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Can You Believe the Names of These Towns?

Behind every oddball road sign is a town full of folks who simply call it "home."

Recently, Trulia shared six funny town names from around the country. But it turns out that Boring, Oregon, and Rough-and-Ready, California, were just the beginning. Responses poured in with more oddly named places that people have run across in their wanderings—gems like Intercourse, Pennsylvania, and Bucksnort, Tennessee. It seemed too good not to share. Here’s a look at five more roadside wonders, and the people who call them home.

  1. 1. Chugwater, Wyoming

    Population: 210

    Excellent advice! #roadtrip #wyoming

    A post shared by KtotheThames (@kelthames) on

    As local lore has it, Chugwater’s name dates back to the early 1800s, when Native American tribes in the area referred to it as “water at the place where the buffalo chug.” White settlers eventually changed it to the shortened version. Even today, the tiny town 45 miles north of Cheyenne celebrates its Wild West roots at the town’s annual chili cook-off with a cowboy joke contest and a quick draw/dead man contest where participants reenact their favorite movie-shoot-out scenes.

    “Life in Chugwater is a throwback to a simpler time,” says resident Terri Skiba. “Trains roll through town several times a day, and folks are always ready to lend a hand.” On weekends, locals check out the live music at the Stampede Saloon, where “country dancing is a must,” says Skiba. Another (totally coincidental) selling point of Chugwater: quality drinking water. The city recently won the “best tasting drinking water” award from the Wyoming Association of Rural Water Systems.

    See homes for sale in Chugwater.

  2. 2. Sandwich, Illinois

    Population: 7,421

    Sandwich lies 60 miles southwest of Chicago, but it’s named after a town in New Hampshire. The story goes that in the mid-1800s, locals told their congressman that he could rename the town if he could finagle a railroad stop there. When he did, he named it after his native Sandwich, NH.

    The town has an old-timey vibe, from the antiques stores that line its downtown to the 1878 opera house that still hosts live entertainment from Second City comedy troupes to Elvis impersonators. “It’s a quaint, very friendly town,” says Alethia Hummel, director of the Sandwich Chamber of Commerce. “Sandwich is a great place to live, but it’s a neat place to visit, too.” September is an especially lively time of year, when the town hosts the Fall Festival of Crafts (the biggest craft festival in Illinois, now in its fifth decade) and the 130-year-old Sandwich Fair, the state’s second-largest county fair.

    See homes for sale in Sandwich.

  3. 3. Embarrass, Minnesota

    Population: 607

    Post office in Embarass, MN established in 1896.

    A post shared by Jenna Ballinger (@forgenorth) on

    This former mining town in northern Minnesota owes its name to a local river that 18th century French fur trappers found so difficult to navigate that they dubbed it Riviere d’Embarras, or “river of obstacles.”

    These days, Finnish heritage plays a big role in Embarrass. The log cabins and saunas Finnish settlers built in the late 1800s are the town’s main attraction (the National Register of Historic Places includes 10 sites from Embarrass). Like the Finns, present-day Embarrass residents aren’t intimidated by the town’s frigid temperatures, which can plunge as low as 50 below zero. On its website, the city refers to itself as “the cold spot.” As a local proudly proclaims on the town’s Facebook page: “The temperatures are cold, but the community spirit is warm and welcoming.”

    See homes for sale in Embarrass.

  4. 4. Bieber, California

    Population: 312

    #Charmes ? #BieberFever ? #BiebahFevah ?@justinbieber ???

    A post shared by @pillarsofmercy on

    Sorry, Justin Bieber fans—you’re more likely to spot bald eagles than pop stars in this rural northern California town, which was actually named after a judge (although “Bieliebers” have been known to show up and snap selfies by the town’s sign).

    Nature is the real headliner here: Aside from a landscape of forests and snow-capped mountains, it’s known for optimal stargazing. “We have some of the best star viewing in the world,” says Laura Finlay, who owns the local Old Grill Mill restaurant. In other words, there’s not much to do—and that’s part of Bieber’s appeal. “Folks here are friendly and caring, and it’s very laid back with no traffic,” Finlay says. “Most of the other ‘California folks’ don’t realize how different this part of the state really is.”

    See homes for sale in Bieber.

  5. 5. Trophy Club, Texas

    Population: 8,560

    The houses in this affluent Dallas suburb may look prize-worthy, but they have nothing to do with the town’s name. That’s more literal—it refers to the trophy collection of golf legend Ben Hogan, who designed the private golf course in the community when it was first developed in the 1970s.

    Top-notch golf courses are just one draw in family-friendly Trophy Club, where all area schools rate above average and only two counts of crime have been reported in the past year, according to data gathered by Trulia. The housing market is also stable, with 89 percent of residents owning their home. And, as you may expect from Texas, southern hospitality isn’t in short supply. “It was so easy to meet people and make friends here,” says Amy Brown, who moved from New York six years ago. “Ladies I didn’t even know brought my family dinner when my daughter was born! The sense of community is truly special.”

    See homes for sale in Trophy Club.

What crazy town names have you spotted? Tell us in the comments!