What’s in a name?

I wonder how many Big Sandy Rivers there are in the United States. Or Little Sandy Rivers? (I doubt there are many Medium Sandy Rivers.)

At the beginning of our trip, I thought I’d count common names of the geological features we passed along the way and tally up the most common. But that proved too difficult – how do you know what to start tallying? And how do you keep track of them all without driving yourself crazy? So I gave that up.

Counting Casita trailers as we go is complicated enough. (Fifty-two as of San Carlos, Sonora!)

Far more fun are the creative and unusual business names we encounter along the way. I’ve started a list below, and plan to add to it as we go.

I share it for your amusement, and I invite you to enrich the list by adding in the comments section below any fun and creative names you’ve encountered in your own travels.

UPDATED on Nov. 19, 2018 to reflect my new favorite name, underlined below; Jan. 10, 2019 to update Casita count, underlined above.


Before-It’s-A-Quilt is a fabric store in Port Lavaca, Texas.

Another good one from Port Lavaca: Oven-Loven Pizza

On the way to Pensacola, we passed what looked like a second-hand store called “Tots Teens and In-Betweens.”

Splish Splash Auto Sales on U.S. 1 in Lake Park, Fla.

Pulling into St. Augustine, we passed a restaurant called Blackfly. (I’d rethink that one; why would anyone want to eat in a restaurant named for a germ-infested insect?)

It’s Amazing is the name of a hair and beauty center in Savannah, Ga.

I loved the sign O’ Be Joyful with the Great Egret on it at the driveway entrance to a lovely home on Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant just outside of Charleston, South Carolina.

Other Charleston area favorites include:

  • Hair du Jour
  • A street called Bitch Ridge
  • And a restaurant called The Obstinate Daughter on Sullivan’s Island

Badd Kitty – The Perfect Place for Couples is a lingerie chain in the Myrtle Beach area.

Tilted Quilt Pub and Eatery is in Wilmington, N.C.

Fatty’s Eatery in Burton on Hatteras Island, North Carolina. (Another one to possibly rethink?)

Try My Nuts is a specialty nut store in Kinnakeet on the Outer Banks.

This one possibly is my favorite, at least so far: Bob’s Grill: Eat and Get the Hell Out, in Kill Devil Hills on the Outer Banks. (New favorite, added June 22, underlined below.)

The Weeping Radish Farm Brewery in Grande, North Carolina.

In Front Royal, Va., just outside Shenandoah National Park:

  • Bong’s Hairstyling and Barber Shop
  • Blue Wing Frog restaurant
  • Try Thai restaurant

Wet Dog Car Wash in Easton, Maryland.

Pig Neck Road in Cambridge, Md. (I don’t think pigs have much of a neck, do they? Yet it seems a long road.)

The Surfing Crab Restaurant and Bar in Lewes, Delaware.

Cool as a Moose gift shop in Maine St. in Brunswick, Maine.

The porta-potty rental company in Brunswick, Maine, owned by the Blow brothers, boasted this slogan for years: “We’re No. 1 in the No. 2 business.”

Chow Maine on Bar Harbor Road (Route 3), south of Ellsworth, Maine.

Knot Too Bad, a thrift shop in Ingonish, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

Ocean View Cemetery in Wreck Cove, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia (Actually, this is the third “Ocean View Cemetery” we’ve seen since we entered Canada. The dead here enjoy the best real estate!)

Mermaid Seekers restaurant at the French River on Cape Breton in Nova Scotia.

Red Necks Flea Market just east of Oswego, NY along Lake Ontario.

Fly-By-Night Cookie Company in the village of Fairhaven, New York. 

Sassy Scissors, a salon just outside of Erie, Pennsylvania, where a man’s haircut was listed as $5. Really.

“It’s not cannibalizing if it’s fried” – a billboard advertising something (a chicken restaurant, I think) just south of Pinconning, Michigan.

“Our fish were in school yesterday” – Sol Azteca restaurant in Marquette, Michigan.

“Minimally invasive carpel tunnel and trigger finger relief” – a billboard north of Green Bay (emphasis added).

3-Finger Fireworks, just southeast of Superior, Wisconsin.

Snore and Whisker Motel, Hoquiam, Washington.

Pig ‘n Pancake, a breakfast chain in the Northwest.

Skunk Train, a scenic one-hour, seven-mile train trip in Mendocino County, California.

“Free RV Camping. Buy One Night, Get One Free” – multiple (misleading!) billboards near Havasu Springs, Arizona.

Holy Smokin’ Butts BBQ, Tucson.

The Soggy Peso beach bar, San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico. (Love the topline slogan about the art of daydreaming.)

Hot Damm Chile in Hatch, New Mexico.

(More to come as we collect them….)

11 thoughts on “What’s in a name?

  1. I’ll have to start paying attention. Hate to think of all the good ones I probably missed!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh good! Another set of eyes. Feel free to add to this list any time. Can’t wait to see what. You come up with…!


  2. How about Rubbin Butz in Johnstown, CO?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a good one! Was it a BBQ joint too? Did you try it?


  3. This has nothing to do with this post, but it just occurred to me that you are now in that part of the country where you can find Wegman’s grocery stores. If you have not yet discovered them, the epicurean in each of you will be delighted. They are without a doubt the best grocery chain in the US.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, John. Yes, I’m familiar w/Wegmans. Great chain. G doesn’t know it. But he will soon!


  4. Carolyn and I have eaten at Bob’s Grill. The grits are pretty good especially for a Southerner who has lived in the Pacific Northwest for over 50 years.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is too funny! So did you eat and “get the hell out”?


      1. Yep!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Of course I think the quilt stores are the best ones. Keven, since you are a quilter, I can’t imagine how hard it was to pass those by. Of course there’s always room for a few fat quarters, even in a Casita!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, quilt stores often have the most creative names. And I lust after so many of their display quilts….


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