Weird Texas Place Names And Their Origins

One of the many benefits of traveling a lot for your job is that the back roads and byways, not just the interstates, become your beaten paths. The other day as I was driving through Cut and Shoot, which is a real town located near Houston, I decided to highlight a few of the weird and wonderful place names that have  caused me to ponder just what the city or town founders must have been thinking when they came up with that one.

Cut and Shoot

Located near Conroe just 40 miles from downtown Houston, Cut and Shoot, or Cut n Shoot, has its own post office as well as city hall. It became an official city in August of 2006 and has a booming population of just over 1200 people. It became famous when boxer Roy Harris lived there in the 1950s and people from all over the world sent fan mail simply addressed to "Cut n Shoot", Texas.

The town is reportedly named from a comment made by a young man during a community dispute in 1912. The exact reason of the disagreement is not certain; it may have been a land dispute, an argument over the type of steeple to be built on the church or an argument over who could preach at the church. Regardless of the reason this young lad apparently voiced that he would "cut around the corner and shoot through the bushes" making a statement that has stuck ever since.

Yes, This Kind Of Happy

Happy

Happy, actually a town and not a city, is located in both Swisher as well as Randall counties. It is a short 35 mile drive south of Amarillo on I-27. Happy has a population of just over 600 people but is famous for a movie, being Google's default weather location on their homepage as well as being home to legendary rockabilly star Buddy Knox.

Happy is named after the natural spring that occurs in a draw (Texas for gully, valley or shallow canyon). It is believed that the area was called Happy since this is how saddle weary travelers and cowboys felt when they finally found fresh water in this rather parched area.


Gun Barrel City

Ok, maybe this isn't too weird for Texas, but it is a strange city name. Located in Henderson County on State Highway 198, formally known as Gun Barrel Lane, the city is actually named after the old road that the city is built beside. Surprisingly the community itself was only formed in 1960 and was specifically incorporated to allow beer and wine sales in an otherwise "dry" area.

The area around the old Gun Barrel Lane was frequented by the likes of Bonnie and Clyde and the road itself was named for an old farmer, Mr. C. L Wait. Mr. Wait reportedly sat in his living room with a shotgun pointed out the window, which he fired on individuals of dubious character that were traveling the roadway.

Gone But Not Forgotten

Nameless

First established in 1880, Nameless is now just a ghost town located near Austin. Citizens that first founded the town in the mid 1800's wanted to name the town and obtain a post office within the town limits. They submitted at least 6 names, all which were rejected by the US Postal authority. Apparently someone on the city council or within the community sent a letter to the US Postal Service stating, "Let the post office be nameless and be damned!" And lo and behold, the Post Office did!


Corpus Christi

One of the most popular coastal tourist spots in the state, Corpus Christi also has a very unusual name. The literal translation of Corpus Christi is "Body of Christ". In fact Alonzo Alvarez de Pineda, a Spanish explorer, first discovered the area in 1519. It so happened that he touched land at that spot on the Roman Catholic Feast Day of Corpus Christi, and promptly gave the area the same name.

Currently Corpus Christi is home to over 280,000 permanent residents and that number almost doubles over the summer vacation and holiday months. With an average yearly temperature of 71 degrees Fahrenheit it is no wonder this is such a popular place to visit.


Turkey Namesake

Turkey

Located, believe it or not, not too far from such towns as Matador, Flomot and Gray Mule and also only about 70 miles from Happy, Turkey is another small town with a population of just under 600 people. It is rumored that the town is named after the large populations of wild Rio Grande Turkeys found in the area both historically and even today.

Turkey was home to legendary western swing musician Bob Wills. There is still an annual festival in his honor held in the town, which draws people and musicians from all over the United States.

The List Goes On

This is by no means a complete list of the unusual, weird and wonderful names found in this great state. Other Texas cities that should be on the list include:

  • Bigfoot
  • Cleveland
  • Paris
  • Bee Cave
  • Palestine
  • Coffee
  • Bangs
  • Tiki Island
  • Muleshoe
  • Venus
  • Wink
  • Buda
  • Canadian
  • Cactus
  • Best
  • Twitty
  • Cool
  • Carl's Corner
  • Uncertain
  • Impact
  • Log Cabin

If you know of an unusual place name in Texas, leave a comment. Thanks for stopping by y'all!

A Field Of Beautiful Texas Bluebonnets

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Comments 41 comments

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

We certainly have our share of unusually named places in Texas. You did a great job of listing some of them and describing why some of them got their names.


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas

Good job, Mardi! You may have just inspired my next hub! Thanks!


Mardi profile image

Mardi 7 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Thanks Peggy and KCC, there were a lot to choose from.

KCC, I have driven people to drink but never to write, this is a first!


Julie-Ann Amos profile image

Julie-Ann Amos 7 years ago from Gloucestershire, UK

I love this! Thanks for sharing


johnb0127 profile image

johnb0127 7 years ago from TX

Great hub Mardi! I have been to some of these towns and they sure are cool!


Mardi profile image

Mardi 7 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Thanks for dropping by Julie-Ann. I am working on a hub on weird place names in Canada, then maybe the UK - who knows!


Mardi profile image

Mardi 7 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Hi John,

I have been to most of these places also, however not to Corpus. I am hoping to make a detour there on one of my trips to Beeville or Victoria this summer.


johnb0127 profile image

johnb0127 7 years ago from TX

Corpus is a great city. We go down there to the beach every year. Well, we go down to Port Aransas on Padre Island and we cut through Corpus. My cousins live there too so I have been several times. It is fun


travelerhubs profile image

travelerhubs 7 years ago from USA

Very interesting. these are weird names indeed, but great places though.


