Talking About Unusual Town Names in Speech Therapy

Talking About Unusual Town Names in Speech Therapy

It all started with a student telling me about what he did over the weekend. “My grandma from Dumb Fries, Virginia came to visit us.” he said with a smile. “Have you ever heard of a town called Dumb Fries before?” chuckled the 2nd grader.

Dumb Fries?! Hmm . . .

I told him that I actually have heard of it before because I have family/friends in Virginia. Though I went on to explain that I believed the town was called Dumfries, which was pronounced dumb frees and not dumb fries. He confessed that he knew how to say it correctly, but he enjoyed saying it wrong because it sounded funnier and he always giggled at it.

And then I got an idea . . .

After our speech therapy session was over, I jumped onto the Internet to see if I could discover any other town names that might sound a bit odd or funny. I figured that since he got a real kick out of the name Dumfries, maybe I could search Google and collect a few other odd/funny town names to share next time. Heck, maybe I could even grab some names that contained his specific articulation sound.

Boy, I hit the jackpot!

I didn’t have to look very hard at all because a simple Google search introduced me to numerous websites that have already created detailed lists of silly town names for the world to see. They already did all the heavy lifting! Phew, thank goodness for that. Haha!

This link right here was, hands down, my favorite collection. It contains a crazy long list of unusual names of towns in the United States. Have you ever heard of Bacon, Texas? Or how about Cheddar, South Carolina? Or maybe Pancake, Pennsylvania? (Can you hear my tummy rumbling? Yum!)

Lots and hilarious towns with the /S/ sound, too!

This particular student was working on perfecting his /S/ sound, so I took the opportunity to collect the following town names for him and I to practice:

  • Squirrel Town, Ohio
  • Shoofly, North Carolina
  • Spider, Kentucky
  • Spiderweb, South Carolina
  • Santa Claus, Arizona
  • Snowball, Arkansas
  • Soda Bay, California
  • Spoonville, Connecticut
  • Sandwich, Illinois
  • Skunk River, Iowa

Improve language abilities, too!

Not only did we work on using all of our /S/ techniques while saying these town names, I also asked this thought-provoking WH question with each new name . . .

How do you think this town got its name?

You can imagine the terrific responses I got from him. He told many adventurous tales WHILE remembering his great /S/ sound. Now if that isn’t a successful artic session, I just don’t know what is! He loved hearing the town names that I collected and that made me cheer with joy.

In closing . . .

I invite you to somehow introduce odd town names into an upcoming speech therapy session. I’m sure that the massive list I used will inspire you to create some sort of speech therapy idea that revolves around chattin’ about town names. Give it some thought, and as always, please let me know what you come up with. There’s nothing I like more than hearing from amazing speech-language pathologists like you!

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