is said as in car but said quickly whaka words do sound rude to unaccustomed ears. One such example is a popular ski field Whakapapa

We also have odd names in English too like a hill called Bob's Knob (and the roadside rest spot there is called Bob's Knob Lookout - always sounds like an hilarious warning to me)

If I have things rightly, the New Zealand town of Waikikamoukau does not actually exist; it was invented to gently take the mickey out of NZ place names?
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Thipu1 on December 16, 2012, 09:25:34 AM
Cabbage weevil's post reminded me that publishers often insert fictional places in maps.

  The idea is that, if the map is pirated and published elsewhere without permission, the places that don't exist establish the copyright. 
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Julian on December 16, 2012, 02:00:45 PM
I'm a Tasmanian as well Julian :)

Have you heard of Dismal Swamp or Detention? They are places in the North-West where I am.

Sure have!!  Haven't been to either, but I have a mental picture of Dismal Swamp like something out of a Scooby Doo cartoon, lol!
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Iris on December 16, 2012, 02:37:36 PM
I used to live in Biloela, Australia. Funny hearing people trying to pronounce it. The locals say 'Bill-o-wheel-a', but you would never be able to guess that from the spelling.

Then you would be familiar with the town of Banana. Great name. I used to have family there.

My all time favourite naughty sounding place name is Watanobbi on the Central Coast of NSW. It won the "most unfortunate place name in Australia" competition.

Lots of other great names in this article (http://www.tenterfieldstar.com.au/story/215038/pardon-me-but-im-from-watanobbi/) if you are interested
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: cabbageweevil on December 16, 2012, 02:40:27 PM
Cabbage weevil's post reminded me that publishers often insert fictional places in maps.

  The idea is that, if the map is pirated and published elsewhere without permission, the places that don't exist establish the copyright.

There's an interesting thread about matters of this kind -- including "copyright traps" on maps, per the process which you describe, which ultimately became real places -- on the Fortean Times discussion forum.

Log on to www.forteantimes.com.forum/index/php    ;under "Specialist Topics" there, click on sub-forum "Urban Legends / Folklore". Page 1 of this sub-forum: about seven items down, thread "Places that don't exist".

Included there, is the strange tale of the supposed Sandy Island -- allegedly several hundred miles east of Australia, and measuring fifteen miles by three. It was recently found that this "island", which has featured on maps for quite a long time, actually doesn't exist. Discussion is generated thereby, as to whether it was a copyright trap gone wrong; or pure human error; or whether at the island's alleged discovery in the 1870s, it was a sandbar then existing, but subsequently covered by the sea; or something else?

Deliberate distortion of, and putting wrong info on, maps for the use of the public happened rather a lot in the former Soviet Union; this being done at the behest of the authorities, to thwart would-be spies. It was maddening for local citizens and (blameless) foreigners, who were just seeking to get to where they wanted to go. As regards the USSR, one feels that the kindest possible verdict is "they were a funny lot".
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: CakeEater on December 16, 2012, 02:40:51 PM
I used to live in Biloela, Australia. Funny hearing people trying to pronounce it. The locals say 'Bill-o-wheel-a', but you would never be able to guess that from the spelling.

Then you would be familiar with the town of Banana. Great name. I used to have family there.

My all time favourite naughty sounding place name is Watanobbi on the Central Coast of NSW. It won the "most unfortunate place name in Australia" competition.

Lots of other great names in this article (http://www.tenterfieldstar.com.au/story/215038/pardon-me-but-im-from-watanobbi/) if you are interested

Definitely! I've driven through Banana on a number of occasions.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: WithoutIssue on December 16, 2012, 03:09:57 PM
If I have things rightly, the New Zealand town of Waikikamoukau does not actually exist; it was invented to gently take the mickey out of NZ place names?
Yes Waikikamukau is fictional, sort of a placeholder name for a small town out the back of beyond.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: oz diva on December 17, 2012, 05:17:22 AM
I used to live in Biloela, Australia. Funny hearing people trying to pronounce it. The locals say 'Bill-o-wheel-a', but you would never be able to guess that from the spelling.

Then you would be familiar with the town of Banana. Great name. I used to have family there.

My all time favourite naughty sounding place name is Watanobbi on the Central Coast of NSW. It won the "most unfortunate place name in Australia" competition.

