A Brief History
On May 25, 1521, the famous imperial general assembly known as the Diet of Worms was concluded by the Edict of Worms, an order by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V that declared the Protestant reformer Martin Luther an outlaw. Worms, Germany is not the only place with a name that sounds “funny” in English, and here we list 10 such places. Stay tuned for sequel lists as there are many more!
10. Worms, Germany.
Through the years, this city of 80,000 people has been the scene of many “diets.” Not gatherings where slimy annelids were feasted on, these were meetings of deliberative religious bodies. Still, a “diet of worms” sounds like something the class clown would do on a bet.
9. Condom, France.
Apparently, this is the safe sex capital of Europe, edging out Diaphragm, England. Okay, we made the last one up, but Condom is a real place. In case you were wondering, the contraceptives we call condoms are more commonly known as Préservatifs in France. Makes you wonder what they are trying to preserve?!
8. Shitterton, England.
We sh*t you not! Located in Dorset, this town’s name means pretty much what it sounds like. It seems that back in the day, the local creek was used as an open sewer and public toilet. Perhaps not surprisingly, the valley known as Scratchy bottom can also be found in Dorset and narrowly missed out to Shitterton in a 2012 poll for “Britain’s worst place name.”
7. Kobe, Japan.
There is nothing funny about the name of this great city, unless you think it was named after a basketball player. Trust us, the city had the name first. And as far as we could find, there is no French city named “Le Bron.” Get it?
6. Batman, Turkey.
Not named after the DC Comics crime fighter, this city of 350,000 is the capital of Batman Province and is situated on the Batman River. Does it have a suburb called Robin? Not that we know of. Though there is a village in England called Gotham…
5. Bloody Dick, Montana.
Rivaled by Blowhole, Australia for a “what the heck name,” there are also a stream (noted for trout fishing) and a hill (Bloody Dick Peak) with this catchy name. And if those names were not bad enough on their own, they are located in Beaverhead County.
4. Fucking, Austria.
Should we even address this place? Many German-named places have provocative sounding names to English-speaking people (see #10), but this city takes the cake. By the way, it is pronounced Foo-King and means “the place of Focko’s people. Whoever they may be?! Local city signs are now theft resistant due to the obvious problem of souvenir seekers taking them.
3. Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.
Originally named Hot Springs, this town of 6,400 souls changed its name in 1950 in order to win an appearance on a radio game show. That show’s host would visit the town every year for the next half century, and the event is celebrated annually as “Fiesta” during the first week of May. Local folks usually just call the place “T or C.”
2. Blue Ball, Pennsylvania.
This tiny place of 1,000 residents got its name from the Blue Ball Hotel that used to be located there. Luckily it is offset by the quaint Pennsylvania towns of Bareville, Lititz, Bird in Hand, Mount Joy and Paradise, all of which sound somewhat more appealing.
1. Intercourse, Pennsylvania.
Just how this town of just over 1,200 people came to its provocative name is unknown, though there are several theories. We do know that it was originally called Cross Keys before being renamed Intercourse in 1814. Located in the heart of Pennsylvania Amish country, it was the setting for the 1985 movie Witness, starring Harrison Ford. Question: If you have never been to Intercourse, does that mean you are still a virgin???
Question for students (and subscribers): What do you think is the funniest name for a place and why? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
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For more information, please see…
Vu, Thuy. Did Martin Luther Go On a Diet of Worms? (Church History for Kids) (Volume 2). CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014.