I was just watching something on YouTube that had people from anywhere other than the Midwest trying to pronounce Midwestern place names. As you might imagine, it was pretty humorous to watch folks take on names that we're fairly familiar with, but they had never heard of.

The whole video could be done featuring Illinois towns and cities alone, because we've got plenty. Not just the hard to pronounce (Wauponsee, Shobonier, and Chautauqua, we're looking at you), but the weird and unusual as well.

We've got small places with big city names, like Atlanta, Columbus, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, El Paso, Knoxville, Louisville, Newark, Oakland, Omaha, Phoenix, Toledo and Rochester. All in Illinois.

We've got places here in Illinois named after other states: Dakota, Kansas, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia and Wyoming.

Using a foreign name to "class things up" a little bit, even though we are loathe to pronounce them the same way they do in other lands: Belgium, Berlin, Brussels, Cairo, Cuba, Geneva, Glasgow, Havana, Lebanon, Lisbon, Liverpool, Macedonia, Marseilles, Milan, Palestine, Panama, Paris, Peru, Rome, Venice, Versailles, Vienna and Warsaw.

Golf and Polo show our love of sports, and we've got Energy, Equality, Fidelity, Industry, Joy, Justice, Liberty, Time and Worth for those who are into the whole "my town's name is a concept" thing.

Then, there are the places that existed at one time in Illinois, but are no longer around.

From the Chicago Tribune:

  • Bug Tussle, so named because a revival meeting attracted too many June bugs.
  • Smackout and Slapout, separate towns supposedly named because storekeepers were out of stock and said "I'm smack out of that" or "I'm slap out of that."
  • Sneak Out, named for residents who would sneak out of the house to get drunk and then sneak back home.

As to the video I mentioned earlier: