Funny Pennsylvania Town Names

Updated on April 4, 2018

What Were They Thinking?!

Pennsylvania holds the record for funny town names. There's Bird-in-Hand, Climax, Hazard, Jugtown, Intercourse, Noodle Doosie, Paradise, Puseyville, Punxsutawney, and Rough and Ready, and that's just for starters!

Have you ever wondered what people were thinking when they named these places? This article delves into some of these towns' histories in an attempt to unravel why they bear such usual names and show that Pennsylvania has the silliest and sexiest sounding towns and villages in the USA.

This is but a sampling of funny place names in Pennsylvania. There are many others, and we'll be adding more from time to time. Enjoy!

History of Pennsylvania's Silly Town Names

Asylum: Located in Bradford County, this location was established as an asylum for the wealthy refugees of the French Revolution.

Bala Cynwyd: is located in Montgomery County, near Philadelphia in Eastern Pennsylvania. It was named by Welsh Quaker settlers in 1860 for the Welsh town of Bala and the Welsh village of Cynwyd.

Balls Mills: is located in Hepburn Township and was named by Bill Ball for the family mill.

Bath Addition: is located in Bucks County. We're guessing that someone was very happy about their home improvements.

Beach Lake: Located totally inland in Wayne County, this town takes its name from the many beech trees and bad spellers in the area.

Beaver: Located near Pittsburgh in western Pennsylvania, this town got its name from Big Beaver Creek (so named for the great many beavers in the area).

Big Beaver: Also located near Pittsburgh in western Pennsylvania, this place had bigger beavers.

Big Run: This western Pennsylvania lumbering town was named after a creek called Big Run.

Bird-in-Hand: The community was founded in 1734. The legend of the naming of Bird-in-Hand concerns the time when the Old Philadelphia Pike was surveyed between Lancaster and Philadelphia. According to legend, two road surveyors on the Old Philadelphia Pike between Lancaster and Philadelphia discussed whether they should stay at their present location or go on to the town of Lancaster. One of them said, "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush," and so they stayed. And that's how the town got its name.

Bird-in-Hand Town Sign
Bird-in-Hand Town Sign | Source

Blue Ball: This rather suggestive name actually has a respectable meaning. It was named after a building at the same location—the Blue Ball Inn—which got its name when it was struck by cannon balls from a British war vessel in 1777. The Inn was torn down in 1990, but the town of Blue Ball remains. Ouch.

Bulls Head: Located in Lackawanna County, this town was named by a cattle dealer because his large red barn had a painting of a bull's head.

Bumpville: is located in Bradford County and was named for the Revolutionary Soldier Reuben Bumpus who settled there.

Burning Well: It was named after a burning oil field in McKean County, Pennsylvania.

Burnt Cabins: Located in Centre County, this town was so named because William Penn decided to burn some illegal settlers' cabins in 1750 to keep peace with the Native Americans. Settlers were building on land that was designated Indian land. These settlers kept pushing the borders, and the Indians were threatening war, so William Penn had some cabins burnt down in an effort to teach the illegal settlers a lesson and to make peace with the Native Americans.

California: This town in Western Pennsylvania was settled during the height of the California Gold Rush and named for that great state filled with gold.

Cherry Tree: This town's name has nothing to do with George Washington. It was named Cherry Tree because a huge cherry tree near this spot marked the boundary between the Iroquois' land and the territory acquired by the Penns.

Chinchilla: is located in Lackawanna County, and named for the squirrel-like rodent.

Clearfield: This town is located in Jefferson County and was named in the early 1800s for a cleared area in the normally rugged timberlands.

Climax: is located in Clarion County and was once a mining community. I could not find any information on how it got its name. Must have been a thrill, though.

Coffeetown: Located in Lebanon County, its name comes from a slang term meaning "undesirables."

Conshohocken: is located in Eastern Pennsylvania. The name Conshohocken is a Delaware Indian word for "pleasant valley."

Coon Hunter: is located in Snyder County. Raccoons would be wise to avoid the area.

Crackersport: It is said that a large supply of crackers was stolen at this spot, though I couldn't find anything to back up that claim. Crackersport is located in Pennsylvania's Lehigh County.

Drums: Located in Luzerne County, Drums was named for a tavern owned by Abram Drum in the late 1700s.

Echo: Established in 1857, this Armstrong County locale was named for the echo coming from the nearby hills.

Egypt: The eastern Pennsylvania community was settled in 1733 and named Egypt because the early residents of the Lehigh Valley would travel here to buy provisions, much like Jacob's sons once traveled to Egypt to buy corn. Yes, I know it sounds far fetched, but this is what the records say!

