The Least Common Town Names in the US

Source: Famartin / Wikimedia Commons

Have you ever wondered if you lived in a town whose name no one could ever get wrong because no other city has the same name? The chances of that are fairly good, considering that more than 15,500 places in the United States have unique names.

Some of these names are quite ordinary. For example, the city of Alamo Heights, Texas. No other area in the country shares the exact same name, but it’s self-explanatory, at least once you know it’s surrounded by San Antonio, where the Alamo is located. Similarly, the history of the name of Orange Beach, Alabama, is also somewhat predictable. It comes from the orange groves that were abundant in the area in the 19th century.

Names of other communities, however, are not so clear-cut. The origins of the names Truth or Consequence or Cut and Shoot, which also happen to be cities in the Lone Star State, have a more complicated, and rather amusing, history.

Cities are often named after a person who made a significant impact on the region or country as a whole. Sometimes, the idea behind a community’s name is to distinguish it from others and may therefore represent a geographic feature. Towns also sometimes change their names, either because they have grown too much or they do it as a publicity stunt.

In order to identify 50 of the least common town names in America, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the nearly 30,000 names of cities, towns, villages, boroughs, and CDPs (census-designated places — settled but unincorporated population centers as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau), collected by the 2017 U.S. American Community Survey. The list contains names that are unique to only one place in the United States. To narrow our list further, we looked at names that consist of three or more words. We also looked at names with three or fewer characters and as well 20 or more because both would likely be considered rare. Then we looked at town and place names that are distinct words — such as pie or gun — and are not expected to be used as town names. The following list is a selection of names that are both among the least common and unconventional.