Lots of other great names in this article (http://www.tenterfieldstar.com.au/story/215038/pardon-me-but-im-from-watanobbi/) if you are interested
And then there's Yorkey's Knob in Cairns.

I've always had a soft spot for Mt Buggery and Mt Disappointment.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Thipu1 on December 17, 2012, 08:23:58 AM
Once, while motoring in Vermont, we passed the 'Fort Despair Bed and Breakfast'.  we had to wonder if they got much business.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: cabbageweevil on December 17, 2012, 01:33:58 PM
If I have things rightly, the New Zealand town of Waikikamoukau does not actually exist; it was invented to gently take the mickey out of NZ place names?
Yes Waikikamukau is fictional, sort of a placeholder name for a small town out the back of beyond.
Sounds like a parallel with Germany’s “Krähwinkel”;  and “Hotzeplotz” and “Eytschischok” in Yiddish – fictitious names symbolising the general picture re those milieus, of a remote, dozy, benighted back-end-of-nowhere settlement.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: CakeEater on December 17, 2012, 03:26:22 PM
Near where I grew up was a school called Humpybong.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Thipu1 on December 18, 2012, 08:33:19 AM
In the late 19th and early 20th century USA, 'Siwash' and 'Podunk' were used to represent small, uninteresting communities.  'Siwash College' was the ultimate put-down for an educational institution. 

'Podunk' is still used that way.  A late 20th century version is 'Upper Cupcake'. 
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: JonGirl on December 19, 2012, 07:24:01 AM
In the late 19th and early 20th century USA, 'Siwash' and 'Podunk' were used to represent small, uninteresting communities.   'Siwash College' was the ultimate put-down for an educational institution. 

'Podunk' is still used that way.  A late 20th century version is 'Upper Cupcake'.


In our part of the world, rural areas are refered to as "the sticks" or "one horse towns"
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Thipu1 on December 19, 2012, 08:35:12 AM
One-horse towns, sticks, boondocks (that one comes from the Viet Nam years, I believe), back of beyond.  They're all out there.  However, Siwash and Podunk are a little more specific. 

We have the opposite of Sandy Island here in NY.  Fire Island did not exist before the hurricane in the 1930s that came straight up the coast and made first landfall on Long Island. 

All these discussions are fascinating.   
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Luci on December 19, 2012, 09:49:05 AM
boondocks (that one comes from the Viet Nam years, I believe) 

'Boondocks' has been used all of my life, but I was surprised to see that is really is so recent.

From AnswerBag, but I found similar information on other sites:

The expression was introduced to English by American military personnel serving in the Philippines during the early years of the 20th century. It derives from the Tagalog word "bundok", meaning "mountain".

Read more: What is the origin of the term "boondocks"? | Answerbag http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/799287#ixzz2FVrxTgmP

One said 1945, but if it is from the Philippines it could be far earlier. My grandfather was an agricultural advisor there in the early 1900s, so I know we (US) had a presence there.  (I don't know how reliable AnswerBag is - better than AskYahoo, I hope!)
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Julian on December 19, 2012, 09:30:34 PM
In the late 19th and early 20th century USA, 'Siwash' and 'Podunk' were used to represent small, uninteresting communities.   'Siwash College' was the ultimate put-down for an educational institution. 

'Podunk' is still used that way.  A late 20th century version is 'Upper Cupcake'.


In our part of the world, rural areas are refered to as "the sticks" or "one horse towns"

Or the other side of the black stump. 

I think I went through an area called Black Stump once.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: dawnfire on December 19, 2012, 10:48:41 PM
I used to live in Biloela, Australia. Funny hearing people trying to pronounce it. The locals say 'Bill-o-wheel-a', but you would never be able to guess that from the spelling.

Then you would be familiar with the town of Banana. Great name. I used to have family there.

My all time favourite naughty sounding place name is Watanobbi on the Central Coast of NSW. It won the "most unfortunate place name in Australia" competition.

Lots of other great names in this article (http://www.tenterfieldstar.com.au/story/215038/pardon-me-but-im-from-watanobbi/) if you are interested
And then there's Yorkey's Knob in Cairns.

I've always had a soft spot for Mt Buggery and Mt Disappointment.