Erie: This town was named for the Erie Tribe, whose name means raccoon or wildcat. In fact, early maps show Lake Erie as the Lake of the Cat. Erie is in Erie County, Pennsylvania. If the locals had their way, they would have renamed the whole state Erie!

Forest City: Located in Susquehanna County, this was the location of a lumber camp.

Forty Fort: Located in Luzerne County, this town got its name because 40 settlers built a fort there during the American Revolution.

Free Love Valley: This now-defunct community got its name in the 1840s from a group of idealists who preferred holding their worship services in their natural, unclothed state and went skinny dipping in the community lake.

Glen Campbell: was not named for the singer, although he did pay a visit in 1971. The first part of the name, Glen, was taken from the Scottish word meaning "valley." The second word, Campbell, comes from Cornelius Campbell, who supervised the area's local coal company.

Glen Campbell Post Office
Glen Campbell Post Office | Source

Gravity: Named for the gravity railroad system, which allows cars to coast down the slope using just the force of gravity.

Hazard: Although it certainly sounds like an accident waiting to happen, this Lehigh Valley town was actually named for a Philadelphia Quaker by the name of Erskine Hazard, son of Ebenezer Hazard, the nation's first postmaster. Erskine Hazard partnered with Josiah White and played a major role in the American industrial revolution.

Homer City: was named after Homer, the Greek Poet.

Honey Hole: Located in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, this town's name comes from the fisherman's slang for a sweet spot where the fish are biting nicely.

Honey Pot: Also located in Luzerne County, Honey Pot got its name from the hordes of wild honey bees at that location.

Hop Bottom: This Susquehanna County area was once known for its hops grown for regional breweries.

Indiana: Located in western Pennsylvania, Indiana took its name from the native Indians in the area.

Intercourse: The Amish village of Intercourse was named by George Brungard in 1813. At that time, the word 'intercourse' commonly referred to a commercial or trading site. As one writer from the Amish Country News has noted, "in the written annals of early days, 'intercourse' had a common usage referring to the pleasant mutual fellowship and frequent intermingling which was so much more common in the informal atmosphere of the quiet country village of that day."

Jersey Shore: This town is nowhere near its namesake. Located on the north side of the Susquehanna River, from 1790 to 1826 it was called Waynesburg, but since many settlers came there through New Jersey, the locals liked to teasingly call it the Jersey Shore. The name stuck and was changed to Jersey Shore around 1826. By the way, this town is inland, and when I did a search, I found it to be about 160 miles from inland New Jersey.

Jim Thorpe: Jim Thorpe was originally called Mauch Chunk but because a number of murders and hangings had taken place there and the town was decreasing in population, its name was changed from Mauch Chunk to Jim Thorpe to help generate tourism.

Jugtown: Located in Franklin County, this town was either named for its pottery works or its booze.

King of Prussia: Located in Montgomery County, it got its name from a local tavern that was named after Frederick II, King of Prussia.

Kunkletown: Located in Monroe County, Kunkletown was named after Joseph Kunkle in the early 1800s. Kunkle was one of the town's early settlers and businessmen. The name of the town is frequently mispronounced and called Knuckletown.

Lititz: Located in Lancaster County, Lititz was founded in 1756 by members of the Moravian Church and was named after a castle in Bohemia.

Lover: Located in Washington County, we can only speculate about how it got its name.

Mars: For some reason, this western Pennsylvania town was named after the Roman god of war.

Milwaukee: There is some controversy over the origin of this name; some say it was named after a mill, and others say the name "Milwaukee" is an anglicized version of the Algonquin Indian word for "good land."

Moon: This township outside of Pittsburgh got its name from a bend in a nearby river that looks like a crescent-shaped moon.

Moscow: was named in the 1830s in honor of Russian immigrants from Moscow.

Mount Joy: is located in Lancaster County and was founded by the Scottish Irish in 1759. We do not know the origins of the name.

Nazareth: Located in Northampton County in Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley, Nazareth is named for the Biblical town of Nazareth, where Jesus Christ resided as a young boy.

Nebraska: The residents of this community in Forest County are said to have headed to Nebraska and been disillusioned, so they returned to Pennsylvania. Why they chose to name their town after a place they disliked is anyone's guess.

Newfoundland: was named by Daniel Stroud in the late 1700s, when the town was a "new found land."

Noodle Doosie: Records indicate that this town was founded in the mid-1700s. Located in Lancaster County, its name was changed to Napierville a number of years ago because it sounded less silly. Apparently no one could say the former name of their town with a straight face or without getting a lot of laughs.

Normalville: Located in Western Pennsylvania, this town got its name because it is the site of a state teacher's college that was once known as a "normal school."

Norwegian: Located in Schuylkill County, Norwegian got its name from the German settlers who thought the mountains resembled those found in Norway. Hmm.

