To Deuce of Clubs

The Site of
Unimaginatively
Named Cities:

 

Unimaginatively
Named Cities:

Alabama City, Alabama
Alabama Port, Alabama
Arizona City, Arizona
Arkansas City, Arkansas
California City, California
Colorado City, Colorado
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Delaware City, Delaware
Florida City, Florida
Idaho City, Idaho
Idaho Falls, Idaho
Iowa Colony, Texas
Illinois City, Illinois
Illinois Colony, Texas
Indianapolis, Indiana
Iowa City, Iowa
Kansas City, Kansas
Maryland City, Maryland
Maryland Line, Maryland
Michigan Center, Michigan
Michigan City, Michigan
Minnesota City, Minnesota
Minnesota Lake, Minnesota
Mississippi City, Mississippi
Mississippi State, Mississippi
Missouri City, Missouri
Montana City, Montana
Nebraska City, Nebraska
Nevada, Iowa
Nevada City, California
Nevada City, Nevada
Jersey City, New Jersey
Mexico City, New Mexico
New York City, New York
Carolina City, North Carolina
Ohio City, Ohio
Ohio Colony, Texas
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Oregon City, Oregon
Dakota City, South Dakota
Tennessee City, Tennessee
Tennessee Ridge, Tennessee
Texas City, Texas
Utah City, Utah
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Virginia City, Virginia
Washington City, California
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin

Unimaginatively
Named Cities that are nonetheless kind of Imaginative:

Calexico, California
CalNevAri, Nevada
Kanorado, Kansas
Naco, Arizona
Norlina, North Carolina
SeaTac, Washington
Tennga, Georgia
Texarkana, Texas
Texico, New Mexico
Texico, Texas
Texhoma, Oklahoma
Texhoma, Texas

Cities Unimaginatively Named for OTHER states:

Arkansas City, Kansas
Arkansaw, Wisconsin
California, Kentucky
California, Maryland
California, Missouri
California, Pennsylvania
Colorado City, Arizona
Colorado City, Texas
Dakota City, Nebraska
Delaware, Arkansas
Delaware, Iowa
Delaware, Ohio
Delaware, Oklahoma
Florida, Massachusetts
Florida, New Mexico
Florida, New York
Florida, Ohio
Georgia Center, Vermont
Georgia City, Missouri
Hawaiian Gardens, California
Idaho Springs, Colorado
Indiana City, Pennsylvania
Iowa, Louisiana
Kansas, Alabama
Kansas, Illinois
Kansas, Ohio
Kansas, Oklahoma
Kansas City, Missouri
Kansasville, Wisconsin
Lousiana, Missouri
Maine, New York
Mainesburg, Pennsylvania
Maryland Heights, Missouri
Michigan, North Dakota
Michigan City, Indiana
Michigan City, Mississippi
Michigantown, Indiana
Missouri City, Texas
Missouri Valley, Iowa
Montana, Arkansas
Nebraska, Indiana
Nevada, Iowa
Nevada, Missouri
Nevada, Ohio
Nevada City, California
Nevada Mills, Indiana
New York Mills, Minnesota
Ohio, Colorado
Ohio, Illinois
Ohio, New York
Ohiopyle, Pennyslvania
Ohioville, Pennsylvania
Ohiowa, Nebraska
Oregon, Illinois
Oregon, Missouri
Oregon, Ohio
Oregon, Wisconsin
Tennessee, Illinois
Texhole, Texas
Vermont, Illinois
Vermontville, Michigan
Vermont City, South Dakota Virginia, Alabama
Virginia, Illinois
Virginia, Minnesota
Virginia, Nebraska
Virginia City, Montana
Virginia City, Nevada
Washington, Arkansas
Washington, Connecticut
Washington, Georgia
Washington, Illinois
Washington, Indiana
Washington, Iowa
Washington, Kansas
Washington, Kentucky
Washington, Lousiana
Washington, Massachusetts
Washington, Mississippi
Washington, Missouri
Washington, Nebraska
Washington, New Hamsphire
Washington, New Jersey
Washington, North Carolina
Washington, Oklahoma
Washington, Pennsylvania
Washington, Tennessee
Washington, Utah
Washington, Vermont
Washington, Virginia
Washington, West Virginia
Washington City, Utah
Washington Court House, Ohio
Washington Crossing, New Jersey
Washington Depot, Connecticut
Washington Park, Florida
Washington Park, Illinois
Washington Terrace, Utah
Washington Township, New Jersey
Washingtonville, Pennsylvania
Wyoming, Delaware
Wyoming, Illinois
Wyoming, Iowa
Wyoming, Michigan
Wyoming, Minnesota
Wyoming, New York
Wyoming, Ohio
Wyoming, Pennsylvania
Wyoming, Rhode Island

