ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Longest Town Name and Shortest Town Name

Updated on December 17, 2015

Longest Town Name and Shortest Town Name

If you read my hubs, you know that I often use longer words.

Longer words have a certain appeal. For example, I believe that the word, ‘perspicacious,’ conveys so much more than ‘wise.’

And ‘perspicuous’ has so much more class than ‘easy to understand.’ Those are two of my favorite words.

I have noticed this inclination at times in the writings of fellow Hubbers. As an example, Nicomp is fond of ‘sentient’ (having feeling or perception), and ‘plethora’ (profusion) – two more of my favorite words.

This fellow may have tried to pronounce the town's name without taking a breath.
This fellow may have tried to pronounce the town's name without taking a breath. | Source

Longest Town Name

The founders of a village in Wales also believed that the sentient inhabitants of their town would enjoy a plethora of characters proclaiming the identity of their residence. So they named their small village Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch (58 characters)

The population at the 2001 census was 3,040.

Have you ever known someone who has lived in Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch?

Can you say, “Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch?”

Naomi Watts
Naomi Watts | Source

Naomi Watts can!

Naomi Watts, the lovely actress, was born in Shoreham, Kent, England.

After her father died, she moved with her mother to the village of Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch on the island of Anglesey in Wales.

And Naomi can spell that long name by heart.

What does that long name mean?

Saint Mary's Church in the hollow of the white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the Church of St. Tysilio of the red cave.


The approximate English pronunciation is printed on a sign at the railway station as: Llan-vire-pooll-guin-gill-go-ger-u-chwurn-drob-ooll-llantus-ilio-gogo-goch.

The name is sometimes shortened to Llanfair PG, which is sufficient to distinguish it from several other Welsh villages with Llanfair in their names.

Footnote #1

‘Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenu kitanatahu' is the longest place name in the world, according to the Guinness Book of Records. It is a hill located at southern Hawke's Bay on the North Island of New Zealand. (85 characters)

Abbott and Costello in the 1940s
Abbott and Costello in the 1940s | Source

Shortest Town Name

Before I explain the origin of the town with the shortest name, let me digress for a moment. Do you remember the comedy team of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello?

Bud was the taller straight man who fed the lines to his chubby colleague, Lou. A typical dialogue might start something like this:

Bud: What is the name of that town with the shortest name?

Lou: Why.

Bud: Because I’m asking. What is the name?

Lou: No, it's not.

Bud: Whatta ya mean, no, it's not? What is the name of that town?

Lou: No. Why.

Bud: Whatta ya mean, why? Because I’m asking, that’s why.

Lou: Correct.

Bud: What is correct?

Lou: No, it's Why.

And that sort of disjointed conversation could go on for some time. Here is an example – their famous baseball routine:

'Who's on First'

Why, Arizona
Why, Arizona | Source
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, AZ
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, AZ | Source

Let me tell you about Why – the town with the shortest name.

Why is a tiny unincorporated rural community in Pima County, Arizona, U.S.

It lies near the western border of the Tohono O'Odham Indian Reservation, and due north of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in southern Arizona.

It is approximately thirty miles north of the Mexican border.

The population in Why at the 2000 census was approximately 116.

The town derives its name from the fact that the two major highways, State Routes 85 and 86, originally intersected in a Y-intersection. The town’s founders wanted to name the town ‘Y.’

At the time of its naming, however, Arizona law required all city names to have at least three letters, so the town's founders named the town "Why" as opposed to simply calling it "Y."

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) later removed the old Y-intersection for traffic safety reasons, and built the two highways in a conventional T-intersection south of the original intersection.

No, the inhabitants have not changed the name of the town to Tea or Tee . . . yet.

Footnote #2

In 1781, the original name for Los Angeles, California was the longest name for a town in the U.S. The name was ‘El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río de Porciúncula’ which means ‘The Town of Our Lady the Queen of Angels of the Porciúncula River.’ (61 characters)

Favorite ‘small town’ quote:

“A small town is a place where there’s no place to go where you shouldn’t.” – Burt Bacharach

© Copyright BJ Rakow, Ph.D. 2015. All rights reserved. Author, "Much of What You Know about Job Search Just Ain't So."

Comments for Longest Town Name and Shortest Town Name

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      Leaving you hankering for more is my mission, dear Mary. And thanks for being such a loyal follower. As far as the long-named town is concerned, I wouldn't be surprised if the inhabitants possess a sense of superiority and celebrity in being the 'longest-named' town.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      3 years ago from New York

      Again dear Doc, you entertain us with strange but true facts. The best part, of course, is all the background you give us leaving us all hankering for more. I guess the founders of the long-winded Welsh town didn't care if the kids could spell it when they got to Kindergarten.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      The children in that long-named Welsh town should be given ID bracelets imprinted with the town's name and their address so they don't have to strain their brains trying to spell it.

      Thanks for finding this funny, Peg, and loving Abbott and Costello as I do.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      That town's name must require an extension flap on a person's identification. I can't imagine trying to teach it to a child who needs to remember their address. They should all move to Why.

      Very funny topic and I loved the Abbott and Costello video.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      So happy you enjoyed Bud and Lou again, Linda. They were a funny duo. Their films may be corny by today's standards but I love them anyway. If you ever need to mail something to that longest named town, use Llanfair PG as the address and you won't have a problem. So they say!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      3 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Geez, that town with all those letters that I am not going to attempt to spell, WOW! I can't imagine trying to address that envelope!!!