Ono: We're not sure if the town name is pronounced like Yoko Ono (the name of the artist who was married to John Lennon) or if it's pronounced "Oh No!" If anyone can enlighten us, please put your information in the comment box below. Thanks!

Overshot: Located in Bradford County, this town was named after a nearby water-powered sawmill that overshot a stream nearby.

Paint: Located in Pennsylvania's Somerset County, this town took its name from the nearby Paint Creek.

Pancake: Located in Centre County, this town was named after settler George Pancake.

Panic: In 1871, this western Pennsylvania town was about to open a post office, but the people of the town realized that the town's name—Samoka—was already taken and they had to come up with a new one. As the story goes, no one could agree on a name and panic set in. Someone suggested they call the town "Panic," and on this, everyone agreed.

Paradise: Some say this town was named by the settler Joshua Scott around 1800 because he thought it was beautiful, "like paradise."

Peach Bottom: Located on the east bank of the Susquehanna River, this village got its name in 1815 from a peach orchard owned by a settler named John Kirk.

Pigeon: was named in the 1800s for the great number of passenger pigeons in the area. This species of pigeon is extinct today.

Pillow: Located in Dauphin County, this town was named after General Gideon Pillow.

Pottsville: is located in Schuylkill County and was named after John Pott.

Prosperity: is located in Washington County, and was so named because of the wishful thinking of the early settlers.

Punxsutawney: Located in northwestern Pennsylvania, Punxsutawney was named by the local Indians for a vicious sandfly that caused them to avoid the area.

Rome: is located in Bradford County. The source of the name is unknown.

Rough and Ready: is located in Schuylkill County and named after a California Gold Rush town.

Shickshinny: Located in the Appalachian Mountains of Luzerne County, Shickshinny is an Indian word that either means "land of mountains" or "land of the fine stream." There are two different versions of the meaning of this Indian name.

Slippery Rock: is located in Butler County and named after slippery rocks in the nearby creek. Some of the locals say that the town was so named because George Washington was fleeing an Indian and chose to cross the creek at Slippery Rock. The Indian who was following him lost his footing on the slippery rocks and misfired, thereby sparing Washington and giving the town its name.

Snowshoe: Located in Centre County, Snowshoe got its name in 1773 when surveyors found a snowshoe hanging from a tree limb here. Seriously.

Stump Creek: Located in Jefferson County, this town was named after a stream running through the town.

St. Petersburg: was named in the 1830s in honor of Russian immigrants from St. Petersburg who settled in the area. It is located in Clarion County.

Two Lick Valley: Located in Indiana County and Named for Two Lick Creek. I guess one lick wasn't enough.

Virginville: Located in Berks County, Virginville is the translation of an Indian name meaning "virgin" or "pure."

Versailles: Located in western Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh, Versailles got its name from the famous French palace, although the reason is unknown, as it doesn't seem to have had French settlers. The locals pronounce it "ver-sales."

Yellow House: Located in Berks County, Yellow House was named for a rest house that was painted—you guessed it—yellow.

Favorite Place Names in Lancaster County

Lancaster County is located in the south-eastern part of Pennsylvania. It is the heart of the Pennsylvania Dutch Country and is home to the oldest Amish settlement in the United States. When traveling through the area, you will see horse-drawn buggies and some of the best crafts and heartiest home-cooked food in America. But Lancaster County is special for another reason as well. This extremely religious community has some of the sexiest and silliest town and community names on the planet! It's hard to stop yourself from laughing at names like:

  • Bird-in-Hand
  • Blue Ball
  • Burnt Mills
  • Fertility
  • Intercourse
  • Lititz
  • Mount Joy
  • Noodle Doosie

A Look at the Amish Way of Life - Lancaster County, PA (Runtime: 3:33)

The Most Stolen Sign in Pennsylvania
The Most Stolen Sign in Pennsylvania | Source

The Most Stolen Sign in Pennsylvania

The road sign for Intercourse in Lancaster County is Pennsylvania's most stolen sign. It is actually not the one pictured above, but the sign we wanted to show you is unavailable (because it was stolen).

Intercourse, Pennsylvania is not hard to find in spite of the fact that you can no longer find any road signs directing you there. They are stolen as fast as they're put up, so the Department of Transportation no longer bothers.

More Seemingly Misplaced Towns in PA

Moscow, Nazareth, and the others on the list above aren't the only Pennsylvania town names that seem more than slightly out of place. Here are a few more.

Alexandria, PA

Athens, PA

Bethlehem, PA

Damascus, PA

Dublin, PA

Lebanon, PA

Liverpool, PA

Luxor, PA

Oklahoma, PA

Oregon, PA

Scotland, PA

Sweden, PA

Washington, PA

Warsaw, PA

Wyoming, PA

© 2009 Aquavel

Stop by and say hello! Have you visited any of these places? Either way, we would love to hear from you!