States seemingly, remarkably, free of Unimaginatively Named Cities (as defined):

Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Wyoming

The Site of Unimaginative City Names

Upon a visit to Oregon City, Oregon it struck me how Unimaginative it is to name a city after a state. Off the top of my head I could think of at least half a dozen other such Unimaginatively Named Cities. Unimaginably idle curiosity prompted a search for the rest, resulting in yet another Unimaginably pointless repository of something-or-other here at Deuce of Clubs.

Participation

If you live in or know of an Unimaginatively Named City (one named after a state, that is -- a site's got to have *some* focus), you can turn the name of your Unimaginatively Named City into a live link at left by sending a photo of your Unimaginatively Named City, or the history of how your Unimaginatively Named City was unimaginatively named, or something else noteworthy or of general interest or imaginative about your Unimaginatively Named City.

Updates

01jan2009

Wes Peters contends:

You really should include the city facing it across the border:
Mexicali, in the Mexican state of Frontera Baja California.

DoC acknowledges the oversight.

20dec2006

Dan Bosserman reveals:

I’ve enjoyed your list immensely, but it’s worth pointing out that your original premise is based on 180-degree misunderstanding. Oregon City is NOT named after the state of Oregon, as it pre-dates Oregon statehood. Oregon City was in fact the first incorporated city west of the Rockies, and was named so because it was the very first city in the Oregon territory, which included what is now Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and parts of Montana, California, and British Columbia. Oregon City was the logical name for it. A little-known bit of history is that San Francisco got its corporation papers from the Oregon City courthouse.

By the way, I live in Boring, Oregon, and am on the board of directors of the Boring Community Planning Organization, which last year tried to achieve a bit of legal status as a “village,” but lost by 3 votes. I also write extensively for the E.Clackamas County Gazette, which publishes from Sandy, Oregon, six miles down the road.

DoC responds: many a great undertaking is founded upon error. or so i will claim from now on.

btw, we originally went to boring because we'd heard there was a place called "the boring strip club." we found no such thing.

20dec2006

According to Keith T.:

This may not quite fit in with your list, but Federal Way, Washington was named for the fact that a US highway (i.e. "a federal way") goes through the area. That's such an unimaginative place name that it isn't even a place name in my opinion; it's a road name.

Also just to the north is Des Moines, WA.

21sep2006

Steve Byers points out:

One city conspicuously missing from your list is...Arkansas City, Kansas (the emphasis is on Kansas - pronounced R Kansas City) named after the Arkansas River (which is called the R Kansas river in Kansas).

20jul2006

Says Walt H.:

I live in Sierra Vista, Arizona, just 25 miles from Naco. Most residents here agree that it owes its name to the last two letters in Arizona and Mexico, going back to the late 1800s, when the border town was established. However, there is an interesting article in the local newspaper from last April that examines other possible sources for the name.

I think you will find article, and spanish insult "naco" interesting...

23mar2006

Jared M.:

I have a few of clarifications for your site. First, Washington, UT and Washington City, UT are, in fact, the same place. It just depends on how formal the map, sign, atlas, or index is that you are looking at. Second, Idaho Falls, ID isn’t, itself, unimaginatively named. At least, not after the state. The waterfall (itself not very impressive, being only a few feet high) was unimaginatively named after the state. The city was unimaginatively named after the waterfall. So, it’s a doubly unimaginatively named place. Third, any places named with ‘Colorado’ or ‘Nevada’ outside of those places, and/or in eastern states, just as likely they were named because of the Spanish meanings of the names: ‘Red’ (Colorado) and ‘Snow-capped’ or ‘Snow Covered’ (Nevada).

