10 Arizona Towns With the Worst Names
You know who sucks at naming towns? A lot of people who have set up shop in Arizona.
Check out the 10 worst names for Arizona towns -- including towns like Santa Claus, Arizona, and Nothing, Arizona -- below:
According to town legend, Why is named after the "Y" formed by the intersection of State Route 85 and State Route 86. The Postal Service apparently needed three letters on a town to deliver mail to it -- again, according to town legend -- so instead of picking a name that didn't suck, someone settled on "Why."
Spoiler alert: The elevation in the "Top-of-the-World" isn't even that high. The elevation atop Humphrey's Peak, the highest point in Arizona, is almost three times higher. We have no explanation for all the hyphens, either.
To our dismay, there's no indication that this is a colony dedicated to marijuana smoking.
The official currency of Bagdad. Just kidding, they overthrew Saddam Hussein several years ago.
Thomas Rassloff via Flickr
This name got exponentially crappier in 2003, even though it has nothing to do with the Iraqi capital. The unverified local legend surrounding the town's name is even worse than the actual name. "Legend has it that a father and a son were mining for copper in the late 1800s," according to CNN. "The son wanted a sack for his copper and said to his father, 'Do you have a bag, dad?'" If that's true, that's pathetic.
6.) Santa Claus*
Unfortunately, Santa Claus gets an asterisk, because the town was abandoned less than a decade ago. The town's history was surprisingly well-documented, and the origin of the name is tracked down to some weird lady who wanted to make a whole Christmas-themed town.
4.) Mexican Water
There's hardly any readily available information for this town on the Navajo Nation. However, it was probably named well before "don't drink the water" became the most common piece of advice given to people visiting Mexico.
Although Nothing was abandoned for several years, someone tried to revive the town back in 2008. Recent pictures seem to show that Nothing's nothing again.
2.) Three Way
A map of Three Way gives the likely explanation of the town's name, but let's not rule out any other explanations.
The worst part about Surprise is that people actually reference it with some frequency, since it's the 10th-biggest city in the state. It makes newspaper headlines impossible to read, because everything's a friggin' Surprise. (Example from the Arizona Republic: "Surprise tennis tournament to return in March.")
The story behind the name, as provided by the city's website, is just as horrible as the name itself: "Our city of 115,000 people was just one square mile of farmland back in 1938 when Flora Mae Statler founded it. So why did she call us Surprise? According to Statler's daughter Elizabeth Wusich Stoft, her mother once commented "she would be surprised if the town ever amounted to much." With our success, she would indeed be surprised and proud!
Check out our honorable mentions for the worst names for Arizona towns on the next page:
- Wagon Wheel
- Avenue B and C
- Colorado City
The authenticity of town names was verified using the federal Geographic Names Information System.
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