Longest Town Name and Shortest Town Name
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.
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 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.
LLAN - FAIR - PWLL - GWYN - GYLL - GO - GER - YCH - WYRN - DROB - WLL - LLAN - TY - SILIO - GO - GO - GOCH
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.
‘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)
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?
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.
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'
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.
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."