Quiz: Can You Figure Out Which State Is Home to These Towns With Strange Names?: HowStuffWorks
Can You Figure Out Which State Is Home to These Towns With Strange Names?
By: Teresa McGlothlin
6 Min Quiz
Image: Klaus Vedfelt / DigitalVision / Getty Images
About This Quiz
Why not name a town Why Not? Would you love to write a check from Tightwad's bank? Dotted across the American landscape, there are towns with names that you would have to write home about — just so you could have the name stamped on the envelope. Can you match them up with the right zip codes, though?
If you want to make them the butt of your jokes, it's perfectly fine with the citizens of Big Bottom. And residents of Gas don't mind you getting fueled up by their sense of humor. As interesting as some of the name choices are, there's usually a reason for the strange-sounding name. Whether they've been given such colorful names to honor a cowboy legend or because someone couldn't pronounce their former names, we think you'll get a kick out of trying to place them where they belong.
Middle school geography only covered the capitals, so you'll have to be resourceful to get them right. As you read each question, carefully think about where the odd-sounding town would best belong. Can you manage to get all 35 of them right, or will you want to send us to Satan's Kingdom before you're done? Knockemstiff, and see how you do!
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What state named a town Chicken because no one could spell a local bird's name?
Covering only 115 square miles, Chicken, Alaska, is about as remote as you can get. All seven of its residents will tell you that they wanted to name the town after its most delicious bird, the ptarmigan. Since no one knew how to spell it, they named it Chicken instead.
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This should be a no-brainer! Which state is home to a town named Volcano?
Volcano, Hawaii, sits on the east side of "the big island." As of 2010, 2,575 residents call it home, but the number could be decreasing. Volcano is also on the edge of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and recent eruptions have threatened the town.
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Will you find Little Canada in Minnesota or Maine?
A little over 10,000 people call Little Canada, Minnesota, their home. A suburb of Minneapolis, it sits nowhere near the Canadian border. The name comes from the French Canadians who first settled the area.
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Fill in the blank: Plenty Bears is a town found in the state of ______.
Plenty Bears, South Dakota, sits in near the southwestern corner of the state. Although 112 people are living in this unincorporated town, not a lot is known about it. We know that it sits about 1/2 mile above sea level, and we can only assume it gets its name from the local wildlife.
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Santa Claus has a town named after him in which midwestern state?
Take a wild guess which holiday residents of Santa Claus, Indiana, consider their favorite? Christmas is such a big deal there that there's a theme park called Holiday World and a Santa Claus museum.
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Oh, look! Your ex has their own town. Where's Satan's Kingdom located?
If you're looking for Satan's Kingdom, you'll have to head into the woods near the Northfield area of Massachusetts. Stepped in legend, it's home to a wildlife preserve and a community that embraces the spooky name for Halloween.
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True or false? In West Virginia, there's a town actually named Booger Hole.
It's completely true, and it's filled with local folklore! Although no one actually lives there, Booger Hole has been home to eight suspicious murders during its existence. Rumor has it that the name came from a stonemason who decided to leave the area and insultingly called it a booger hole.
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If you were looking for Chugwater on the map, where would you look?
Chugwater, Wyoming, likes to call itself "a little town with a big heart." All 12 of its citizens are welcoming, and they encourage you to drop in for nightly entertainment at their only wild west-style saloon.
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Which southeastern state gets to claim the town of Scratch Ankle?
The town of Scratch Ankle is so sparse that there's no 2010 census data about it. However, locals are more than willing to talk. The town takes its name from a time when railroad workers complained about having to spend time scratching the mosquito bites they got on their ankles.
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What state's abbreviation goes behind the town of Pig?
Pig, Kentucky, is so small that it's nearly impossible to find on a map. Named for the local farm industry, Pig encourages you to stop into the Porky Pig Diner to try a little of their namesake.
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We're not sure if you're supposed to bring a shovel, but where would you find Free Soil?
It's interesting that Free Soil, Michigan, isn't called Free Sand. The town of 144 sits along Lake Michigan and offers 25 miles of remote beach locations. You might want to visit in the summer, though. The average temperature for a January night in the state is only 17 degrees Fahrenheit.
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Is the town of Zap located in North Dakota or North Carolina?
Roughly 200 people call the little town of Zap, North Dakota, home. If you're looking to get away from it all, it might just be the place for you. You'll be able to recognize it by the giant Z that adorns a hillside near it.
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Don't think too hard! Which arid state is home to a town named Jackpot?
If Vegas is just a little too busy for you, consider taking your next vacation in Jackpot, Nevada. With 1,100 residents, Jackpot is a little bigger than some of the other strange towns. Just like its big brother, the town offers a few casinos and shows — only you can experience it without all the lights!
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How about the town of Accident? What east coast state gets to claim it?
Boasting 325 residents, Accident, Maryland, sits in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. According to their website, it's "a good place to call home," and it "offers a little bit of everything."
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Handsome Eddy has a town named after him in one of these states; which one?
Considered a hamlet, Handsome Eddy, New York, is quite the opposite of New York City. The only excitement you'll find in the small town is the meeting of the local Knights Templar organization.
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What northwestern state is home to a place called Big Bottom?
