Fun with city nicknames


Marketing. Selling yourself. Getting people to want to know more about you.

I am good at none these things.

Neither, as it turns out, are most cities.

States and cities spend hundreds of thousands of dollars (yes, really) coming up with slogans that will make people say, “Gee, I would like to go spend some money in this place called Sevierville, Tennessee!”

Some slogans are awesome, like “Keep Austin Weird.” Some are catchy, like “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” And some are truly terrible. Because the truly terrible are my bread and butter, I would like to share with you a list of my favorites.

1. Fresno, California: “Smile When You Say That.”

This Fresno slogan from 2000 is my pick for “Most Threatening City Slogan.”

And speaking of threatening…

You can barely hear the screams from here.

You can barely hear the screams from here.

2. Detroit, Michigan: “It’s a great time in Detroit.”

To get shot.

Did you know that when you Google “Is Detroit safe to visit”, the #1 answer is this: “If you go downtown to like 6 mile or 8 mile and you a not in a gang you better stay home or someone will cap you in the ass.”

So…no, then?

In fact, just last year, the police in Detroit held a rally that they called, “Detroit: Enter At Your Own Risk.” That was the police, y’all.

3. Devine, Texas: “Where the name says it all.” 

What it says is “illiteracy”, because that is not how you spell “divine.”

4. Redwood City, California: “Climate Best By Government Test.” 

…in 1925. Yes, Redwood City still hangs its hat on a climate survey that claimed it had one of the three best climates in the world, along with the Canary Islands and North Africa.

Listen — climate surveys don’t bring in tourists. I say we bring this slogan up to the 30’s with something like, “Don’t get all wet! Have a clam-bake with a cinder dick who’s cute as a bug’s ear in Redwood City!”

5. San Juan Capistrano, California: “Where the Swallows Return.”

Every March, San Juan Capistrano gets overrun by swallows returning from Goya, Argentina. They fly for 30 days, eating an estimated 1,000 insects a day, and end up in this city where they build mud nests in the ruins of an old church.

Come visit, won’t you?

Our prisoners appreciate irony!

Our prisoners appreciate irony!

6. Leavenworth, Kansas: “The Great Escape”

HA! Get it? Because PRISON.

7. Creede, Colorado: “There Is No Night In Creede.”

Sweet jesus! What do you mean there’s “no night” there?! What kind of eternal sun-lit hell is going on in Colorado?! Oh, you’re talking about during the Gold Rush, when people mined all day and night trying to find gold in Creede. Ok. Gotcha. Maybe you could clarify that a little bit, then? Maybe something like, “There’s no night in Creede when you’re trying to feed your family!” Or, “There’s no night in Creede for toothless old men panning a river!”

8. Ormond Beach, Florida: “The Birthplace Of Speed.”

Which kind of speed is that, exactly? Because I’d believe either one…FLORIDA.

The dripping red letters keep it classy.

The dripping red letters keep it classy.

9. Villisca, Iowa: “Living With A Mystery.”

Hey, that sounds interesting! What kind of mystery? Oh, just a “hey, who chopped up that family with an ax” kind of mystery.  Yes, Villisca’s claim to fame is The Ax Murder House. This home, where an entire family was murdered with — wait for it — an ax in 1912 has been preserved, and is open for tours and overnights! And if ax murders aren’t quite your speed, then check out Villisca’s home page, where you can watch a slideshow of a house burning down that was filled with toys being donated to poor children!

Villisca! Where joy goes to be murdered.

10. Owensboro, Kentucky: “Progress 1817.”

Owensboro, listen carefully. I am speaking to you from the year 2013. You seem to be missing some words from your city nickname. Perhaps the words “no” and “since.”

11. Athol, Massachusetts: “Tool Town.”

Well, then. I consider myself warned.

12. Lone Rock, Wisconsin: “Coldest Spot in the Nation (With the Warmest Heart.)” 

Good to know. I shall warm my frostbitten hands with your warm, pulsating heart.

