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PostThe Big D (Randy Black, USA, 06/23/13 9:26 am)
In his comments to Henry Levin on June 23, John Eipper mused about offensive city nicknames or interpretations of those names. Henry had outlined that calling San Francisco "Frisco" was not polite conversation in California.
John asked my reaction to Big D, a common label for Dallas.
I've never heard anyone in this region complain about the label Big D. It's in common public use locally on billboards, in news reports and entertainment venues. In my view, Big D elicits pride in our large city that has a big heart and positive community spirit.
Big D was even the name of a popular song in the early 1960s that was sung by Carol Burnett and Julie Andrews on national television. The song was later part of Julie Andrews's one-woman show at Carnegie Hall. Frank Loesser wrote the tune in 1956 for a Broadway musical that ran for more than a year.
I was born in Fort Worth, aka Cowtown. Some accept Cowtown; a few take offense. I am not offended. You might also hear "Cowtown, where the West begins and the East peters out." That phrase used to be on a sign along the highway from Big D to Cowtown.
Waco, Texas is known as "Wacko" to many who remember the Branch Davidians religious debacle in 1993. Wacko is also home to Baylor University, a conservative religious school known for its official position on Biblical inerrancy. It is nevertheless a respected university with a fine school of law.
Across Texas, there are many city names that are idiomatic in polite Texas conversation. Rather than dwell on derogatory phrases about city names, I enjoy focusing on towns with funny names, or names that elicit a smile.
Over the years, I've taken photos of the city limit signs leading into one-dog Texas towns such as Muleshoe, Best, Royalty, Wamba, Imperial, Cut and Shoot, Utopia, Paradise, Telephone, Telegraph, Energy, Coffee City, Happy, Valentine, Gun Barrel City, Point Blank, Smiley, Lazbuddie, Sundown, Nameless, and Tarzan.
Nameless is north of Austin. Appropriately, it's located on Nameless Road at the intersection of Nameless Ranch Road. It was settled in 1869. When residents of the community applied for a post office, they had difficulty getting the post office department to accept the names they suggested. After six names were rejected, residents wrote back saying, "Let the post office be nameless and be damned!" The department took them at their word, and a post office called Nameless was established in 1880. During the 1940s two churches, a business, and a few scattered houses marked the community on county highway maps.
One of my Best photos is attached. Personally, as a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, I am not offended by labels such as Indian or Redskin. But don't call me Tonto.
Now, about Nothing, Arizona, Pee Pee, Ohio, Bug Tussle, Oklahoma and Slickpoo, Idaho.
JE comments: And Hell, which is in Michigan. Paradise, too. I've never spent a cold night in Hell, but I (really) did in Paradise. It was June, and around 30 degrees. (Paradise is in the Upper Peninsula.)
Here's the lovely young Natasha:
(Henry Levin, USA
06/25/13 4:48 AM)
To Randy Black's fine list of town names, I must add my favorite, Salsipuedes [Leave if You Can] in Baja California. The scariest for our North African friends is found in Spain and Mexico, Matamoros.
JE comments: Spain's patron saint, Santiago Matamoros, could use a name makeover. How about James the Guy Who Refused to Compromise His Religious Values, Even if He Resorted At Times to Extremism?
On 4 April 2012, John Heelan told us about the Spanish town of Asquerosa (Disgusting). Gotta replay that one: