big bone lick state park entrance

Towns with dirty names can be found right across the United States, from Climax to Beaver City and Three Way (check out this glorious map for more). Not only do these make road trips more fun and significantly increase the rate of road sign theft, they also beg the question of how in the world they got their monikers. Were the people who named them inebriated? Terribly naive? Or is there a layer of logic our gutter-brains are missing? Let’s take a look. 

Wanker's Corner, Portland, Oregon

This unofficial community sits on the intersection of Stafford and Borland Road in Clackamas County, housing the iconic Wanker’s Country Store “where the good times come easy” (their slogan-maker is a genius). The area is reportedly named after the Wanker family, who opened the local tavern in 1931 and claim their surname is pronounced ‘wonker’ thanks to their German heritage. Nice try guys, nice try.

Rough and Ready, Nevada County, California

While this definitely sounds like the kind of unsavoury place your mom would warn you about, it is, by all accounts, a very friendly neighborhood. Founded by the Rough and Ready Mining Company back in 1849, it was named after the then newly elected Zachary Taylor who earned himself the nickname ‘Old Rough and Ready’ thanks to his battle tactics in the Second Seminole War.

Intercourse, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

A jaunty wooden sign welcomes you to Intercourse as you drive into town via Route 340, guaranteeing you’ll cross the threshold with a smile on your face. Up until 1814, the town was known – much less excitingly – as Cross Keys, thanks to the two major roads that meet in its centre.

Sugar Tit, Spartanburg County, South Carolina

We’ll probably never know what inspired Mel Gibson to address a female police officer as 'Sugar Tits' back in 2006, but we can confirm how this little community got its name. The male residents who lived there spent so long socializing at the general store that their wives joked they took to it like a baby to a sugar tit (which, for the uninitiated, is an old school pacifier made with sugar cane). 

Blue Ball Village, Cecil County, Maryland

Could this be the epicentre of sexual frustration? You’ll have to ask one of the village’s 1000-odd residents, who tell us the name of their community stems from the now defunct Blue Ball Inn which was lovingly erected in 1710.

Dickshooter, Owyhee County, Idaho

Legend has it this isolated town was named after an early pioneer called (you guessed it!) Dick Shooter. What were his parents thinking?

Floyds Knobs, Floyd County, Indiana

This Midwestern town is named after Colonel David Floyd and the bald hills that dominate the local terrain. Whether Colonel Floyd himself was a fan of manscaping remains a mystery.

Humptulips, Grays Harbor County, Washington

While this sounds like a perverted past time of an over-eager anthophile or a delightful new name for our mammaries, Humptulips is actually a word of the native Chehalis Tribe who lived in the area thousands of years ago. This might seem like a disappointing fact until you learn Humptulips translates to ‘hard to pole’ – a reference to the difficulty the tribe had traversing the local river. Oh, the innuendos. 

Dry Wood, Chippewa County, Wisconsin

The exact origins of this dirty sounding place name are unknown but the most popular theory is that it was named after William W. Woods, a respected local judge and landowner in the late 1800s. The dry part?  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ But it does make us feel slightly uncomfortable.

Big Bone, Boone County, Kentucky

This community took its name from nearby Big Bone Lick (*stifles giggle*), which is thought to have drawn animals as far back as mammoths with its salty, minerally goodness. It’s bounded by Big Bone Creek, which empties at Big Bone Landing and can be reached by driving along Beaver Road. When will it end?