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Tuesday August 14, 2012

Name that Sucks

TOAD Suck, Arkansas has pipped Climax, Georgia and not one but two Borings for the dubious honour of “most embarrassing or unfortunate” town name in the United States.

Findmypast.com, a family history website, said it asked 1,754 of its users in seven English-speaking countries to pick their favourites from a short list of American communities with oddball names.

Toad Suck’s name harks back to 19th century Arkansas River steamboat crews who, according to a local website, would drop in on the local tavern and “suck” on liquor until they swelled like toads.

Its biggest claim to fame today is a popular spring festival, Toad Suck Dazes, that raises money for scholarships.

Climax, a town of 300 at the highest point of a railway line between Savannah, Georgia and the Chattahoochee River, placed second, followed by Boring, Oregon – already famous for twinning earlier this year with Dull, Scotland – and Boring, Maryland.

Rounding out the list were Hooker, Oklahoma; Assawoman, Virginia; Belchertown, Massachusetts; Roachtown, Illinois; Loveladies, New Jersey; Squabbletown, California; and Monkey’s Eyebrow, Kentucky.

“If there were an Olympics for unlikely town names, America would surely be good for a medal, if not the gold,” said Josh Taylor, a genealogist and spokesman for Findmypast.com.

Another website, Accuracyproject.org, features a thorough list of unusual American place names, including Two Egg, Florida; Bacon, Delaware; Toast, North Carolina; Hot Coffee, Mississippi; and Milk Springs, Alabama. – AFP

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