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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Nauseous Names

Posted July 23, 2008 8:27 a.m. EDT

The spin doctors were not yet weaving their manipulative magic. The wordsmiths at the local chambers of commerce had not yet developed their concept of branding. Yes, we go back to the simple and sometimes ugly muddy days of North Carolina when the state had a lot of features but very few names. People in charge of naming rivers, streams, towns and hilltops didn’t have a lot of time to ponder the complexities of their task. They simply spit out what was on the tip of their tongues and it wasn’t always pretty.


Today I am going to begin a list of Nauseous North Carolina Names. The names are pretty sickening especially by modern standards. There are many more but I want to hear from you and get your names. So check out those history books and maps and let me hear from you. Here are my Top Ten Nauseous North Carolina names:


1. Maggot Spring – Haywood County – named for spring covered with what looked like insect larva

2. Pickens Nose – A mountain in southern Haywood County

3. Greasy Creek – nasty looking creek in Alexander County

4. Ugly Fork – creek in Haywood County

5. Devils Gut – stream in Martin County

6. Huggins Hell – heavy rhododendron thicket of Swain County

7. Ripshin Mountain – rugged mountainous area in Burke County

8. Black Ankle – Robeson County

9. Kill ‘Em Swamp – southeast Hertford County

10. Poison Swamp – Iredell County