“Pack everything up, girls,” said Mr. Giguerre, our 7th grade science teacher. “I want you ready for your next period.”
“Hmmph!” I choked, trying to swallow a laugh. It was too late. That muffled chuckle sent my girlfriends into bursts of laughter, embarrassment mixing with silliness at hearing this old man (who was probably only in his 30s) use “the p-word” (as we liked to refer to it).
Then it happened.
Thpppt! Another girl passed gas while trying to maintain control, sending everyone into screaming laughs. Tears began streaming down our faces and I couldn’t breathe, turning bright lobster red. Mr. Giguerre had officially lost all control of his class.
That’s the memory that hit after a friend sent me a postcard from Intercourse, Pennsylvania (insert laughter and blushing). But more than reliving my junior high school days, it got me wondering what other cities had naughty names. Thank you, Google, for satisfying my curiosity.
I hit pay dirt with Pennsylvania, where Blue Ball is located a mere 15 minutes away from Intercourse. This, I learned, was a lot closer than Climax, which is 4 1/2 hours away. (Dirty minds, those city planners!) With those three, it seemed only right that I go the whole way. So join me in the gutter, won’t you, as we explore some of the dirtiest sounding places I never even knew existed.
1. Three Cocks Junction (a former rail station in Wales, England)
The station took its name from the nearby Three Cocks Inn during the 15th century. The former railway station is now a garden center.
2. Hooker, Oklahoma
The city is part of the Oklahoma panhandle, and though there isn’t a story on how the name can to be, you could always ask the town’s mayor, Rod Childress. That is if you can keep a straight face long enough to get an answer.
3. Climax, Michigan and Climax, Pennsylvania
Originally known as Clima Prarie, Climax Michigan was named for a group of settlers in 1835. The post office changed the name when rural mail delivery began. Climax, Pennsylvania is known for its mining community, but no background on how it got its amazing name.
4. Fucking, Austria
Pronounced “foocking,” it is believed the city was named after a Bavarian nobleman from the 6th century named “Focko” and the spelling gradually changed over the years. The current spelling was made during the 13th century.
5. Knob Lick, Missouri and Knob Lick, Kentucky
Apparently, “lick” also means “salt deposit.” And “knob” refers to a rounded hill or mountain. So, while the name may have come from geologic features, it’s not the first thing that comes to mind when you see the welcome sign into town!
6. Fort Dick, California
Named after a settler’s log house built in Fort Dick Landing.
7. Maidenhead, England
Refers to the busy riverside area where the “Maiden Hythe” was built as early as Saxon times.
8. Condom, France
Condom, France is said to have been a major pilgrimage route home to four famous musketeers. It now proudly showcases a statue of the four men, but it remains a mystery as to whether they came up with the name.
9. French Lick, Indiana
The name originates from the French traders who founded it, and the salty mineral deposits that attracted wildlife.
10. River Suck, Ireland
An extensive river system about 50 miles in length, it gets its name from “The Suck” part of the river that rises on the Mayo/Roscommon border going south.