Just thought I’d share. I enjoyed browsing the site. It is now one of my repositories for random trivia.

03mar2006

Robert H:

Wyoming is just like Kansas, in that the state was named for an existing geographical feature, viz. the Wyoming Valley of northeastern Pennsylvania. The valley, which is partly traversed by the Susquehanna River, is the location of the cities of Scranton and Wilkes-Barre. The towns of Wyoming in all the other states as well as the state itself are named for this valley. The name of valley is itself derived from a corruption of a Lenape term meaning "place of the big plain".

09aug2005

According to IrisLillie, Kansas City is not an unimaginatively named city but rather Kansas is an unimaginatively named state:

You have the city Kansas City, Missouri listed as cities named after other states...
If you were to give a darn... and most don't... you would find the city... Kansas City, was named BEFORE there was a state of Kansas...
In otherwords... Kansas the state is named after the city of Kansas City, MO...
Just so's you know.....

07jul2005

Marc M. adds:

not too terribly far from that oh-so-famous project x in xgrand rapids, mi is the quaint little town of alaska, mi. ain’t never been there. all I know about it is that it is a long-distance call from xgrand rapids, so I never did call that girl who gave me her phone number. years went by, and i ended up marrying a girl from wyoming, mi (i see that one is already on your list) – which, i’ll have you know, is not a long-distance call from xgrand rapids.

Marc adds further:

Whilst perusing your web page all about unimaginatively named cities and such, I noted that you noted that Alaska is a state seemingly, remarkably, free of Unimaginatively Named Cities (as defined).

Now that I've noted that I noted that you noted that, please note this: I did not set out, as one might put it, to prove you wrong. I simply was curious and wanted to see for myself. So I surfed over to MapJaunt.com* where I began typing in, to begin with, state names. Holy Horsemeat! (my apologies to you) Nearly every state in the Union has a _creek_ named after it!

Nonetheless, you weren't looking for unimaginatively named creeks (maybe another web page, another day). As I continued entering unimaginative names, I encountered what I believe to be (though, admittedly, not by your official definition criteria) the very utmostly unimaginatively, not to mention uncommittedly and unpatriotically, just simply the most UN-ly named city in the U.S.A -- Unalaska, Alaska.

That's just wrong.

26may2005

Chris W. writes:

I applaud your list. I've been thinking about doing one for sometime (having lived too close to Illinois City, IL, and close enough to Iowa City, IA). However:

There is no Michigan City, MI. There is, however, a Michigan City, IN (very close to the border), and on the border, a Michiana. There's also a Michigan City, MS (according to Mapquest), but that looks to be less a town than a crossroads.

And as a sidenote, with Nevada, IA, it's pronounced Nuh VEH duh (long A sound), as opposed to Nuh VAH duh.

Keep up the good work

24mar2005

It doesn't quite fit into the list, but according to Ron S.:

There's a city called Mexico in Missouri. You have most of the ones in Missouri that I've heard of. Missouri is full of boring city names, but they have some funny ones, too. Like Tightwad, Missouri. Interesting web site.

18feb2005

Kayla C. points out:

there is also a Nevada City, California and a Washington City, California. very small. washington city is a one road town.

04jan2005

Frogmobile writes:

Glad to see my former hometown, Missouri City, Texas has made the list. Here are more submissions for the unimaginative city names list, subcategory- Cities Unimaginatively Named for OTHER states: Iowa Colony, Texas (It used to be a pretty notorious speedtrap. As I recall, not content to be just a speck on the map, the city annexed a stretch of highway (and little else) to become a speck on the map with a means to generate substantial traffic enforcement revenue.); also, its former neighbors were Ohio Colony, Texas and Illinois Colony, Texas

BTW, at the bottom of the list, you have a section for States seemingly, remarkably, free of Unimaginatively Named Cities (as defined). It hardly seems fair to include New Hampshire and South Carolina on the list--those entire states are unimaginatively named.