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    • profile image

      Blake 7 weeks ago

      Rome PA is named because it shares the same longitude as Rome Italy

    • profile image

      Jocelyn Jernigan 2 months ago

      Ono is pronounced like the expression “oh no.”

    • profile image

      Doug Ono 2 years ago

      I live in CA. I went to Philadelphia on a business trip. I saw Ono on the map so I decided to take a trip there on the weekend to see how the town got its name. It really more like an intersection of two roads. There was a sign that read 'Ono Fire Dept'. I stopped and talked to a resident to ask how the town got its name. What she related to me was the same story that 'ToTheBrimm LM ' described, that at the Town Hall meetings to name the town, the response to every suggested potential name, there would always be an objection, Oh no, that won't do. After so many Oh nos, it was decided to name the town Ono. Now I find there's also a town near Redding, CA that is also named Ono.

    • carlajbehr profile image

      Carla J Behr 2 years ago from NW PA

      Great hub - we've really enjoyed this. We play the Pennsylvania game where you use towns in PA to spell your name.

    • profile image

      Erica 3 years ago

      You forgot Free Love Valley,PA. And Lover PA. Not to mention Erie PA . and Asylum PA and Panic PA

    • profile image

      ConvenientCalendar 5 years ago

      Very informative! I learned a lot!

    • geosum profile image

      geosum 5 years ago

      Nice lens. We've been to Lancaster PA before. At the end of this month, we're planning a 4-day visit and will be seeing as much as we can of the area. It will no doubt turn up in one or more of my lenses...

    • profile image

      MasterDripper 5 years ago

      living in PA has been a great experience...the town names as you mention here...Philly, cheesesteaks, ice hockey, chocolate...great lens...You should look up Bikinis, Texas ...cheers

    • siobhanryan profile image

      siobhanryan 5 years ago

      Blessed-Superb lens

    • Aquavel profile image

      Aquavel 5 years ago

      @JuneMary LM: Regarding many Pennsylvania counties (and towns) having the same names as those in England and the suggestion that these names may have come from early inhabitants who were from England, you're right! I just looked up "Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and it was named for the home of an early settler from the city of Lancaster in Lancaster County, England! I haven't looked up all of them but certainly this is the case for a number of names that are the same. Thanks for contributing!

    • Aquavel profile image

      Aquavel 5 years ago

      @MelanieMurphyMyer: I grew up in Punxsutawney many years ago. I would get smiles when someone asked me where I was from but the name of your town definitely beats mine! ;) Thanks for sharing!

    • Aquavel profile image

      Aquavel 5 years ago

      @paul-heckbert: Thanks Paul! I've heard of many of these and really do need to include Oil City. Thanks for the reminder and your contribution to PA funny town names! ~ Never heard of Large. Will have to look that one up!

    • JuneMary LM profile image

      JuneMary LM 5 years ago

      What a good lens. I shall have to come back for another read. I counted at least 8 counties with the same names as English ones and numerous English town names too. Maybe they were named after where the inhabitants came from?

    • MelanieMurphyMyer profile image

      MelanieMurphyMyer 5 years ago

      Nice page. I live in Lititz, PA. :)

    • profile image

      rosedavid15 5 years ago

      There are definitely some funny place names in our world, aren't there? I really enjoyed seeing all the different funny place names. Thanks.

      Pennsylvania News

    • profile image

      paul-heckbert 5 years ago

      More goofy PA town names: Large, Black Lick, Slate Lick, Dry Run, Bunola, 84, Oil City, Petroleum Center, Economy, Industry, Rostraver, Coudersport.

    • Aquavel profile image

      Aquavel 6 years ago

      Thanks everyone!

      Chazz, the town names "Oliphant" and "Dunmore" are hilarious. Thanks for bringing them to my attention.

    • BodyLanguageExp profile image

      BodyLanguageExp 6 years ago

      I've never visited these places... but they have made me laugh from a far!

    • Travel Shepherd profile image

      Michael Shepherd 6 years ago from Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland

      I am visiting my son in Dauphin, PA and touring around. Thanks for the excellent, well researched lens.


    • Fcuk Hub profile image

      Fcuk Hub 6 years ago

      These Pennsylvania town name are really funky :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      What an entertaining lens and so visually beautiful!

