Names can be funny. Who hasn’t felt sorry for the guy in high school named Harry Pitts (hope that wasn’t your brother). I’m sure some of you have wondered about my name-Tipper. My big brother, Steve, is responsible for me being Tipper.
He is 5 years older than I am and has always watched out for me-just like a big brother should. When I was a toddler learning to walk I fell down-a lot. He was afraid I would get hurt so he started trying to warn Pap and Granny “she’s going to tip over, she’s going to tip over” he finally just started calling me Tipper. And amazingly the name has stuck all these years.
Places have funny names too. In Appalachia, there is no shortage of strange names for cities, towns, roads, streets, and communities.
Numerous names used in the US came from over the big pond with the first settlers. Raleigh, Charleston, and London come to mind.
Many times names are repetitive from state to state-like Trenton, Springfield or Austin. But the really strange ones always make me wonder. Here is a list of 5 odd community names I have come across.
- Hot House
- Bug Scuttle
- Hard Scrabble
- Hanging Dog
Just makes you want to know who came up with the names and why didn’t someone stop them?
Pinhook is on the other side of the ridge from where I live-last year I discovered where it’s name came from. A local man wanted to fish in the creek-but didn’t have a hook-he took a pin and fashioned it into a hook. Everyone teased him about fishing with a pinhook-and eventually the area came to be known as Pinhook. Neat uh?
Hope you’ll play along with the name game and leave a list of the peculiar names you’ve come across in your neck of the woods.
Parts of this post were originally published here on the Blind Pig on April 7, 2008.