I used to live at the base of  Mt Disappointment :) 

Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Bethczar on December 20, 2012, 03:23:43 PM
I used to live in Biloela, Australia. Funny hearing people trying to pronounce it. The locals say 'Bill-o-wheel-a', but you would never be able to guess that from the spelling.

Then you would be familiar with the town of Banana. Great name. I used to have family there.

My all time favourite naughty sounding place name is Watanobbi on the Central Coast of NSW. It won the "most unfortunate place name in Australia" competition.

Lots of other great names in this article (http://www.tenterfieldstar.com.au/story/215038/pardon-me-but-im-from-watanobbi/) if you are interested
And then there's Yorkey's Knob in Cairns.

I've always had a soft spot for Mt Buggery and Mt Disappointment.

I used to live at the base of  Mt Disappointment :)
You can only go up from there!  ;D
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Danika on December 20, 2012, 03:30:23 PM
I used to live at the base of  Mt Disappointment :)
You can only go up from there!  ;D

I know!  ;D It sounded like a clever way to say "The guy I was dating was a jerk and our relationship was lousy" or "I kept getting overlooked for that promotion at work."
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Julian on December 21, 2012, 01:14:11 AM
I used to live in Biloela, Australia. Funny hearing people trying to pronounce it. The locals say 'Bill-o-wheel-a', but you would never be able to guess that from the spelling.

Then you would be familiar with the town of Banana. Great name. I used to have family there.

My all time favourite naughty sounding place name is Watanobbi on the Central Coast of NSW. It won the "most unfortunate place name in Australia" competition.

Lots of other great names in this article (http://www.tenterfieldstar.com.au/story/215038/pardon-me-but-im-from-watanobbi/) if you are interested
And then there's Yorkey's Knob in Cairns.

I've always had a soft spot for Mt Buggery and Mt Disappointment.

I used to live at the base of  Mt Disappointment :)

Mt Mee near Brisbane used to get a lot of snickers when mentioned on an interstate biker forum - well, at least from the non-local crowd.  The local riders all knew where it was, and what a great bike road it was.   

Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: chibichan on January 11, 2013, 09:15:42 PM
Fom my travels in Australia ( so long ago , but so many great memories ! )

Monkey Mia in Western Australia . And on the way there , branching off Shark Bay Road was this little gem :

Useless Loop Road .

Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: cabbageweevil on January 12, 2013, 02:49:21 AM
Sounds like a cousin of Needless Alley in Birmingham, England.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: JoW on January 12, 2013, 10:27:40 PM
I'm surprised no one has mentioned Monkey's Eyebrow, Kentucky.

Everyone has looked at clouds and seen pictures in them.  Some time in the 1800's someone looked at a map of the Ohio River with that same mindset and saw the profile of a monkey.  Monkey's Eyebrow is at the monkey's eyebrow. 

There are a large number of cities and towns in the US named after European cities, but the people who did the naming had a printed atlas and not an audio player.  Examples include:
Prauge (Prayg  -- "g" as in gutter), Nebraska
Calais ( cal iss), Maine
New Madrid (MAD rid), Missouri
Cairo (kay row), Illinois

and I'm sure there are many more.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Thipu1 on January 13, 2013, 08:19:16 AM
A classic is New York's Houston Street.  Here, it's pronounced 'House-ton'.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 13, 2013, 09:29:26 AM
In south central Texas there is a creek you cross when on a major interstate called Woman Hollering Creek.  There are a lot of varying legends ranging from the more mundane of a farm wife with strong vocal cords who'd yell for her family at dinner time to a sad story of a woman who drowned her own children to save them from a more brutal death during an attack and it is said she still haunts the creek. 
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Bethczar on January 13, 2013, 09:39:48 AM
I'm surprised no one has mentioned Monkey's Eyebrow, Kentucky.

Everyone has looked at clouds and seen pictures in them.  Some time in the 1800's someone looked at a map of the Ohio River with that same mindset and saw the profile of a monkey.  Monkey's Eyebrow is at the monkey's eyebrow. 