Mardi profile image

Mardi 7 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

There are a lot more than these travelerhubs, thanks for stopping by!


Mario 7 years ago

There is a plum, Texas off of Texas highway 71


Mardi profile image

Mardi 7 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

I forgot about that Mario, thanks!


Plants and Oils profile image

Plants and Oils 7 years ago from England

Fascinating hub! "Nameless" sounds a great place to send postcards from (-:

"Corpus Christi also has a very unusual name."

Not that unusual in European terms, I think. There's a Corpus Christi College at both Oxford and Cambridge, various schools in England, and a couple of towns in South America called the same name.

There's also at least one Corpus Christi road around in England that I know of.


janell 7 years ago

Does anyone know the story behind the name "Shotgun Hill" in Morris Co Tx. Would be East of Daingerfield, I believe.

tishomingo,6@gmail.com


Mardi profile image

Mardi 7 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Plants and Oils, that is interesting. I did not realize there were different areas with Corpus Christi as the name. Thanks for your comment.


Mardi profile image

Mardi 7 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Janell,

I am going to dig into this and see what I can find. May have some people in Daingerfield or Lonestar that may shed some light! I know there is some rumor about Bonnie and Clyde, but that is not accurate from what others have indicated.


Janell 7 years ago

I appreciate you trying to find the answer for me, Mardi


randy 6 years ago

ding dong texas near killeen. it caught my eye one day skimming through the state map


Mardi profile image

Mardi 6 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Randy,

Thanks so much for mentioning Ding Dong. There are so many of these smaller towns around that really have the strangest names.


Alassëa 6 years ago

Don't forget Dime Box and Old Dime Box!


Mardi profile image

Mardi 6 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Thanks so much Alassea for your comment and for dropping by. I also just recently had to drive through Goodnight, might as well add that to the list as well!


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

Mardi - during the Bicentenial celebrations (okay, so I spelled it wrong), there was a short piece on TV where Henry Fonda simply read the names of American towns - all kinds of names from the beautiful to the ridiculous. It sounded like a poem and never failed to make me cry. It was beautiful.


Mardi profile image

Mardi 6 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Thanks for commenting Dolores. I am going to look for that online and see if I can post it in a hub. Many thanks.


jhnsn283 6 years ago

Poteet always makes me giggle when I say it...or China, TX...LOL...we def have some unique names...I've realled enjoyed reading all your blogs. Especially the ones about TX :) Keep up the great work! Later Y'all ;)


Mardi profile image

Mardi 6 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

There are a bunch of very odd ones that's for sure. Thanks for your kind words, will be adding one more about Texas here very soon.


Brums 6 years ago

I was looking at my road atlas of Eastern Texas and noticed that there seemed to be a disproportionate number of city names that are also other high profile cities: Paris, London, Athens, Detroit, Atlanta, Pittsburg, Reno 2x, Albany, Huntsville, Buffalo, Arlington, Fredericksburg, Roanoke and Richmond (like Virginia), Canton, Cleveland, Dayton and Columbus(all like Ohio), Charlotte, Dublin, Elgin and Elkhart (like Illinois and Indiana), Fresno, Frisco, Orange, San Diego, Santa Ana, Santa Rosa and Pasadena (like California), Gainesville, Jacksonville and San(Saint) Augustine (like Florida), Florence and Naples as well as an Italy, Lexington, New Boston, Newark, Omaha, Portland, Saginaw, Santa Fe and Victoria are the ones that I saw just for Eastern Texas. Does anyone know why there are so many? In most cases the Texas city obviously came after their counterpart so why couldn't they come up with a new name or was there a policy to name the new city after the one the first settlers came from?


Mardi profile image

Mardi 6 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

I have asked the same thing Brums and have no had no response that there was ever a policy to specifically name towns and cities after established communities. I think (my opinion only) that is was a way to stay connected to where the people came from or places that they admired. I don't know if you have ever been to the places you have listed but they are NOTHING like the originals!!! Haha


Dave 5 years ago

You're missing the towns of Welfare and Prosper.


Anissa 5 years ago

How about the community of Belott outside of Crockett.


Mardi profile image

Mardi 5 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Dave and Anissa,

Great additions and thanks. There are so many unique names in Texas as well as around the country it is hard to choose which ones to list.


Cptn Krunch 4 years ago

Bug Tussle, Texas :)


Shy 4 years ago

I'm always interested in the towns named for Texas heroes, like Austin, Houston, Bowie, Lamar, Deaf Smith, Burnett, Crockett, etc.


kid 4 years ago

Lollipop, TX


Mardi profile image

Mardi 4 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Another one to add to the list. Thanks kid!


TX Native Son 4 years ago

Nice list - but don't forget my favorites - Uncertain (Near Caddo Lake in NE TX) and Moscow (which is very close to Nome and Beaumont)


Mardi profile image

Mardi 4 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Thanks everyone for adding to the list. TX Native Son I have actually been through Moscow but never to Uncertain!


Ac75088 4 years ago

Goodnight, TX on Hwy 287 on the way to Amarillo


Mardi profile image

Mardi 4 years ago from Western Canada and Texas Author

Yes, I have been through Goodnight and it is a great addition to the list, thanks Ac75088.


geraud 4 years ago

Don't forget coca cola Texas


martellawintek 3 years ago

hello kevin sorry mate i`v took so long this is the link

and some info , there there most competitive in the game ,just say marta give you there number


Rockspringer 3 years ago

Anybody know about the name of Cajac Creek in Kimble County? P. R. Rose mentions its being earlier known as Packsaddle Creek and gives as an incidental alternate Kyak or Kyac.

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