Have You Ever Been to Llanfairpwllgwyn…?

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is a village in Wales. Its name means “Saint Mary’s Church in a hollow of white hazel near the swirling whirlpool of the church of Saint Tysilio with a red cave” and it is the second longest place name in the world.
Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu is a hill on the North Island in New Zealand and it means “the summit where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, the climber of mountains, the land-swallower who travelled about, played his nose flute to his loved one” and holds the title of ‘Longest Place Name in the World’.
The 3rd position is held by Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg, a lake in Massachusetts, United States, that means “Fishing Place at the Boundaries – Neutral Meeting Grounds” in Nipmuc (a language belonging to the Algonquian languages spoken by Nipmuc people).
Travelling around the world (or just surfing the net during lunch break) we can bump into many other (but shorter) strange place names.

These are my favourites:

Bat Cave, North Carolina U.S.A.
Whynot, North Carolina U.S.A.
Yum Yum, Tennessee U.S.A.
Hot Coffee, Mississippi U.S.A.
Mosquitoville, Vermont U.S.A.
Dead Women Crossing, Oklahoma U.S.A.
Boring, Vejle, Denmark
Sesso, Italy (means ‘sex’ in Italian)
Buonanotte, Italy (means ‘good night’)
Kissing, Bavaria, Germany
Dead Chinaman, Papua New Guinea

These names´ etymologies must be without doubts amusing. So I looked for it on Wikipedia and the results met my expectations.
According to Wikipedia, for example, the origin of the name Whynot came from residents debating a title for their community; a man asked “Why not name the town Whynot and let’s go home?” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whynot,_North_Carolina). As for Yum Yum, Wikipedia states that the community was named when U.S. Senator Kenneth McKellar asked what to name the new post office and someone answered, “Just call it Yum Yum. There won’t be another name like that.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yum_Yum,_Tennessee)

I am sure the world is full of places with interesting names with interesting etymologies. Do you know any others?

Which would you choose as your next holiday destination?

  • Yum Yum
  • Mosquitoville
  • Boring
  • Sesso
  • Dead Chinaman

Total Voters: 9

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