There are a large number of cities and towns in the US named after European cities, but the people who did the naming had a printed atlas and not an audio player.  Examples include:
Prauge (Prayg  -- "g" as in gutter), Nebraska
Calais ( cal iss), Maine
New Madrid (MAD rid), Missouri
Cairo (kay row), Illinois

and I'm sure there are many more.
There's also New Berlin (BER lin), Wisconsin
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: kherbert05 on January 13, 2013, 02:15:52 PM
In south central Texas there is a creek you cross when on a major interstate called Woman Hollering Creek.  There are a lot of varying legends ranging from the more mundane of a farm wife with strong vocal cords who'd yell for her family at dinner time to a sad story of a woman who drowned her own children to save them from a more brutal death during an attack and it is said she still haunts the creek. 

I always heard it was named after the La Llorona legend.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: mechtilde on January 13, 2013, 02:39:31 PM
I live near roads called Rogues Lane, and Fannybush Lane (note to US E-Hellions- it is far ruder in the UK than US!)

Villages in NE England include: No Place, Quaking Houses, Co-Operative Villas, High Handenhold, Hookergate, Chopwell, Quebec and Pity Me.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Danika on January 13, 2013, 09:23:59 PM
I'm surprised no one has mentioned Monkey's Eyebrow, Kentucky.

Everyone has looked at clouds and seen pictures in them.  Some time in the 1800's someone looked at a map of the Ohio River with that same mindset and saw the profile of a monkey.  Monkey's Eyebrow is at the monkey's eyebrow. 

There are a large number of cities and towns in the US named after European cities, but the people who did the naming had a printed atlas and not an audio player.  Examples include:
Prauge (Prayg  -- "g" as in gutter), Nebraska
Calais ( cal iss), Maine
New Madrid (MAD rid), Missouri
Cairo (kay row), Illinois

and I'm sure there are many more.
There's also New Berlin (BER lin), Wisconsin

Detroit, Michigan which I'm told was supposed to be French and pronounced day trwah instead of dee TROYT.

I'm told that Des Plaines, IL is pronounced Dess Playnes.

And there's a Versailles in Missouri which I'm told is pronounced ver SALES.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: BabylonSister on January 13, 2013, 10:38:58 PM
In Illinois we have San Jose.  It rhymes with "rose".
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Twik on January 14, 2013, 11:49:21 AM
Lot 16, Prince Edward Island.

My father had a friend from there, who was in the army. He got a lot of weird looks - "You live on a lot? Don't you even have a house?"
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Sharnita on January 14, 2013, 01:19:07 PM
That reminds me, as a history teacher a lot of people are confused by Appomattoc Courthouse.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: kajunchick on January 23, 2013, 07:05:05 AM
I live in Louisiana, and we have Iowa, pronounced I-o-way and Forked Island, pronounced for-ked, not forkt. Also, Natchitoches (nack-i-dish).
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: gmatoy on March 04, 2013, 09:34:34 PM
In Washington state, we have Walla Walla; there are even books written using Walla Walla in the title.  :)

And Wapato, which means "potato."
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Elfmama on March 04, 2013, 09:50:40 PM
That reminds me, as a history teacher a lot of people are confused by Appomattoc Courthouse.
That one got me until we went through the historical site there last summer.  After all, if you read in your history books that General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses Grant at Appomattox Courthouse, you expect that it's the courthouse building in Appomattox, right? 

Nope.  It's a little village named Appomattox Courthouse!

One of my favorite British placenames is Nether Wallop.   
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on March 04, 2013, 09:54:12 PM
There is a small town in New Hampshire called "Dummer".  The larger town next to it, Milan, used to sell t-shirts "The people in Milan might not be smart, but the next town over is Dummer"  ;D


I never thought much about my town's name until The Simpson's made fun of it.  They were visiting NYC and Homer had to pee and a bus drove by, its front sign saying it was headed to Flushing Meadows.  He imagined a large field full of toilets. (I actually just live in Flushing, not Flushing Meadows, but same point.)

I have an uncle from Flushing! :) I'll admit the name always gave me a giggle when I first heard it (in my defense I was 14!). 

Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Katana_Geldar on March 06, 2013, 10:05:45 PM
My parents used to have a business in Woy Woy. For other double names in Oz look for Kurri Kurri and Wagga Wagga.


Amid always thought Lovedale was rather cute.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Sharnita on March 08, 2013, 08:02:26 PM
There is a Flushing in Michigan, too.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Snowy Owl on March 10, 2013, 10:00:03 AM

The village of Piddle in Worcestershire was the first one I thought of.  Most amusingly a local brewery markets a beer called "Piddle in the Hole" after that village. 

