A rose by any other name would not smell as sweet…or something like that. In the same way, these charming small towns in South Dakota gain some of their endearing qualities from their unique names. They may just be some of the strangest names you’ve ever heard. The roots of the names give a glimpse into history of the towns that not everyone remembers.
Most of the reason the town of Pukwana sounds so odd to us is that it is a word borrowed from another language. The word Pukwana comes from the Ojibwa language and literally means "curling smoke." The town found its name from a the poem "The Song of the Hiawatha" written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. As the poem goes, "in the smoke that rolled around him, the pukwana of the peace pipe."
With a name as unique as Stickney, its no wonder this town was named after someone. Stickney got its name from an old railroad employee, J.B. Stickney.
Akaska is the Sioux word for "uncertain." That being said, its not a surprise that this town was home to only 42 people during the 2010 census.
4. Belle Fourche
Pronounced, bel-foosh, this oddly named town actual finds its roots in the French language. Belle Fourche means "beautiful fork" in French. The fork of the two rivers is what earned it this strange name.
Though the name Ipswich may sound strange to us, it is actual the name of an English town as well. Settlers decided it was appropriate in the United States as well.
6. Box Elder
Box Elder is the home of Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota. It derives its name from a nearby creek, which doesn't explain much behind the name. Basically, this town and this creek are named weird!
Waubay is a town in South Dakota that was founded in the 1880s. It's unclear where the name Waubay came from so I guess this odd name will have to remain just that.
Like many towns in South Dakota, Kadoka got its start when the railroad came through the area. The name originates from the Lakota language and means "hole in the wall."
Another town named after one of our ancestors, Murdo takes its name from Murdo MacKenzie. MacKenzie worked for cattle and land companies and fought for low fees for the business owners sending their products out West via the railroads.
These are just a few of the unusually named town in South Dakota but this is all the weird we can handle in one day. What towns did we miss?