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 6 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      As a lifetime Pennsylvanian who has lived on both sides of the state, I've visited many of the places you have mentioned. My favorites are the charming Amish villages. I didn't know the history behind the names before though, so thank you for sharing their interesting stories. =D

    • chezchazz profile image

      Chazz 6 years ago from New York

      What a great idea for a lens! Enjoyed reading it! You left out two that have always struck me as having a humorous sound and were often the subject of jokes by residents in the area: Oliphant and Dunmore (both are near Moscow in the Scranton area)

    • Aquavel profile image

      Aquavel 6 years ago

      @julieannbrady: Thanks Julie! Yes, it's also in PA. Wonder if it exists anywhere else besides Russia, Florida and Pennsylvania....(?)

    • Aquavel profile image

      Aquavel 6 years ago

      @JimDickens: OMG! I did leave out Nazareth! Thanks for bringing it to my attention. It will be added in the next day or two. I never heard of Kunkletown! That's definitely sounds like it should be added too. Is that anywhere near Kutztown? Bangor and Pen Argy don't make the first list but I'll look into Kunkletown. Thanks for your feedback and contribution.

    • profile image

      JimDickens 6 years ago

      Shame shame -- you left out Nazareth as a misplaced town. And for funny names, we live in Kunkletown which is remixed to Knuckletown by many on the phone. Other towns around are Bangor and Pen Argyl

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 6 years ago

      St. Petersburg is also in PA? That's is pretty cool.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Fun lens, a real collection of fun filled funny town names of Pennsylvania.

    • mary lighthouse15 profile image

      mary lighthouse15 6 years ago

      I've been there for a short vacation. What a beautiful place with unique names.!

    • David Stone1 profile image

      David Stone 6 years ago from New York City

      Fun stuff. My family comes from PA, and it is an exceptional place. The names show it.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 6 years ago

      What a delightful lens! Love the info on all of the names.

    • jadehorseshoe profile image

      jadehorseshoe 6 years ago

      FUN Lens!

    • mannasugar profile image

      mannasugar 6 years ago

      Fun Lens, I lived in Ben Salem, Pa. Great place to live, the indoor mall is a mile long....

    • profile image

      JoshK47 6 years ago

      Pennsylvania does certainly have its fair share of funny names. I've spent some time in Intercourse, it's a pretty nice area - and, no, I'm not just making an off-color joke. lol. Blessed by a SquidAngel.

    • LissaKlar LM profile image

      LissaKlar LM 6 years ago

      Funny lens! I've heard a lot of this information while growing up in PA. I forgot about most of this. Thanks for the refresher! So funny!!

    • DuaneJ profile image

      DuaneJ 6 years ago

      Excellent lens. Innovative idea...I loved the names!

    • LTPParents profile image

      Tracy Gibb 6 years ago

      Noodle Doosie is my favorite.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 6 years ago from Ljubljana

      I think we can find funny names of towns everywhere, but they sound even funnier if you collect them and put them together in a showcase like you did... You made me laugh, thanks:)

    • Aquavel profile image

      Aquavel 6 years ago

      @blessedmomto7: It's such fun to hear from Pennsylvania natives!

    • Aquavel profile image

      Aquavel 6 years ago

      @DanielleCWhite: Hi Danielle, Thanks for responding.

      Are you saying there are TWO towns in Pennsylvania named "Nebraska?" I know of the one in Northwestern PA but not the one near Scranton. I did put in the info you wrote and searched on Google Maps for "Nebraska, PA, 18433." It does give me a marker but I think that has to do with the zip code itself. The information for that zip code is "Jermyn, PA" in Lackawanna County. Maybe they have changed the name of the town in the last few years, or perhaps "Nebraska" is the name of a township or unincorporated area.

      ---->Wait! I found it! There is a second Nebraska, just as you said! It shows up on the website "PAHomeTownLocator" ( From that map, it seems that Nebraska is now part of Jermyn, PA in Lackawanna County.

      An article about Jermyn, Pennsylvania on Wikipedia says: "The section of town east of the Lackawanna River and west of the small section of Archbald is known as "Nebraska", East Jermyn is commonly referred to as "Calico Lane" or "The Lane". ~ It must havew been quite an experience as a new driver to end up in "Nebraska." LOL

      Interesting info! Thanks so much for for writing!

    • Aquavel profile image

      Aquavel 6 years ago

      @ToTheBrimm LM: That's a great story. I'll either add the story about "Ono" to the next lens update, or make a special section with info from readers!

    • Aquavel profile image

      Aquavel 6 years ago

      Thanks so much everyone!

    • ToTheBrimm LM profile image

      ToTheBrimm LM 6 years ago

      As my Grandfather used to tell the story, Ono's name came about because no other name could be decided upon. Whenever anyone suggested a name, everyone else would answer "Oh No." I don't know if his story was historically accurate but, either way, it's a good indication of what PA Dutch humor is like.