Other amusing ones are Upper Slaughter and Lower Slaughter in Gloucestershire.  Interestingly despite the name, Upper Slaughter is one of the few places that had no combat fatalities in either world war.  Given the death rates in WW1 in particular that's pretty unusual. 

Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Julia Mercer on March 11, 2013, 07:25:13 PM
There's a Petawawa in Ontario somewhere, that always makes me giggle!
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: bopper on March 15, 2013, 02:57:43 PM
Didn't read everything but in NJ we have a town that sounds literally funny: "Ho Ho Kus"
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: ladyknight1 on March 15, 2013, 03:00:11 PM
Kissimmee, FL (pronounced Kiss-IH-mee)

Muleshoe, TX
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on March 15, 2013, 10:33:38 PM
I always thought Funkstown was a funny name. :)  DH and I both attended Salisbury State University, but he always referred to it as "Salisbury Steak University."
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Danika on March 15, 2013, 10:58:36 PM
Kissimmee, FL (pronounced Kiss-IH-mee)

I know that Kissimmee is very likely a Native American word. But if you have a good friend who speaks Arabic, ask them what Kissimmee means in Arabic. It's very rude and I don't dare post the translation here.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Faerydust on March 20, 2013, 09:07:47 PM
Here in Hawaii, lots of the street and city names are difficult to pronounce for visitors. I's usually have an "ee" sound and e's usually have an "ay" sound. For example, there's a Likelike highway and it's pronounced leekayleekay.

There's a beach on Oahu known as Pipeline because the waves almost form a tube shape like a pipe. One of my friend's on Oahu was approached by a tourist looking for "pee-pay-lee-nay beach". At first he had no idea which beach the tourist was referring to. Then he realized the tourist was trying to "Hawaiianize" the word Pipeline.  ;D
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: amandaelizabeth on March 21, 2013, 01:47:00 AM
It can be a bit like that here in Auckland (not Oakland.) Maori is very closely aligned with Haiwaiian.  So there is a suburb called Onehunga which is pronounced O-knee- hun gaa.  We also have English [lace names and there are stories which are propably urban legends of tourists asking for O=Knee Te Ree Hill, instead of One tree Hill.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: marcel on March 21, 2013, 03:24:35 AM
For the following you have to know that beer is spelled "bier"in Dutch.

In the north of the country, there is a small village called "sexbierum"
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Last_Dance on April 22, 2013, 09:09:39 AM
In Northern Italy there's a river called "Member." Consequently, there are several towns known as "X on the Member."

One of such towns is called "Vergate" (Cane blows). 
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on April 22, 2013, 09:30:24 AM
When we lived off base in Oceanside, Ca, we lived on a street named Calle Las Positas.  Once I was told that Positas meant raisins, all I could see were the California Raisins dancing down our street outside the complex gate.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: cabbageweevil on April 22, 2013, 01:59:41 PM
Austria seems to be rich in communities whose names are comical to English-speakers.

There are Windpassing, Rottenegg, Rottenmann, Mutters, and Natters.

And just on the Austrian side of the border with Germany, there is the village with the name which is the English vulgar two-syllable word (think rhymingly, broncos) for what eHell calls "playing scrabble".  I understand that the local council wishes to change the village's name, just because it's such a pain that English-speaking visitors keep stealing as trophies, the "You are entering [village name]" signs.

There's a town in Austria which rather amuses me -- name "Bad Hall": a personal thing here, my surname being Hall.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: cabbageweevil on April 22, 2013, 02:12:13 PM

The village of Piddle in Worcestershire was the first one I thought of.  Most amusingly a local brewery markets a beer called "Piddle in the Hole" after that village. 

Other amusing ones are Upper Slaughter and Lower Slaughter in Gloucestershire.  Interestingly despite the name, Upper Slaughter is one of the few places that had no combat fatalities in either world war.  Given the death rates in WW1 in particular that's pretty unusual.

Late on this one, but have just seen it -- context WW1 (WW2 was overall less lethal re the countries concerned) -- I understand that there are in all of Great Britain, just a couple of dozen villages, all of the men from which who went to the First World War, survived it. They are known as "Thankful villages", or "Luck parishes".