You got PAVED! (That a Winnemucca diss)

You got PAVED! (That’s a Winnemucca diss)

13. Winnemucca, Nevada: “City of Paved Streets.”

Well, la-de-fucking-da! We’re from Winnemucca! We’ve got pavement, y’all! Bring your babies and leave the carseats at home — smooth riding here, motherfuckers!

14. Thomasville, North Carolina: “Chair City.”

Have a seat in Chair City! Want to put your feet up? We’ll give you another chair! Because that’s what we have. Chairs.

15. Charleston, South Carolina: “The Big Sweet Grass Basket.”

P.S. This is also a nickname for my vagina.

"Keep your pants on in waco." "Holding things up in Waco." "Waco: We draw attention to your crotch."

“Waco: We’ll make you look at our crotch.”

16. Waco, Texas: “The Buckle of the Bible Belt.”

…and the zipper of the south.

17. Bear Creek, Wisconsin: “Home of the World’s Largest Sauerkraut Plant.”

Come visit during the summer, when the aroma of sauerkraut is at its most eye-watering and  intense. It’s made of cabbage, you know.



Author: admin

Meredith likes to write the funny at her blog, Pile of Babies (


  1. I literally had tears running down my face on the Charleston one. OMG – you are so fucking hilarious!!
    Missi at recently posted..Always on the House HuntMy Profile

  2. This was hilarious, and/but I have two points:

    1. You also have to say “Athol” out loud to get the full profundity of Athol’s problems.

    2. The first World War started in 1918. Nitpick, I know, but…I couldn’t help it!

  3. I was going to suggest a hoot-hollering exercise where we all gave ourselves slogans – except you stopped me in my tracks at 15. That just can’t be topped.
    Tahlia B. recently posted..Did I Just Spent $40 on Bread at Target?My Profile

  4. 15. Charleston, South Carolina: “The Big Sweet Grass Basket.”

    P.S. This is also a nickname for my vagina.


  5. Oh God. I live in Fresno. (actually Clovis, a subdivision of Fresno with less murders & hobos) They tried pushing Fres-Yes for a while, but that became Fres-Hell No, Fres-Hell,… the list goes on & on. There are shirts you can buy here that say: Fresno- It Really Does Suck Here.
    We have two seasons, hot & cold. And we are only up to 3 homicides so far this year… down from last years eight at this time. Exciting stuff! Oh, and we can’t forget that Fresno was voted the drunkest city in the US a while back.
    Won’t you come visit?

  6. i live in cleveland ohio and our motto is ‘Progress and Prosperity’…ummm…..there’s a faux viral tourist video that went around awhile ago which includes the line ‘cleveland, under construction since 1862’ which is totally true and i guess just means that we are CONSTANTLY PROGRESSING non-stop for like over a century and a half…mayhap that is where our prosperity has got to…
    (by the by, this post made me laugh harder and harder that by the time i got to the lady bit nickname i couldn’t really catch my breath, so thanks, you’re awesome 🙂
    Shannon recently posted..The Song of the SpecterMy Profile

  7. Our county has a slogan ‘For the Greater Good’. I want to sneak out at night and spray paint graffiti on it because it offends me so much. The holier than thou of the county certainly live up to the idea of the slogan! Sadly it’s exceptionally well lit on a major highway and I don’t really have the guts to break the law, but I dream….

    • Ok. Here’s what you do:
      Get painter’s overalls and go in broad daylight. If you act like you belong there, no one will question you.
      Then you cross out “the” and replace “good” with “balls.”
      It’s just an idea.
      admin recently posted..Fun with city nicknamesMy Profile

  8. There was a town I’d pass through going to college. It was called Sheldon. (it was in Iowa) It’s slogan was “Sheldon: A Really Nice Place”

    It was in the corn field/hog farm part of Iowa, there were only 2,000 people in the town, it’s main feature was a grain elevator and access to the train tracks. Clearly that screams really nice.

  9. Or how about Leonardtown, MD: “A Most Convenient Place”. I saw that shortly after I moved here and was like WTF? you have to drive for freaking-EVER around here to get anywhere… convenient, my ass…. LOL

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