      The names Nazareth, Bethlehem and Emmaus all came straight from the Bible.

    • profile image

      DanielleCWhite 6 years ago

      I came across this site looking up some information as I happened to be in Intercourse, PA, earlier this week. Nebraska, PA, was a surprise to me because it was not the one I knew. I was familiar with place northeast of Scranton. It's in Archbald Boro but is effectively a portion of (and is only accessibly from) neighboring Jermyn that sprawled across the municipal boundary. Searching on a site like Google Maps for Nebraska, PA, 18433 returns it; I only know of it because I grew-up a few miles from there and, on one adventurous day as a newly-licensed driver, I drove into that part of town to be greeted by a large white-on-green sign welcoming me to it.

    • blessedmomto7 profile image

      blessedmomto7 6 years ago

      Fun lens. I grew up near Blue Ball, Intercourse, Paradise and Bird-in-Hand--they are all w/in a 20 minute radius of each other.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      What fun, I would say that Pennsylvania has a long history of folks with a sense of humor. I've never been to Pennsylvania but if that most popular sign is missing again....

    • Aquavel profile image

      Aquavel 6 years ago

      @elizabethcellist: I had fun researching Beaver Pa after reading your comment! I found that the Chief, who was called "King Beaver," was in fact named after the beavers in the area. You are right in saying it is a less direct connection, although it is in fact true. I will add the towns namesake in the next lens update. Thanks for commenting and letting me know about the Chief. Great to get the facts right. It's good to hear from a Beaver, Pennsylvania native!

    • Aquavel profile image

      Aquavel 6 years ago

      @MagnoliaTree: Thanks Magnolia Tree! I'm happy you enjoyed this lens!

    • Aquavel profile image

      Aquavel 6 years ago

      @TravelingRae: Thank you! There are many places to explore here!

    • Aquavel profile image

      Aquavel 6 years ago

      @BSieracki: I will add Shamokin, PA in the near future. BTW, my research shows the name stems from the Algonguian Native American word âSchahamokink,â meaning "place of eels."

    • Aquavel profile image

      Aquavel 6 years ago

      @Geis087: Thank you for commenting on the correct pronunciation of "Ono," as in Ono, PA! Also I loved the fact about the convenience store named "Oh Yes!" I will update this lens in the very near future with some of the facts and insights I've received from you and others!

    • profile image

      Geis087 6 years ago

      I grew up pronouncing Ono like Yoko Ono. I used to travel through the town to visit my Grandmother as a kid. Fun fact: There is a convenience store on the man drag in town called the "Oh Yes".

    • BSieracki profile image

      Bernie 6 years ago from Corbin, KY

      you might want to add shamokin

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      TravelingRae 7 years ago

      *Great* lens! I'm impressed by all the research you did! I can't wait to get a chance to explore Pennsylvania.

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      MagnoliaTree 7 years ago

      What a fun article! I knew PA had a lot of funny names, but never realized that there were so many! I'm leaving with a smile on my face! Thanks for all your hard work researching this!

    • Aquavel profile image

      Aquavel 7 years ago

      @elizabethcellist: Thanks for your comment Elizabeth! I had fun researching this. (And I know Beaver! My mother lived in Pittsburgh, which is nearby.)

      According to a forum on the genealogy of Beaver County, Pennsylvania, Beaver was named after "King Beaver," Chief of the Turkey tribe of the Delaware Indians in the later half of the 1700s. It suggests that the Native American tribes in Pennsylvania were "distinguished" by the names of their favorite animals, and that the members of the tribe took on animal names as well. "Beaver" is the English version of the Chief's name.

      Apparently there is much controversy over the actual source of the name. Some sources note that the origin of the Pennsylvania Borough name "Beaver," as well as that of "Beaver County, Beaver Falls, Big Beaver, South Beaver Township, Beaver River, Little Beaver Creek, etc., were named for Chief Beaver, while others say these were named for the beaver itself. I maintain that the connection came from the animal and that the Native American Chief also took his name from the animal. However, I'm happy to be proven wrong. So if you or anyone else has more information to add, please do!


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      elizabethcellist 7 years ago

      I grew up in Beaver, PA, and the historical sign in town says it was named for King Beaver, a local Native American chief. Though I imagine he was named for the beavers in the creeks and rivers in the area, but it's not as direct a connection as you say here.

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      great lens!

    • mekon1971 profile image

      mekon1971 7 years ago

      Texas also has some funny names. Well done lens! Some of the indian names are hard to pronounce for a southern boy!

