Tuesday, June 17, 2008

What Can We Learn From A Name Like Toad Suck?

I'm a writer. I pay attention to quirky words. And when I travel, I can often get a good sense about a place from the names of its towns, rivers, streets, parks, etc.

So when we drove past Toad Suck in route to Fort Smith, Arkansas, I knew I’d hit the jackpot. This was a place with a sense of humor. Here are the most prevalent theories surrounding this colorful name, courtesy of The Log Cabin Democrat. (See, even the local newspapers have interesting names.)

Despite its hard-nosed investigation, the Cabin concludes that the origins of the name remain in dispute. To quote, “There has never been toadal agreement.” I felt a love of small town America flicker upon reading that.

This observation of linguistic creativity was not isolated. I soon noticed some very amusing town name mashups in the region. It’s like they found every possible combination using the stem “Ark. Here are my favorites:




So I have to put a point in the “pro” column for Arkansas on this front. The names here make me smile.

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