These American towns have nothing names: None, Mo.; Unnamed, Wash.; Nowhere, Okla.; Nada, Texas; Nadaburg, Ariz.; No Name, Colo., Nameless, Tenn.; and Nameless Cave, S.D. And those are just a few of the peculiar names for neighborhoods, villages, towns, and other locales described in "A Place Called Peculiar" by Frank G. Gallant (Merriam-Webster, $14.95).
Other examples:- Peculiar, Mo., where a place marker proclaims: "In 1861-1864, while bloody battles raged throughout the Southern states, nothing happened here." How it got its name is a long story, having to do with a government error.
- Smut Eye, Ala., where a popular gathering spot was the smithy. The shop was so dirty and sooty that men went home with "smut" in their eyes.
- Corkscrew, Fla., which took its name from the winding Corkscrew River. The only problem is that the river doesn't wind much these days.
- Ducktrap, Maine, where the Penobscot Indians trapped ducks that were molting and couldn't fly.
- Loudville, Mass., a village in Northampton, which was named not for the sometimes boisterous Clear Falls but for industrialist Caleb Loud.