France suffered considerably worse losses in WW1, than did Britain: I have read that there is just one village in all of France, whose menfolk all survived that war.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: reflection5 on April 22, 2013, 02:17:38 PM
Tallahatchie Bridge in Mississippi (the one Billy Joe jumped off)
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Bottlecaps on April 23, 2013, 12:15:22 AM
Wedowee, Alabama. Now, it's not funny if you pronounce it correctly, but if you pronounce it the way I pronounced it the first time I saw the word shortly after coming down here, it's pretty hilarious.

How it's actually pronounced: Weh-dow-wee
How I pronounced it: Weed-oh-wee.

Mr. Bottlecaps sure got a kick out of that!
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Mal on April 23, 2013, 09:01:39 AM
And just on the Austrian side of the border with Germany, there is the village with the name which is the English vulgar two-syllable word (think rhymingly, broncos) for what eHell calls "playing scrabble".  I understand that the local council wishes to change the village's name, just because it's such a pain that English-speaking visitors keep stealing as trophies, the "You are entering [village name]" signs.

And, not very far from there, on the German side: "Petting".
http://www.firmendb.de/ortsschilder/ortsschild_petting_bayern.png
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Outdoor Girl on April 23, 2013, 09:05:08 AM
And just on the Austrian side of the border with Germany, there is the village with the name which is the English vulgar two-syllable word (think rhymingly, broncos) for what eHell calls "playing scrabble".  I understand that the local council wishes to change the village's name, just because it's such a pain that English-speaking visitors keep stealing as trophies, the "You are entering [village name]" signs.

A girl I work with went to this village solely because of the name.  She took a picture with the sign, though, not the whole dang sign.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: ClaireC79 on April 23, 2013, 04:29:09 PM

Interestingly despite the name, Upper Slaughter is one of the few places that had no combat fatalities in either world war.  Given the death rates in WW1 in particular that's pretty unusual.

Late on this one, but have just seen it -- context WW1 (WW2 was overall less lethal re the countries concerned) -- I understand that there are in all of Great Britain, just a couple of dozen villages, all of the men from which who went to the First World War, survived it. They are known as "Thankful villages", or "Luck parishes".

France suffered considerably worse losses in WW1, than did Britain: I have read that there is just one village in all of France, whose menfolk all survived that war.

52 from WW1 (originally thought to be 32), 14 doubly thankful villages - my great grandmother was from one.  Upper Slaughter is another doubly thankful

They are the only villages in the UK without cenotaphs
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: snowdragon on April 23, 2013, 08:36:07 PM
There is a town near near here called Ball's Falls.


Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Thipu1 on April 24, 2013, 09:39:39 AM
I may have mentioned this before but a place near NYC is known as the 'Outerbridge Crossing'. 

It's just a bridge but, since it was named after a Mr. Outerbridge, it seemed silly to call it the Outerbridge Bridge. 
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Hmmmmm on April 24, 2013, 11:41:30 AM
This isn't a funny name but something DD and I were discussing this weekend. I'm a native Texans and I grew up pronouncing the Rio Grande without the "day" on the end of Grande. Though we knew the correct Spanish pronounciation, no one ever used it. But now it is common to hear Rio Grande with the "day" and according to DD is how it is referred to in school. DD thought it funny that my generation and prio ones used the Spanish word for river but combined it with an English pronounciation of grand.

Do other people have instances of mixing language pronounciation in names?
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Danika on April 24, 2013, 11:52:47 AM
This isn't a funny name but something DD and I were discussing this weekend. I'm a native Texans and I grew up pronouncing the Rio Grande without the "day" on the end of Grande. Though we knew the correct Spanish pronounciation, no one ever used it. But now it is common to hear Rio Grande with the "day" and according to DD is how it is referred to in school. DD thought it funny that my generation and prio ones used the Spanish word for river but combined it with an English pronounciation of grand.

Do other people have instances of mixing language pronounciation in names?

There's a city in Colorado called Buena Vista. Which, I believe should be prounounced "Bwayna Veesta" but instead it's called/pronounced "Byou na Vista." For that matter, people native to Colorado pronounce the state "Ka la rad oh" where "rad" rhymes with "dad." And Nevada is pronounced "Neh vad uh" where "vad" rhymes with "dad." When we hear people say "Ne vah duh" we know they're from the East Coast.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Mal on April 24, 2013, 11:58:16 AM
You don't even want to know how my English teacher pronounced Arkansas ;)
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Thipu1 on April 24, 2013, 04:43:55 PM
You don't even want to know how my English teacher pronounced Arkansas ;)

Oh, Melle.  Enquiring minds want to know.  (Gets out a soda and puts popcorn in the microwave).
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Danika on April 24, 2013, 05:56:56 PM
You don't even want to know how my English teacher pronounced Arkansas ;)

Oh, Melle.  Enquiring minds want to know.  (Gets out a soda and puts popcorn in the microwave).

