What#039;s in a name?

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 18, 2001

Ever heard of a place named Dee-Wah-Diddee, which ain't no town and ain't no city?

Well, podner, they just ain't no way you can git thar from here.

But Dee-Wah ain't got no locks on inaccessibility. For instance, there's another place, somewhere, called Plum-Nelly. It's plum out of town and nearly out of the country.

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The State of Alabama is rife with strange sounding names for places-some of them even have a reason for being.

Like Slap Out. Whoever heard of such a name for a place outside of this state, or Elmore County? The name derives, as almost every Alabamian knows, from the response a general store owner invariably gave when asked for certain unstocked (or sold out) items.

You could ask him for a strap of sugar or a watermelon or anything else not on hand, and he'd probably reply "Sorry, we're slap out."

Slap Out is in reality a widening in the road a few miles north of Wetumpka, near Lake Jordan. The lake front is a thriving recreational area now where tourism and permanent living co-exist.

Another town, or community, of note, is a place called Scratch Ankle, the pride and joy of West Monroe County.

And don't forget Smut Eye over in Bullock County, a small but thriving community.

Barbour County boasts a village of sorts by the name of Boot Hill, reminiscent of the days of the Old West.

Over in Washington County is a place called Sunflower, not too far distant from the site of Alabama's first capital, St. Stephens.

Russell County has one place named Society Hill where mostly moderate and low-income families live, and another yclept simply Holy Trinity, where presumably there are three houses of worship.

But in Butler County folks don't have to go that far to visit places with unusual names. We have our own Industry, our own Friendship, a community called Sandcut and a Brushey Creek.

And just over the county line, in Crenshaw, there is Honoraville, and a small community called Black Rock.

We also possess such places as Stock-Law-Gap, Shackleville, Wild Fork and Pine Flat.

There are numerous bodies of water and uncounted incorporated and unincorporated communities bearing Indian names, derived for the first settlers of this region.

So, what's in a name?

We feel there is much meaning in names, though such meanings are often obscure.

Our name, The Greenville Advocate, is not an uncommon one, both nationally and internationally.

However, there is but one Greenville Advocate in Alabama, and we hope you don't forget it.