Ever notice how strange-sound words tend to start sounding normal after hearing them enough? What words come up frequently in Illinois that seem mundane to those of us who live here but maybe deserve a second look? Let's recognize these weird place names in our state for the unique monikers they are.
If you were Martian just arriving in Illinois (albeit a Martian with a decent grasp of the English language and a surprisingly strong knowledge of Western human history) what kinds of weird comments or questions would you have if you heard these Illinois place names for the first time?
A lot of communities in Illinois have names that ring a bell:
Warsaw, Waterloo, Versailles, Verona, Vienna, Venice, Troy, Toledo, Rome, Paris, New Berlin, Liverpool, Kent, Hamburg, Geneva, Dover, Crete, Brussels, Bristol, Bath, Athens, Andalusia, Alhambra, Thebes, Pekin, Lima, Havana, Cypress, Cairo, Palestine, Panama, Peru, New Holland, Malta, Macedonia, Cuba, Columbia, Antioch, Tennessee, Wyoming, Ohio, Kansas, Dakota, Albany, Annapolis, El Paso, Georgetown, London Mills, Manhattan, Milan, New Memphis, Newark, Omaha, Oregon, Raleigh, Salem, Sparta, Topeka, Virginia
Are these names descriptive or aspirational?
Unity, Triumph, Noble, Justice, Equality, Fidelity, Hopedale, Good Hope, Industry, Joy, Libertyville, Lovejoy, Loves Park, Royal, Union, Harmony
And there are plenty of places that lend themselves to cringe-worthy puns:
Voila, it's Viola.
How much is Worth worth?
Was the founding of Lowpoint really such a bad time?
What kinds of perks can you get living in Perk?
Is an afternoon in Timewell really time well spent?
What would the ransom note look like if the entire population of Ransom were kidnapped?
It's not rare to see a Raritanian in Raritan.
They had to change the name of the town to Muddy after it started raining a lot in Dirty.
Let me preemptively say Preemption is a pretty preemptive place.
Oh man, I'd love to live in Ohlman.
They're not very good at taking their vitamins in Mineral.
Living in Okawville is great, okaw?
Tell me about a normal day in Normal. Well, it's actually pretty unusual.
Nachusa. Bless you!
I'm sure Plainville isn't as boring as it sounds.
I shudder to think of the bureaucracy they must face in Bureau.
And then there are some places that just make you scratch your head:
Goofy Ridge, Dunfermline, Mooseheart, Media, Hometown, Golf, Orangeville, Sandwich, Joppa, Hooppole.
Did we miss any towns or places in Illinois with unusual names? Let us know!
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