Big Bottom, Washington, doesn't mind being the butt of a few jokes. In fact, they embrace it! The owner of The Big Bottom Roadhouse invites you to stop and take a few cracks of your own on your way to Mount Rainier, which is only 30 miles away.
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Will you find the town of No Name in Colorado or Arizona?
No Name, Colorado, got its name by mistake. Before the town had a name, road workers placed a temporary sign that said No Name on the town's mile marker. All 200 of the town's citizens immediately adopted it.
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Where does the town of Two Egg live? We hope they don't crack them on the pavement there.
Two Egg might be a funny name for a town, but it came about through necessity. When two young boys were too poor to pay for sugar during the Great Depression, they traded two eggs for it. Locals started called the market "the two egg store," and the rest is history.
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Climax is the highest point on the Chattahoochie River — which state is it in?
Since the 1880s, Climax, Georgia, has marked the highest point on the railroad near Savannah. Home to approximately 270 people, the town is currently the 461th most populated city in the state.
Feifei Cui-Paoluzzo / Moment / Getty Images
Slickpoo sits near Culdesac in which of these mountainous states?
Slickpoo, Idaho, might have a funny-sounding name, but its history is not as goofy as you might think. Named after Josiah Slickpoo, a generous landowner, it was home to the state's first Catholic mission.
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Can you keep a straight face and tell us which of these dust bowl states is home to Gas?
The 600 folks who live in Gas, Kansas, don't mind if you joke around about their town's name. They encourage you to pass through Gas anytime you feel like it. The town was formed when a local farmer discovered a gas reserve beneath his property and built a small town around it.
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Are you going to head to Iowa or Maine to find Burnt Porcupine?
Located near Bar Harbor, the town of Burnt Porcupine, Maine, is both a town and an island. It's surrounded by other islands with equally interesting names. If you were to visit there, you could go sightseeing on Sheep Porcupine or Bald Porcupine, too.
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Does Tightwad get a Maryland zip code or a Missouri zip code?
Some towns are famous for some very odd things — Tightwad, Missouri, is no different! Every year, hundreds of people travel to the tiny town to open bank accounts just so they can say they saved money in Tightwad.
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Candy Kitchen is located in which of these four corners states?
During the days of Prohibition, moonshine distilleries developed some crazy ways to conceal their illicit activities. In Candy Corner, New Mexico, a sweets enterprise was set up as a facade to keep things on the down-low.
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Why not tell us if you'd find Why Not in North Carolina or South Carolina?
Why Not, North Carolina sits close to the middle of the state. When local residents were trying to decide on a name in 1860, no one really knew what to call it. Every suggestion began with "why not," and it was eventually adopted as the official name.
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Can you figure out which midwestern state taxes the town of Knockemstiff?
Depending on who you ask, Knockemstiff has a couple of other, more normal sounding, names. Called both Shady Glenn and Glenn Shade, the southern Ohio town sits close to Chillicothe.
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Will you find Zigzag in the northwestern state of Oregon or Washington?
If you're looking for Zigzag, Oregon, look for the Zigzag River. It is located in the Mount Hood corridor, and you can spend the day exploring a glacier and a volcanic mountain with the same name.
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What Appalachian state changed its name to Difficult so it was easier to say?
When a postal carrier complained that Difficult, Tennessee's original name was too hard to say, residents took matters into their own hands. Because he described it as "difficult," they thought it would be easy for him to say.
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Which of these farm states has a town named Sandwich?
Before it became Sandwich, Illinois, the town was called Almon. It was named after land developer Almon Cage, but he decided he wanted to change the name. He wanted it to carry the same name as his hometown — Sandwich, New Hampshire.
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If you want to visit Hell, what Great Lakes state will you have to visit?
Just 20 miles north of Ann Arbor, Michigan, you'll find the lively community of Hell. If you're looking to find an all-year-round Halloween vibe, it's the town for you. Residents take their name to heart, and they encourage others to visit by telling them to "go to Hell."
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Can you find Nimrod in Minnesota or in Wyoming?
Since 1946, Nimrod, Minnesota has been paying tribute to their namesake — the Biblical Nimrod. With only 65 people counted during the last census, it's a great place to get away from it all. It's one of the smallest incorporated towns in the world.
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Hazardville's state starts with the letter "C" — which one is it?
The fact that there used to be a gunpowder factory in Hazardville, Connecticut, has nothing to do with its name. The town of nearly 4,600 was named after Colonel Hazard, who invested in the gunpowder factory in 1837.
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Fill in the blank: Rough and Ready is a former gold mining town in _______.
Rough and Ready, California, has a history that's full of fierce independence. The only town to declare itself a republic, it once tried to leave California and the U.S. in protest. According to local miners, taxes were too high.
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Does Cannonball reside in North Dakota or South Dakota?
Situated about 150 miles from Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Cannonball, North Dakota, does not get its name from artillery. Its name comes from the naturally forming balls of sediment that line the Cannonball River.
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Any fan of cowboys knows that Gene Autry is located in ...
Once called Berwyn, Gene Autry, Oklahoma, changed its name after the famous singer took up residence there. At the time, all of the town's residents agreed to the change. You can still visit his property there now called the Flying A Ranch.
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