Monday, July 8, 2013

A Town Called Odd

Fearing that the forgone conclusion of their town's fate would be unqualified obscurity, the citizens of a tiny town in rural West Virginia decided to give their town an unusual name; they settled on something that was just weird enough to garner the attention of passing motorists - Odd.  There is nothing particularly strange about the sweet, albeit backwater, little hamlet of Odd, WV.  The houses are well-maintained.  The brooks are in a constant babble.  The sunlight, dappled by the fluttering leaves, turns the landscape into an ever-changing, impressionist masterpiece.  The quaint, brick post office, the most significant building in the city limits, is the centerpiece to what would otherwise be a completely-unremarkable town.  The only thing that really sets Odd apart from the surrounding communities is, well, it's odd name.  How could we continue to call ourselves denizens of wacky tacky if we failed to make the trek to a town that, outside of its name, would be surely be missed by travelers who had the audacity to blink.  Cheers to Odd for putting itself on the map!

Perhaps I should have let the sign speak for itself.
But when in Odd, do as the Odd folks do, right?

As we wound our way through the hairpin turns of the narrow-laned road to Odd, we saw one of our favorite signs, "Estate Sale."  We pulled over and, of course, found a few necessities for my sister's home.  The best part was meeting the charming family who had recently lost its 92-year-old mother but had reconvened at the family home to disperse the remainder of the estate.  While most of the children (now into their sixties and seventies) have left Odd to create lives in other towns and other states, it was wonderful to talk to them about the truly idyllic experience of growing up in Odd.  They sat on the porch reminiscing and celebrating their mother's life as well as their own.  As we left, one of the daughters handed my nephew an ornament from her mother's Christmas tree.  It was one of those delightfully-unexpected experiences that made an oddball excursion to Odd a poignant and meaningful moment. 

It became more of a challenge with every church that we
passed to distinguish an odd church from the Odd Church.

Some of the cities in my neck of the woods have names that can be difficult to pronounce but I can't think of a single one that has an "odd" name.  Do you have any odd towns near you?  Do you think I should be flattered or offended that they asked me to be the "New face of Odd?"


Mr. Tiny


  1. In the Cayman Islands there is a town called Hell. No joke.

    1. Well then, in all sincerity, I hope you go to Hell!!! It sounds great! Hahahahahaha!!!

  2. My favorite odd town name is Humptulips in Washington State.

    1. I love it!!! HUMPTULIPS! Why is Southern California so lacking in clever/hilarious/odd names?

  3. There is a town called "Swastika" in Northern Ontario.The word "swastika' is actually Sanskrit. So that makes the name EXTRA weird!

    Oh, and Aleister Crowley mentions in his "Confessions" that on his journey through China he would go a long way out of his way to visit a town simply because he liked the sound of the name!

    1. I think I am on the same wavelength; it took us about an hour to get to Odd - well worth the drive time!

  4. there are a bunch of silly ones in tennessee but my favorites are Bugscuffle, and the best town name i've ever seen Buck Snort! It is just so evocative to me!

    1. Buck Snort? Bugscuffle? I am ready to hit the road right now! I'm going to invent a dance called the Bugscuffle shuffle!

  5. Not especially silly, but a wonderful mouthful is our neighbouring village in Somerset, England - Nempnett Thrubwell.

    1. What does that even mean? Is it named after someone? Is it old English? Whatever it is, I LOVE IT! Thanks!!!

  6. There are a couple of English places that sound funny to me, namely: Headcorn, Dorking and my favourite in London...Cockfosters! :)

    1. Dorking?!?!?! Hahahahahaha!!!! I need to take wacky tacky further afield and find all the funny stuff in the UK!

  7. I don't know if you'd consider the names "odd", but in Michigan we have Hell and Climax.

    1. Yes, I would consider both Hell AND Climax odd!!! Hahahahaha!!! Thanks!

  8. That photo in front of the post office is pricelessly "odd". Love it!

    1. Thanks Lisa! I was approached by the Chamber of Commerce to be the Odd Poster Boy!

  9. Found a website that lists other "odd" names of towns and cities in West Virginia and other states too: We should have scoped this out earlier. I think Booger Hole, WV was my favorite. Haha!!
    Acme, WV
    Alloy, WV
    Big Chimney, WV
    Big Ugly, WV
    Big Ugly Creek, WV
    Boggs, WV
    Booger Hole, WV
    Burnt House, WV
    Canvas, WV
    Cheat Neck, WV
    Crum, WV
    Duck, WV
    FiveMile, WV
    Forks-Of-Cacpon, WV
    Friendly, WV
    Frost, WV
    HooHoo, WV
    Hundred, WV
    Hurricane, WV
    Junior, WV
    Kermit, WV
    Left Hand, WV
    Looneyville, WV
    Lost City, WV
    Mammoth, WV
    Man, WV
    Maud, WV
    Muddlety, WV
    Needmore, WV
    Nitro, WV
    Odd, WV
    Paw, WV
    Paw Paw, WV
    Pinch, WV
    Pipestem, WV
    Quick, WV
    Red Jacket, WV
    Replete, WV
    Shanghai, WV
    Sod, WV
    Thursday, WV
    Tornado, WV
    Van, WV
    War, WV

    1. Booger Hole is the best! Do you think it was once called "Nose?" I think it probably was and then the Appalachian dialect decided "Booger Hole" was more direct. I wish I had some mail to send to Booger Hole!!!

  10. A good book to read (in the bathroom) is "The Meaning of Liff "by Douglas Adams, the author of "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy". It is a book that gives meanings to odd place names "instead of merely languishing about on signposts pointing at places". "Nempnett Thrubwell" was actually mentioned, and described as some sort of motorbike...My personal favourite was "Scackleton" (the horizontal avalanche of cassettes in the back of the car as you make a particularly sharp turn)

    1. I think I need to do some more research. It seems that the world is FULL of odd places with Odd being the least odd of them all!

  11. I went to school in Tallahassee and a few towns over was Two Egg, FL.

    1. Hahaha!!! I love it! Is it next to Over Easy?!?!?!

  12. We also have in Washington State:
    Dosewallips (pronounced like Doh-see-wallops)
    Walla Walla (they liked the name so much they named it twice)
    And a lot of names we use to weed out people who aren't local.
    Try pronouncing:

    1. Hahaha!!! I always tell people I'm from Walla Walla because they always used it in old cartoons, "Next stop: Walla Walla, Washington!" I can only guess on the other crazy names! Thanks for sharing these!

  13. Here's a whole blog dedicated to these: