Silly cities, ridiculous roads
The world is full of funny place names. Have you ever been to a place with a silly name?
Around Britain there are places called Looe, Little Snoring, Sandwich Bay and Honey Hill, to name just a small fraction. Other countries have them too: you can go to Nowhere Else in Australia, Hot Water Beach in New Zealand, Sugar Land in the USA and 100 Mile House in Canada. And those are only a tiny number of examples.
As well as giving us a giggle, we can use silly place names as starting points for stories. Here are 2 ways:
1. Imagine what that place is like, and make up a story based there.
For example: Little Snoring could be a place where everyone is very lazy. All they do all day is lie around sleeping, snoring their heads off! The next village is fed up. Not only do they have to do all the work, they can’t sleep at night from all the thunderous snoring that roars across the fields. One day, they are so annoyed, they wage war on Little Snoring. They storm Little Snoring armed with alarm clocks, until the people of the town are, at long last, forced out of bed. But they aren’t too happy about it, and fight back by singing lullabies until the invading villagers fall asleep. They block the villagers’ ears with earplugs and return to bed, happily snoring away just as they did before.
2. Write the story of how the place came to have that name.
For example, why is Sugar Land called that? The story could go that a humble farmer, Mr Miller, used to live there, toiling the fields to grow wheat and marrows. One day a lorry carrying ten tonnes of sugar overturned in front of the farm, spilling sugar over all his fields and crops. The crops were destroyed. The soil was ruined. Poor Mr. Miller’s livelihood was devastated. For days he was very depressed. His family had no income, and would soon starve. Then one day, his little daughter Molly Miller noticed tiny candy canes sprouting from the ground. As days went by, they grew. A few weeks later the Miller family lived on a farm of candy floss bushes and chocolate trees, syrup streams and humbug berries. They switched to selling sweets instead of vegetables, and re-named their farm Sugar Land.
Your ideas can then be written up into longer stories.
As inspiration, here is a list of more funny place names. There are plenty more if you want to find your own, but here are a few you can choose from. What do these places look like? What are the people like? What happens to your characters there?
Tin Can Bay
Hot Water Beach
No Name Key
100 Mile House