Yes! I imagine it will remind me of the name of the seventh planet from the Sun.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Slartibartfast on April 24, 2013, 08:25:02 PM
You don't even want to know how my English teacher pronounced Arkansas ;)

Oh, Melle.  Enquiring minds want to know.  (Gets out a soda and puts popcorn in the microwave).

Did it rhyme with Kansas?   :P
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Mal on April 25, 2013, 12:42:01 AM
It kind of sounded like Dorothy had encountered a very stereotypical pirate in Oz. As in:

"Wherrrre ya from, matey?"
"Kansas!"
"ARRRRRR, Kansas!"
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: mw8242 on May 06, 2013, 04:49:15 PM
I never found it weird because I grew up with them but in NJ we have towns called Brick & Wall. My friend from Texas finds it amusing we name towns after building materials.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Thipu1 on May 06, 2013, 07:31:20 PM
I never found it weird because I grew up with them but in NJ we have towns called Brick & Wall. My friend from Texas finds it amusing we name towns after building materials.

My favorite NJ place name is Cheesequake.  I keep thinking of a tottering Stilton. 
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: cabbageweevil on May 07, 2013, 02:15:37 AM
It kind of sounded like Dorothy had encountered a very stereotypical pirate in Oz. As in:

"Wherrrre ya from, matey?"
"Kansas!"
"ARRRRRR, Kansas!"

With us Brits sometimes having problems with the way American place-names are pronounced: my uncle thought up a nice memory-aid for the pronunciation of Arkansas.
' The carpenter's wife wants him to listen to her, but to carry on with his work while he does; so she says to him, " 'ark an' saw".'
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Thipu1 on May 07, 2013, 10:22:54 AM
We had a French lady working with us for a while.  She insisted that Illinois (Ill-in-oy) should be pronounced 'Eel-known-wah'.     

In French that was fine but Illinois isn't French.   
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: blue2000 on May 07, 2013, 02:39:42 PM
We had a French lady working with us for a while.  She insisted that Illinois (Ill-in-oy) should be pronounced 'Eel-known-wah'.     

In French that was fine but Illinois isn't French.   

That makes my head hurt. Shouldn't it be eel-een-wah? (If it was French).
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: OSUJillyBean on May 09, 2013, 12:05:00 PM
Living in former Native American territory, we get a lot of bizarre place names.  try these on for size:

Chickasha
Muskogee
Pushmataha
Okmulgee
Wewoka
Poteau
Talequah
Watonga

And of course: Why are there no more Indians in Oklahoma?
Broken Bow
Broken Arrow
Nowata

 ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Dawse on May 20, 2013, 06:46:44 AM
If anyone's interested, there's book called 'Rude Britain' that runs down a list of the top 100 rudest place names in Britain. I find it absolutely hilarious (I have the kind of sense of humour) that there are places called things like Swallow Breast. And Fingringhoe. And Titlington. And other much ruder things.

There are some truly magnificently weird village and town names dotted around Britain though, I guess from the constant mixing of languages. Two of the best - we went on holiday to Devon last year, and on the drive down we went past Queen Camel and Bishop's Nympton. I don't know what a nympton is, but it sounds painful.

ETA I can't believe nobody's mentioned Ugley yet - a very charming village not too far from where I grew up that never failed to elicit giggles on driving through.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Thipu1 on May 20, 2013, 09:33:27 AM
I must look up that book, Dawse. 

One of my favorite rude British place names is an archaeological site named Wetwang Slack. 

Of course, there's always Foulness. 
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: cabbageweevil on May 20, 2013, 12:46:21 PM
ETA I can't believe nobody's mentioned Ugley yet - a very charming village not too far from where I grew up that never failed to elicit giggles on driving through.

