New Mexico January 23, 2016
These 10 Towns In New Mexico Have The Strangest Names You’ll Ever See
There are towns in every state with weird names, the kind that make you wonder if your map app is messing with you. While many New Mexican town names are unfamiliar because they’re in Spanish or because they have Native American origins, others are just bizarre.
Although Mesilla rolls off the tongue in a pleasant way, its Spanish meaning is “small table” or “side table.” Essentially, it’s like saying: “Welcome to Small Table, New Mexico!”
Admittedly, the spelling is different, but this city name sure sounds like “gallop” - fitting given the number of famous Westerns that were filmed here.
This literal name probably stems from the nearby San Juan River, a tributary of the Colorado River. It’s certainly easier to pronounce than this local store name!
4. Truth or Consequences
The town of Hot Springs altered its name as an advertising stunt. When the host of popular radio show, “Truth or Consequences,” wished that a town would change its name in honor of the show, Hot Springs, New Mexico, complied.
5. Elephant Butte
A “butte” is a kind of flat-topped, rocky hill, with steep sides. But, when preceded by the word “elephant,” it tends to make people snigger.
6. Angel Fire
Heaven or hell? You decide.
7. Wagon Mound
This town, on the Santa Fe Trail, got its name from a peak in the area that resembles a wagon, pulled by oxen.
Established as a construction camp, this town evolved into a permanent settlement. Although Tucumcari is a fun name to say, it’s not as exciting as the camp’s original moniker, Six Shooter Siding, a reference to the lawlessness in these parts.
9. Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo
This name may be tough to spell, but it has a good meaning in the Tewa language. It translates to “home of the strong ones.”
Once called Badgerville, Hope is certainly a more inspirational name, and a good note to end on.
New Mexico also has a hamlet called House, which begs the question: just the one? Can you think of any other unusual New Mexican town names? Share with us in the comments!