Wacky town names make you think

Helena Rodriguez

Some folks are so proud of where they’re from that they incorporate the name of their town into their identity. And that’s fine, unless of course, you’re from a place with a wacky name.
Those of us who were born and raised or live in Portales now, like actor Ronny Cox, science-fiction writer Jack Williamson and the Spanish Norteño powerhouse band, Los Huracanes del Norte, may call ourselves Portalesanos.
Portales, of course, means “small porches,” and has somewhat of an exotic ring to it.
About a year ago, I lived in Abilene, Texas, where we called ourselves Abilenians. Sounds foreign, huh? When I lived in Hobbs for five years, I was a Hobbsan.
Folks in the small town of Merkel, Texas, call themselves Merkelites. Just think if the town were named Miller. Would they be Millerlites?
I came across some wacky town names recently and that got me started thinking about what people from some of those wacky-named places may call themselves.
What do people from Muleshoe call themselves? Or even worse, what about those from Truth or Consequences? Do they say “I’m a Consequence?”
I spent two years living in our neighboring state of Texas, which is like a whole country of its own, and I came across some very funny town names there, particularly in West Texas. If you’re from Sweetwater, are you a Sweetie? If you’re from Post, do you say, “I’m a Postman” or “a Postwoman.” If you’re from Ropesville, near Lubbock, does that mean you’re a Roper? Or if you’re from Rule, are you a Ruler? What about those from Old Glory?
Perhaps people from Happy, Texas, can call themselves Happy Faces and since Lubbock is nicknamed “The Hub City,” why not call those folks Hubcaps?
I found a Web site of wacky town names on the Internet. Think what fun you could have with people’s minds if you come from one of these locales. Keep in mind these are REAL places.
If you’re from Smackover, Ark., you’re a Smacker, and if you’re from Happy Camp, Calif., then you’re just a Happy Camper, aren’t you?
If you’re from Boring, Ore., then you’re just that, and if you’re from Hazard, Ky., then you’re a Hazard, or better yet, Hazardous. If you’re from Left Hand, W. Va., you’re a Left Hander.
Think of the names you could give people from Two Egg, Fla., West Thumb, Wyo., or Toad Suck, Ariz.
People from Ideal, Ga., could be Idealists, people from Magic City, Idaho, could be Magicians and people from Dinkytown, Minn., would be Dinkies.
Other wacky town names — and again, these are REAL — are Embarrass, Wis.; What Cheer, Iowa; Tortilla Flat, Ariz.; Hot Coffee, Miss., and Stiffknee Knob, N.C.
You could really play with people’s minds if you’re from Why, Ariz.
Here’s how a conversation might go:
“Where are you from?”
“Why!”
“Because, I just want to know.”
“Why!”
“I just want to know where you’re from. Are you a fugitive from the law or something?”
“No, why?”
“Then where are you from?”
“I told you twice already!”

Helena Rodriguez is a staff writer for Freedom Newspapers of New Mexico. She can be reached at:
Helena_Rodriguez@link.freedom.com