18dec2004

California City, California and CalNevAri, Nevada

13nov2004

Ellen E. writes:

Hi,
Your website on stupid city names is very entertaining - however, you should realize that most cities and towns named "Wyoming" are named after an Eastern native tribe (comes from the Algonquin or Delaware language). Settlers going west took this name with them as they went.
In fact, the state of Wyoming is almost certainly named after the earlier Wyomings from back east.
Not clear on the specifics, but Wyoming, New York is definitely not named after the state of Wyoming.
Keep up the good work!
Ellen

12nov2004

Dozens more contributed by Professor Cardyhouse

12nov2004

Rodney G., who gives us Nevada, Iowa, adds:

For what it's worth, they pronounce it differently than the state. In Iowa, it's Nuh-vay'-duh. The long "a" in the middle being the difference.

"In 1853, the Iowa legislature appointed Commissioners to locate a county seat for Story County. The Commissioners looked the county over and decided on a site in the vicinity of the center of the county. One of the Commissioners, Mr. Joseph Thrift, had been a "Forty-niner" in California, and in his journey across the continent had greatly admired the Sierra Nevadas; so he proposed the name Nevada to the new town. The town of Nevada was named ten years before the state of Nevada. Therefore, there seems to be no foundation to the claim that the town was named for the state."

11nov2004

Texico, New Mexico

11nov2004

Amal Cornholio presents us with Texico, Texas and Texoma, Texas

11nov2004

Sean says: Calexico has a ring to it. Same with Texarkana.
They're not in the same league as the current winner of the award for All-Around Shittiest American Place Award:

SeaTac.

If "fart" wasn't spelled F-A-R-T, it would be spelled SeaTac. This is a crappy, latter-day invented "city" halfway between Seattle and Tacoma in Washington State. Go on, say it out loud a few times. Let your tongue take it for a spin around the block. It just gets shittier the more you consider it.

Nice collection, hope this makes the grade.

01oct2004

Cardhouse reminds me of the inexcusably overlooked Calexico, CA.

30aug2004

According to Randy N., "There are no fewer than ten cities, towns, or villages in the U.S. named Mexico. They are located in: Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, and in Juniata County and Montour County, Pennsylvania. I can only vouch for the size of Mexico, Maine, which has a post office, a car dealership and a great dive diner called the Chicken Coop. I'm shocked by the appearance of two Mexicos in Pennsylvania. They're roughly 50 miles apart. Perhaps readers of DoC know of other instances of multiple identical town names in one state..."

Though we're actually looking for U.S. cities named after U.S. states, it's always refreshing to see other examples of unimagination.

02aug2004

Rin K. submits Kanorado, Kansas, which she says, "is rather blandly clever, no? It might actually be pulsing with genius -- I'm still undecided."

15jul2004

Missouri City, TX

08jul2004

Chris offers up Virginia, Minnesota; New York Mills, Minnesota; and Arkansaw, WI.

01jun2004

Stephen D. submits: Virginia Beach, Virginia; Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin; Wyoming, Michigan; Wyoming, Ohio; Wyoming, Minnesota

29may2004

Tom A. submits three more Unimaginatively Named Cities that are nonetheless kind of Imaginative: "Tennga, Georgia (on the border of Georgia and Tennessee, close to where I grew up); Texarkana, Texas (everybody knows this one); Naco, Arizona (near your home! last two letters of Arizona and Mexico)."

22may2004

Ryan S. submits an Unimaginatively Named City that is nonetheless kind of Imaginative

27apr2004

Doctor Brody inaugurates the Unimagination Mail Page

27apr2004

Marne G. suggests sleep deprivation is behind Iowa City, Iowa

26apr2004

Scott B. offers Indiana City, Pennsylvania info

26apr2004

Lazlo debunks Mexico City, New Mexico