Posting, though feeling a little apprehensive about being told off for coming across as more sexist than humorous: that excellent and beneficent British voluntary undertaking the Women's Institute, has a branch in pretty well every community in the UK.  Standard practice for referring to a particular branch is, "The [name of community] Women's Institute."  However, the ladies of the village of Ugley, Essex (as mentioned by Dawse), and those of the village of Loose, in Kent; got special dispensation to call their units of the organisation: "The Women's Institute, [name of community] Branch."
 
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: magician5 on May 25, 2013, 03:09:46 PM
In the area between Washington DC and Richmond:

Short Pump

Skin Quarter

Assawoman Creek
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Bethczar on May 26, 2013, 06:43:15 PM
Castle Danger, Minnesota
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: menley on May 27, 2013, 02:50:27 AM

Posting, though feeling a little apprehensive about being told off for coming across as more sexist than humorous: that excellent and beneficent British voluntary undertaking the Women's Institute, has a branch in pretty well every community in the UK.  Standard practice for referring to a particular branch is, "The [name of community] Women's Institute."  However, the ladies of the village of Ugley, Essex (as mentioned by Dawse), and those of the village of Loose, in Kent; got special dispensation to call their units of the organisation: "The Women's Institute, [name of community] Branch."

Snort!! That is fabulous.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: mechtilde on May 27, 2013, 04:29:35 AM

Posting, though feeling a little apprehensive about being told off for coming across as more sexist than humorous: that excellent and beneficent British voluntary undertaking the Women's Institute, has a branch in pretty well every community in the UK.  Standard practice for referring to a particular branch is, "The [name of community] Women's Institute."  However, the ladies of the village of Ugley, Essex (as mentioned by Dawse), and those of the village of Loose, in Kent; got special dispensation to call their units of the organisation: "The Women's Institute, [name of community] Branch."

Snort!! That is fabulous.

Ironically, Ugley is a really pretty village!
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: cabbageweevil on May 28, 2013, 03:32:37 AM
Whence, one might recall Dylan Thomas's describing his native city of Swansea as "a lovely, ugly town". (If you're a poet, you can come out with such things, and carry them off OK.)
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: cwm on May 30, 2013, 02:31:53 PM
You don't even want to know how my English teacher pronounced Arkansas ;)

Was it ar-KAN-zis? Like...our Kansas? Because being from Kansas, it's hard to explain to people why the Arkansas River and the state of Arkansas are prounounced differently.

In KC, there's a street called Knickerbocker Place. I always giggled when we passed that.

Also, Marais des Cygnes, pronounced mur-ay duh zeen. Except much faster, so it usually comes out m'ray d'zeen.

In my neck of the woods, there's also towns called Peculiar and Humansville.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Danika on May 30, 2013, 05:30:19 PM
You don't even want to know how my English teacher pronounced Arkansas ;)

Was it ar-KAN-zis? Like...our Kansas? Because being from Kansas, it's hard to explain to people why the Arkansas River and the state of Arkansas are prounounced differently.

Are they pronounced differently in Kansas? Here in Colorado, we pronounce the Arkansas River and the state the same: r can sah
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: cwm on May 31, 2013, 08:39:10 AM
You don't even want to know how my English teacher pronounced Arkansas ;)

Was it ar-KAN-zis? Like...our Kansas? Because being from Kansas, it's hard to explain to people why the Arkansas River and the state of Arkansas are prounounced differently.

Are they pronounced differently in Kansas? Here in Colorado, we pronounce the Arkansas River and the state the same: r can sah

That's how the state is pronounced, but in Kansas, the river is the our-Kansas river.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Julia Mercer on August 06, 2013, 10:33:34 PM
Dilldo Run Provincial Park in Newfoundland Canada, enough said!
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Julia Mercer on August 06, 2013, 10:34:45 PM
There should only be one l in the name, but it got starred out when I tried before.
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: Elfmama on August 07, 2013, 11:20:54 AM
One I ran across on a map of Pennsylvania: Loyalsock.  I don't know about you, but my socks show no shred of loyalty, or they wouldn't go AWOL so often!
Title: Re: Place Names That Sound Funny to Others.
Post by: cwm on August 07, 2013, 11:25:15 AM
One I ran across on a map of Pennsylvania: Loyalsock.  I don't know about you, but my socks show no shred of loyalty, or they wouldn't go AWOL so often!

It's like they just grew feet and walked away on their own...