When you’re writing a letter or sending mail you might notice some place names that you’ll question. Is there really a place called the Land of Nod or is somebody trying to catch you out?! Did you know that Australia is the only place in the world with a place name that’s numeric? It’s a place called 1770.
There’s a whole world full of weird and wonderful places with equally weird and wonderful names! We’ve had a look around to see what we can find out about some of our favourite unusual place names in the UK and beyond.
Unusual UK Place Names
No Man’s Land, Devon
A small, sleepy hamlet in Devon. From our extensive internet travels we’re still not sure why it’s called what it’s called – maybe no one knows. Maybe the tale is only passed down through word of mouth like magic folklore… Either way, when you’re driving through muddy backroads in Devon with not a soul in sight, it certainly feels like you’re heading deeper and deeper into No Mans Land.
Land of Nod, near Holme-on-Spalding Moor, East Yorkshire
The Land of Nod is a biblical place that has been adopted in English to mean ‘to go to sleep’. Quite why this sweet little village in Yorkshire is named this, we’re not sure, but it’s an interesting name nonetheless. Perhaps it’s a quiet, sleepy place to be!
Cabbage Creek, Norfolk.
We wonder why this beautiful beach In Norfolk is named after a vegetable which no one likes. There don’t appear to be cabbages grown on the beach!
Devils Lapful, Northumberland
Devils Lapful has an interesting history. The place was originally a burial ground, hence the reference to the afterlife/devil. The burial site dates back to around 3000BC, and the army of William Wallace rampaged through the area in 1297. The site remains an important place for historians and archaeologists to this day. The name might be off putting to some visitors though!
Slippery Stones, Derbyshire
Along the river Derwent, around the Lady Bower reservoir, you can find a very deep pool, the stream is only a few inches deep but then there’s a plunge pool which reaches 3-4 metres deep in some places. The pool gets heated by the sun, and the stones from the stream tumble into it – hence the name – making it a magical place to go wild swimming in.
Strange Addresses Across The Globe
It’s not just Britain that has bizarre place names, there’s’ a whole world of odd and interesting names…. The US and Canada have their fair share too! Here are some of our favourites:
Satan’s Kingdom, Vermont
Punkeydoodles Corners, Ontario, Canada
Only in America, I hear you say?
Typically thought of as the coldest place in the US, the temperature during winter can drop to below -60 F, and snowfall is often seen in June. The town was named by early French settlers, who named the town the French word for obstacle, ‘embarras’. This described the harsh winters and freezing temperatures!
Lizard Lick, North Carolina
Every autumn, this town holds lizard races to celebrate the town’s unusual name, a tradition that has brought the town together since 1972. The name dates back to when there was a government run distillery in the town and lizards were drafted in to keep the insects at bay. Sales men named the town after they noticed all the lizards. Weird!
You may recognize this place name, recently an image went viral after the sign ‘Hell’ had ice on it. Cue all of the jokes about Hell freezing over…
Temperatures are fairly moderate in summer and the town has a “Satan’s Holidays” festival and a road race called “Run to Hell.” In October is the “Halloween in Hell” Celebration.
In 1841, George Reeves – one of the first settlers in the swampy wasteland – was asked what he thought the town should be called to which he replied, “I don’t care, name it ‘Hell’ if you want to.” So they did.
It just goes to show, places are named as such for all sorts of reasons! Next time you’re wondering whether the address you’ve seen is real, you’ll know that the chances are it just might be! Do you live in a place with an unusual name? We’d love to hear about it, leave us a comment below to let us know.