      I had fun watching Abbott and Costello, brought back many memories :)

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      You get an A for spelling the name of the town correctly, Genna. You and Naomi are two of my favorite people. Loved your description of these articles as my wheelhouse - very imaginative, m'dear. Sharing them is my pleasure - thank you for reading them.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      “Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch?” Unbelievable. And good for Naomi! (She's one of my favorite actresses by the way.) Another interesting and unique charmer. These articles are your wheelhouse, drbj, for I don't think there is another hub author who can write them so well. Thank you for sharing them with us.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      Nice to meet you, sajupalu. I imagine the folks who grow up in Llanfair PG learn the full long name when they are children. But as adults, they probably tell others they are from the shorter version name of their town. The folks born in Why have no problem.

      Thanks for all the interesting adjectives.

    • sajupalu profile image


      3 years ago from India

      Strange and interesting a bit. Some of this seems challenging to pronounce. I’m eager to know how people of those hard to pronounce places pronounce that name easily. I doubt how they use their place’s name frequently. Weird and funny as well.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      As it is always a delight to hear from you, sweet Patricia. May your evening be super special. And here are a few Angels for YOU.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      3 years ago from sunny Florida

      You are so welcome....It is always a delight to stop by your pages, drbj...have a lovely evening :D

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Kiss and Tales - love your profile name. Thanks for enjoying this hub - it was my pleasure to share. Any time.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Patricia. Good to know that slapstick humor like Abbott and Costello has a place in your heart, too. I also would have had a difficult time learning to pronounce and spell the complete name of Llanfair PG if that had been my birthplace.

      Now Why - that's a different story. Thanks, m'dear, for the tweeting, pinning, sharing and such. You are a sweetie.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      What lovely, intriguing adjectives, Larry. I have always had a fascination for the bizarre and obscure. Perspicacious of you to notice that.

    • Kiss andTales profile image

      Kiss andTales 

      3 years ago

      I so enjoy this hub of happy knowledge

      Something to smile about , something to learn about, an a delighful hub you shared.

      Thank you for shaing BJRakow

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      3 years ago from sunny Florida

      O my...I would not have wanted to be a young 'un learning to spell the name of my hometown if the, you know that town above reputed to hold the title for its length, was my hometown....

      and Why that is a great little name..short and sweet.

      Yes, Abott and love love them....who's on first?? Never tired of their antics.

      Always a hit drbj Angels are headed your way ps

      shared g+ tweeted pinned

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      3 years ago from Oklahoma

      Always enjoy the bizarre and obscure. Great read!

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Ruby. It is interesting how some villages cling to those overlong names. But like you, Y rings a bell with me, too. Great conversation starter, you know.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      Thanks, MizB, for stopping by and finding this amusing and informative. Like you, I am fond of Why, too. Maybe I'll visit that metropolis one day so I can say I've been to Why.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      OK, Bill, I like your translation of that ancient adage better than mine: 'You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.'

      It would be kinda fun to live in Why and every time someone asks where you are from, you respond, 'Why!'

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, bp. OK, stick with Why - it's so much more fun than What (Watts) ... or Howe ... or Wen ... or Ware - all actual town names. ;)

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      You got my meaning, Paula. Interesting and strange was my mission.

      The longest town's name celebrates the name of the town's church. And the shortest town's name simply piqued my curiosity.

      Just don't scratch your head too hard since Michigan Part 2 is on its way. Wait 'til you read that crazy 'bestiality' law.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      You got that right, peachpurple. Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch IS the longest name for a town and the residents seem to be very proud of every single syllable.

      Practice saying it every day and soon you'll be perfect.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Omg, " Take a sow's butt and make it a silk ear. " Interesting how towns cling to long names. I like Y. and I enjoyed this...

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      G'day, Jodah. It was your fascinating hub with that video of Abbott and Costello that gave me the idea of introducing the town of Why in that fashion. Don't feel badly that you missed the 'what or why' exchange because they never used it. I just composed it for this hub.

      With regard to actors from Australia, I have not yet seen a single one that was not handsome/beautiful and most charming.

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      3 years ago from Beautiful South

      So very amusing and informative. Town names can be so much fun. I've noticed that Catholic areas seem to have the longest names, usually beginning with Our Lady of.... There are a lot of Old Testament names in protestant areas, too, like Jerusalem and Antioch. But I really like the funny ones best. I love Why, why I don't know.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh, those silly Welsh! I would just move. It's much easier than trying to say the town name daily, right?

      Fun read, of course. You can take a sow's butt and make it a silk ear, or something like that. :)

    • breakfastpop profile image


      3 years ago

      I'll stick with WHY!

    • fpherj48 profile image


      3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Doc....Interesting and a bit strange. There are some City & town names that stretch the imagination, not to mention challenge pronunciation. The 58-character town name starts out meaning St. Mary's Church...? So, is it a church or a town? LOL What's obvious is that it's a mouthful and a half....(& that should be what it means!!)

      You always bring us something to think about as we scratch our heads, Doc!

    • peachpurple profile image


      3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      Now that is the longest name of a town that is hard to pronounce

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Great hub drbj. I saw the Welsh weatherman read out the the longest town name with ease. I never knew Naomi Watts wa from there, I always thought she was Australian like Heath Ledger she used to go with. But then we tend to claim anyone who ha lived here at some stage our Russel Crowe. I also shared "Who's on First" in my first of the "Just For Kicks" series...but it's a classic that never gets boring. I hadn't hard their exchange about the shortest town."why or what?" Interesting to hear about the original name of Las Angeles too.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)