10 Suggestive Names of Real Locations Worldwide — Part 16: Bad to the Bone

Have you ever been to a place somewhere in this wonderful world in which we live which has a name that seems suggestive — or perhaps less than wholesome? In locations outside of the country where you are based, the names of locations may seem to have a different meaning to you than the actual origin — but when those strange names are found in the same country as yours, they may tend to have you scratching your head.

10 Suggestive Names of Real Locations Worldwide — Part 16: Bad to the Bone

This article is the sixteenth in a series which give examples of suggestive names of real locations around the world; and as a form of proof that they actually exist, an interactive Google map is included with each entry — along with a brief description of the highlighted location — and the main focus of this article is bones and boners.

Without further ado, let us begin. The locations are listed in this article in alphabetical order…

1. Big Bone, Kentucky, United States

Big Bone Lick State Historic Site is a state park which is located at the unincorporated community of Big Bone in southern Boone County in northern Kentucky approximately 26 miles southwest of Cincinnati. The area itself was named after the significantly large bones of animals —  including mammoths and mastodons — which are found in the swamps around the salt lick which is frequented by animals. Among the other things you can discover in the state park is Salt Springs along the Big Bone Creek trail. Admission to the park — as well as the museum and visitor center — is free to all visitors.

2. Bone, Idaho, United States

Located in Bonneville County in eastern Idaho, Bone was supposedly founded by Orion Yost Bone, who opened the first Bone Store in the early 1900s and was the last community in the state to receive telephone service, which it did not get until 1982. The two permanent residents and one business — as well as the people who reside there temporarily during ranching season — are likely pleased. Does the terminus of Blackfoot Reservoir Road at Bone Road create a T-bone, which would be perfect in the state which is best known for its potatoes?

3. Bone Gap, Illinois, United States

The first permanent settlers from Europe arrived in 1830 and found a significant number of discarded animal bones which remained by the Piankeshaw inhabitants in a gap in the treeline — so they named the settlement Bone Gap, which officially incorporated as a village on Tuesday, March 29, 1892 in what is now Edwards County in southeastern Illinois.

4. Boner Hollow, West Virginia, United States

Boner Hollow is located in Roane County in western West Virginia approximately 36 miles north northeast of Charleston. You might have a bone to pick about not much additional information being currently available about this place; but perhaps more details may be available to marrow.

5. Boner Lake, Indiana, United States

With an area of approximately 40 acres and a maximum depth of 26 feet, Boner Lake is a private lake which is located in Kosciusko County in northern Indiana. The most popular species of fish which are caught in this lake include Largemouth bass, Peacock cichlid, and Bluegill. Size apparently matters in more ways than one at Boner Lake.

6. Boners Hill, Pennsylvania, United States

Adams County in southern Pennsylvania — approximately 24 miles southwest of Harrisburg — is where you will find Boners Hill. At an elevation of 889 feet and a prominence of 233 feet, reaching its summit is possibly the greatest climax of visiting here — as hard to believe as that might sound.

7. Bonesteel, South Dakota, United States

Named for its founder — H. E. Bonesteel, who operated as a freight forwarder in the area — in 1902, this city of approximately 275 permanent residents is located in Gregory County in southern South Dakota west of the Yankton Reservation, roughly equidistant between the Missouri River and the border which the state shares with Nebraska.

8. Boneville, Georgia, United States

The unincorporated community of Boneville is located approximately 27 miles west of the city of Augusta in McDuffie County in eastern Georgia. The famous salt flats are known worldwide because of the — oh…wait…that is Bonneville in Utah, which is not to be confused with the aforementioned Bonneville County in Idaho. Never mind — that was a bonehead moment.

9. Gnaw Bone, Indiana, United States

Narbonne is the city in southern France after which this unincorporated community in Washington Township in Brown County in southern Indiana was theoretically named — but the pronunciation sounded like Gnaw Bone to the ears of settlers from England. Another theory is that many years ago, someone in search of a certain man was told, “I seed him over at the Hawkins place a’ gnawin’ on a bone.” Still yet another theory is that in reference to the conditions in the area in the course of a major drought in the 1930s during the Great Depression, performer Robert Gee visited the area and was quoted by the local newspaper as saying “they ain’t nuddin’ here; how dis people stayin’ alive without any more than a bone to gnaw?” Perhaps you can throw this community a bone by deriving your own theory while gnawing on a bone of your own as to how Gnaw Bone got its name?

10. Rathbone, New York, United States

Ransom Rathbone was a general who settled in this area of what is now Steuben County in the southern tier of the state of New York back in 1842; and he is the namesake for this town, which is located in the Canisteo River Valley approximately 16 miles west of Corning. However, the Rathbone is not Schenectady leg bone, which is not Schenectady arm bone, which is not Schenectady…


If while reading this article you felt that so many more entries were missing and long overdue, know that dozens more examples of locations with suggestive names will be considered for future articles here at The Gate

…but in the meantime, please feel free to offer suggestions of your own in the Comments section below.

If you have not had enough in the meantime, please be sure to read the other articles in this series:

Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

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