    • Aquavel profile image

      Aquavel 7 years ago

      @KimGiancaterino: Kim, As a child, I grew up not too far from Dubois and it's true. No one would even think of pronouncing it the "French" way. As you sadi, Dubois is pronounced "doo-boys." In the same manner, "Versailles, Pennsylvania" is pronounced "ver-sales." ;)

      Thanks so much for you comment and blessing!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 7 years ago

      My husband is from Pennsylvania and I remember I couldn't pronounce many of the street names the first time I toured the area. I also have a friend who lives near Dubois, which they pronounce doo-boys. Pennsylvania is definitely a fun place to visit! Wonderful job on the lens ... entertaining and visually pleasing. Blessed by the Entertainment Squid Angel.

    • JeffreyTymczak LM profile image

      JeffreyTymczak LM 7 years ago

      Blue Balls and Intercourse, this is a great lens!!!!!

    • Aquavel profile image

      Aquavel 7 years ago

      Thanks for your comments everyone!

    • Aquavel profile image

      Aquavel 7 years ago

      @carlajo73: Carla, what town or township do you live it? Although I now live in Northern California, I was raised in Punxsutawney and spent a lot of time in Indiana during my childhood! I didn't appreciate it back then, but after a few years in NYC and now California, I realize what a treasure that area of Pennsylvania is. I really miss it! BTW, it's only 2 weeks until GROUNDHOG DAY! (I'll be tuning in from across the country to see what Punxsutawney Phil has in store for us this year!)

    • carlajo73 profile image

      carlajo73 7 years ago

      I love this site!! I have lived in PA my whole life!! I am only an hour away from Punxsutawney and 5 minutes from Indiana, PA. Punxsutawney is famous for Gobblers Knob...the place where the famous (Punxsutawney Phil) groundhog predicts whether we will have an early spring every year. Crazy! Great job on this lens...definitely a favorite of mine!!!

    • carlajo73 profile image

      carlajo73 7 years ago

      I love this site!! I have lived in PA my whole life!! I am only an hour away from Punxsutawney and 5 minutes from Indiana, PA. Punxsutawney is famous for Gobblers Knob...the place where the famous (Punxsutawney Phil) groundhog predicts whether we will have an early spring every year. Crazy! Great job on this lens...definitely a favorite of mine!!!

    • SciTechEditorDave profile image

      David Gardner 7 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area, California

      Nice lens! Since my folks are from two of those strange-named places you mentioned, I figured I had to at least come to visit and see what you had. I've liked, favorited, thumbs-upped, and lensrolled your masterpiece! Congrats on a great job!

    • SciTechEditorDave profile image

      David Gardner 7 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area, California

      Nice lens! Since my folks are from two of those strange-named places you mentioned, I figured I had to at least come to visit and see what you had. I've liked, favorited, thumbs-upped, and lensrolled your masterpiece! Congrats on a great job!

    • DressGoon profile image

      DressGoon 7 years ago

      Great lens with a lot of interesting information. I'm from around the Pittsburgh area.

    • SelfAndSource profile image

      SelfAndSource 7 years ago

      This is the area I was born and lived in my formative years. Many of my preferences come from this area. I guess I didn't realize it until my house mate mentioned it. You can take the girl out of the PA Dutch area but you can't take the PA Dutch out of the girl. Great Lens. Thank you.

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 7 years ago

      The funniest lens I've come across recently... lol

    • profile image

      theclickfactory 7 years ago

      I think I have seen the sawmill you mentioned in the Lens myself.

      Good Work!

    • profile image

      3dMooNMaN 9 years ago

      This is great ! Check out Arkansas.... Funny names also like Muddy Sloth and just crazy weird stuff. Great len's Aqua ! Rolled !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Aquavel profile image

      Aquavel 9 years ago

      Thanks everyone! It's especially great to hear from current and former Pennsylvanians!

    • GraemePark profile image

      GraemePark 9 years ago

      This is a great lens! People always want to call us "Grammy Park" which I think it pretty funny, and I grew up near the town of Devon, which people were forever spray painting over the "n" to make it "Devo" - the township had a supply of "n" patches to go out and fix it without having to change out the whole sign.

    • profile image

      operasinger 9 years ago

      Love the lens! 5 stars from someone who grew up in Mars, PA!!! You inspired my new lens: ....Mars, PA lens coming soon

    • profile image

      Merre 9 years ago

      Great research on this. 5 stars!

    • netventurer profile image

      netventurer 9 years ago

      Great work. I truly enjoyed reading this and learning more about PA.

    • Aquavel profile image

      Aquavel 9 years ago

      Pastiche, thanks for the info about the "Yellow House Hotel" and Milford, PA. I came across some duplicate names in my research and they can really be confusing. ~ After reading your post, I was thinking of adding a module about duplicate names but I can't find much information, other than "Five Points, PA." Wikipedia lists TWENTY places in Pennsylvania with that name! See Five Points, PA

      Re: other names that can be confusing, I remember a car ride when I was a child and my father saying, we're just a mile from "Home." My sister & I would say "C'mon, stop kidding around" and my mother would question why he was saying such a thing when we were 16 miles away. A moment later he would point out the sign for the village of "Home," Pennsylvania.

