We’ve probably all heard of the expression ‘Keep Austin weird’, but when you compare the name of Texas’ state capital to some other names of Texas towns, it seems to be that Austin is not so strange a name after all. Just take a look at some of the strangest and weirdest names of towns in Texas. The Lone Star State has more than 40 town names that are making the name ‘Austin’ your every-day cup of tea. Let’s take a closer look at the weirdest:
– Ding Dong: This city is (could it be more ironic?) Bell County, and was given the name in honor of Zulius and Bert Bell who operated a country store close to the Lampass River. Ding Dong is found in Central Texas, some 8 miles south of Killeen.
– Gun Barrel City: Texas and guns go hand and hand, so the name of this town (population almost 6,000) doesn’t come as a surprise. Gun Barrel City was incorporated in the late 1960’s to be able to legally sell wine and beer. The name comes from Gun Barrel Lane (now Highway 198), as has as motto ‘We Shoot Straight with You’. The town’s symbol is a rifle with two antique pistols. Gun Barrel City is located around 55 miles southeast of Dallas.
– Knickerbocker: This town was named after Diedrick Knickerbocker, the narrator of the History of New York (Washington Irving). Some people seem to think that the town was named after somebody’s grandfather trousers, but now you know that’s not so. Knickerbocker is located nearly 20 miles west of the city of San Angelo.
– Latex: Now don’t think this town was named after the much-used rubber product. In fact, the town received this name because of it’s location, right on the Louisiana-Texas border in northeastern Harrison County, between Marshall, Texas, and Shreveport, Louisiana.
– Nada: No, this name has nothing to do with the Spanish word nada (nothing). The town’s name is based on the Czech word ‘Nadja’, which means ‘Hope’. Nada is located in Colorado County, on State Highway 71, midway between Columbus and El Campo, and has a population of around 165.
– Noodle: The Texas State Historical Association says the town’s name was in the 1800’s derived from ‘Noodle Creek’, a dry creek bed. Noodle is located in the southwestern portions of Jones County, and if you thought it had something to do with pasta, you now know better.
– Oatmeal: Historians think that the name Oatmeal came from a man named Mister Othneil, who was the owner of the region’s first grist mill. There;s also an explanation that links the name to the German word ‘Habermill’, a German dialect word in the area for oats in the area. Either way, now you know that the name is not way related to the breakfast food. Oatmeal lies in Burnet County some 56 miles northwest of Texas’ capital Austin.
– Raisin: Sure, if Texas has a town with the name ‘Oatmeal’ there also has to be a town by the name of ‘Raisin’. The town is found in Victoria County on U.S. 59, some 8 miles southwest of the city of Victoria. Raisin was established in 1889 and named after a local rancher who was known for growing the best grapes.
– Scissors: This town is located in Hidalgo County, some 5 miles from Alamo. The town belongs to the McAllen–Edinburg-Mission metropolitan area, and was developed in the early 1960’s. It is not known (but highly unlikely) that the name was derived from the snipping cutting tool.
– Smiley: The name of this town was around already long before modern technology and smiley’s came into our lives, The town is named after John Smiley, a trader and sheepherder lived who lived here around 1870. Smiley is located some 20 miles south of Gonzales. .
– Tarzan: Well, this town was really named after the man swung on tree vines. At the time the town was founded (1920’s), the Tarzan comic strip was hot, so Postal Service workers decided to name the town after their hero. Tarzan is found in Martin County, just north of Midland.
– Uncertain: This really is the name of a town situated in Harris County, on the Caddo Lake’s shores. The town’s name originates from steamboat captains who found much difficulty in securing their boats here. Additionally, in the early 1900’s, residents were not certain about their citizenship since the boundary between the Republic of Texas and the U.S. had not been established. Uncertain is found slightly northeast of Marshall.
– Who’d Thought It: Who would actually name their town ‘Who’d Thought It’? The town is located in Hopkins County, near FM 1536 northeast of Sulphur Springs, and was settled in the early 1900’s. It not known why settlers gave this unusual name to the town, that’s been a ghost town since the late 1980’s.
But there are more odd town names in Texas. Just look at these names:
Bacon, Beans, Bangs, Bee Cave, Bigfoot, Best, Blackjack, Bobo, Bluntzer, Bootleg, Cat Spring, Bugtussle, Cool, Climax, Coyote Acres, Dime Box, Old Dime Box, Cut and Shoot, Earth, El Gato, Goodnight, Humble, Happy, Hoop and Holler, Log Cabin, Hornbeak, Kermit, Kickapoo, Lovelady, Personville, Muleshoe, Nameless, Loco, Point Blank, Snook, Scurry, Spearman, Telephone, Telegraph, Tool, Twitty, Zipperlandville, or Whiteface. In a next post we’ll do a little explanation on these names.