The task of naming a city or town can be quite daunting.

Whatever the final choice is becomes a permanent mark on the map, so you'd better make sure that you pick out a moniker that will stand the test of time.

For the most part, the roughly 2,100 places in South Dakota, Iowa, and Minnesota have followed the same naming guidelines over the years: bodies of water, politicians, early settlers, historical figures, and railroad people.

But there are a few towns and cities in the Tri-State area that have a bit more of a colorful backstory to their names.

Recently, Mental Floss unveiled their list of 'The Funniest Town Name in All 50 States'. Here are the three that made the list from these parts, plus some 'honorable mention' candidates that I threw in :

South Dakota: Mud Butte
You can blame junior high humor for this one. Butte is pronounced 'byoot' but it's guaranteed to elicit giggles when it's referred to as 'Mud Butt'.

Honorable Mention:

  • Java: This Walworth County town got its name from Java coffee and was referred to as 'Coffee Town' by railroad crews on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Line, who would stop in town for a cup of joe.

Iowa: What Cheer
This Keokuk County town was originally called Petersburg, but after that name was rejected by the Post Office, the locals had the bright idea to change the name to What Cheer after a traditional English greeting.

Honorable Mention:

  • Correctionville: This Woodbury County town was named not after a prison but from its location on a surveyors' correction line, which is an east-west line between baselines required because of the Earth's curvature.
  • Diagnol: This Ringgold County town was named for the two railroads intersected diagonally near the town site.
  • Fertile: This Worth County town was not named for any sort of baby boom but rather for the quality of the soil in the valley where it's located.
  • Spillville: This Winneshiek County town was originally named Spielville after the founder, Joseph Spielman, but the community's name was misread and became Spillville.

Minnesota: Nimrod
The name of this Wadena County town is a biblical reference to a character in the book of Genesis. Nimrod is described as 'a mighty hunter before the Lord' and is credited with overseeing the construction of the Tower of Babel.

Honorable Mention:

  • Bird Island: This Renville County town was originally named after a nearby bird sanctuary, but that was later converted to farmland, erasing the town's namesake.
  • Climax: This Polk County town was actually named after a chewing tobacco company.
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  • Alabama: Bacon Level
  • Alaska: Unalaska
  • Arizona: Why
  • Arkansas: Smackover
  • California: Rough and Ready
  • Colorado: No Name
  • Connecticut: Hazardville
  • Delaware: Corner Ketch
  • Florida: Two Egg
  • Georgia: Climax
  • Hawaii: Volcano
  • Idaho: Dickshooter
  • Illinois: Sandwich
  • Indiana: Santa Claus
  • Kansas: Gas
  • Kentucky: Bugtussle
  • Louisiana: Uneedus
  • Maine: Burnt Porcupine Island
  • Maryland: Boring
  • Massachusetts: Belchertown
  • Michigan: Hell
  • Mississippi: Hot Coffee
  • Missouri: Butts
  • Montana: Pray
  • Nebraska: Magnet
  • Nevada: Jiggs
  • New Hampshire: Sandwich
  • New Jersey: Loveladies
  • New Mexico: Candy Kitchen
  • New York: Neversink
  • North Carolina: Whynot
  • North Dakota: Cannon Ball
  • Ohio: Knockemstiff
  • Oklahoma: Gene Autry
  • Oregon: ZigZag
  • Pennsylvania: Blue Ball
  • Rhode Island: Woonsocket
  • South Carolina: Ketchuptown
  • Tennessee: Difficult
  • Texas: Ding Dong
  • Utah: Mexican Hat
  • Vermont: Satans Kingdom
  • Virginia: Bumpass
  • Washington: Twisp
  • West Virginia: Lick Fork
  • Wisconsin: Bosstown
  • Wyoming: Recluse

LOOK: Most commonly seen birds in South Dakota

Stacker compiled a list of the most common birds seen in South Dakota from Project FeederWatch.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

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