    • Aquavel profile image

      Aquavel 9 years ago

      (Re: WordVixen) I looked up that saying about Paradise, Bird-in-Hand and Paradise on the net and it was like the game of telephone. Either everyone remembered it differently or there were different versions of the saying. Perhaps one of our readers will remember it & post it.

      Thank you all for your great feedback and information! I'm learning so much from this guestbook that I'm thinking about featuring some your replies. (I'll contact you first.)

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 9 years ago from Vermont

      Terrific PA lens - did you know that the Yellow House Hotel is still there, and is a fine restaurant plus guest house to this day. It's only about 10 miles from my home. Pennsylvania counties duplicate township names, so for example, it can get confusing if you say "I'm from Milford, PA" because there's more than one Milford, PA!

    • WordVixen profile image

      WordVixen 9 years ago

      Great lens! I grew up in Ephrata (eff-ruh-duh), which is about 10 minutes from Blue Balls, er, Blue Ball. Bonus points if you can dig up that little story that goes through all the dirty named towns. I remember it starting in Virginville and ending up in Paradise with Bird-in-Hand and Blue Ball somewhere in the middle, but can't remember the whole thing!

    • EditPhotos profile image

      Edit Photos 9 years ago from Earth

      Nice site! Funny and informative - awesome. I have visited way too many of these towns!

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      What an awesome job you've done!

    • profile image

      tennisbum 9 years ago

      Funny, crazy, awesome lens! 5*s

    • capriliz lm profile image

      capriliz lm 9 years ago

      I am a PA native and I love your lens! You have captured a bit of PA history and lots of charm! Definitely a 5.

    • A8ch profile image

      A8ch 9 years ago

      Fantastic lens! Colorful, creative, informative and entertaining. Five stars and favorited!

    • profile image

      poutine 9 years ago

      What a well designed lens. So much information and a big 5

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      lol great lens, very nicely done, the format and content is excellent, two thumbs up.

    • Aquavel profile image

      Aquavel 9 years ago

      You are all awesome! Thanks for the great feedback!!! I admit, I never really appreciated these places when I was child growing up in Punxsutawney, PA. It wasn't until I got to New York City years later that I began to appreciate Pennsylvania - it's beauty and diversity, and its unique towns with the funny names. Now on the West Coast - and particularly because of this lens - I miss Pennsylvania all the more. I look forward to going back and rediscovering all the treasures it has to offer.

      ~ I've found so many amazing names of places. Confluence is up there too. I don't know Ohiopyle so I just looked it up. It says "Ohiopyle" means white frothy water. The pictures of the waterfalls and white water rafting are wonderful. It's mostly a state park, isn't it? It's a great name. I'll have to add it to the next update.

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 9 years ago from Canada

      Wow! You have a whole lot of names going on here! Great work!


    • mythphile profile image

      Ellen Brundige 9 years ago from California

      Growing up there, I had no idea that the place names around me were all that odd. I've moved to the west coast now. But there is a Bala Cynwyd and a Bryn Mawr inland from Orange County, California, so apparently I'm not the only expatriate from that part of the world! I lived on the Lancaster edge of Chester County, so all the southeastern PA names are ones I know well, plus a few others like Shickshinny and Slippery Rock.

      Perfectly lovely names. I always liked the random blend of Welsh, Scandinavian, Pennsylvania Dutch, English and lost Native American languages we had in the region.

      I had no idea that Napierville used to have such a cute name! I wish they'd revert!

      And bah, they knocked down the Blue Ball Inn?!! Hmph! Bet my old covered wooden bridge is gone too!

    • x3xsolxdierx3x lm profile image

      x3xsolxdierx3x lm 9 years ago

      As a PA native, this lens is awesome! :)

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 9 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      Nice work! I wish I knew how to make such an attractive lens. Not to mention the great content! I used to live in PA (Confluence, to be exact), and never really noticed (until now) all the goofy names on the map. We did live up the road from Ohiopyle, though, which we usually referred to as "Ohia-pahl." Anyway, loved this lens!

    • MikeMoore LM profile image

      MikeMoore LM 9 years ago

      Oh, very cool. I love the way you set this lens up. It's very attractive and it was well written too. I gave it a five star rating!

    • profile image

      Sojourn 9 years ago

      I had no idea! This was funny and informative all at the same time. Your lens layouts are FABULOUS! I forwarded to my parents in PA. I wish they lived in Noodledoosie. :)



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