Climax, Georgia No. 2 on ‘Most Unfortunate’ town names list

Getting here is harder than you might think. (AJC file photo)

Getting here is difficult. It's like a five-hour drive. (AJC file photo)

In college, I once drove my girlfriend to Climax, a little city in southwest Georgia so close to Cairo you could smell the syrup if they were still making it.

Long a geographic punchline, Climax narrowly missed having the “Most Unfortunate” city name, according to a poll conducted by family history website

Boring, Oregon and Hooker, Oklahoma are off the hook too.

The new Number One? Toad Suck, Arkansas, which, according to legend and Wikipedia, got its name from the heavy drinkers working the docks (and the liquor bottles) along the Arkansas River.

“They suck on the bottle ’til they swell up like toads,” is the unfortunate quote.

Climax, as all south Georgia boys know, got its name because it was the highest point on the rail line between Savannah and the Chattahoochee River (which separates Georgia and Alabama).

Josh Taylor, a genealogist and spokesperson for FindMyPast says such places of origin are not the worst bit of info that may fall from the family tree, but “some people are disconcerted to learn that their [ancestors] came from somewhere called, for example, Toad Suck, Roachtown or Monkey’s Eyebrow.”

Hmmmm … never heard of Roachtown or Monkey’s Eyebrow either.

Here’s the complete Top 11. (I’d also add Hopeulikit, which, thankfully, is nowhere near Forsyth County.)

  1. Toad Suck, Arkansas
  2. Climax, Georgia
  3. Boring, Oregon and Maryland
  4. Hooker, Oklahoma
  5. Assawoman, Maryland
  6. Belchertown, Massachusetts
  7. Roachtown, Illinois
  8. Loveladies, New Jersey
  9. Squabbletown, California
  10. Monkey’s Eyebrow, Kentucky
  11. Chicken, Alaska

35 comments Add your comment


August 7th, 2012
4:18 pm

I always thought Lovejoy and Climax should be nearer to each other, or at least closer to Cumming.


August 7th, 2012
5:02 pm

Climax was a great place to grow up. Good people. An interesting fact, it is halfway between Hopeful and Recovery.


August 7th, 2012
6:37 pm

What about Intercourse, PA!


August 7th, 2012
9:48 pm

Yeah, Intercourse PA, which is between Blue Balls PA and Paradise PA. Them Lancaster Pennsylvania Dutch had an interesting sense of humor.


August 7th, 2012
9:49 pm

Make that Blue Ball PA (no s)


August 8th, 2012
2:25 am

The joke around here is the small town of Freehome is going to change its name to Foreplay because it is halfway to Cumming (GA)!

[...] ‘Most Unfortunate Town Names’: Toad Suck, Ark. – 1st | Climax, Ga. – 2nd [...]


August 8th, 2012
6:36 am

What about Peckerhead, DC?


August 8th, 2012
7:36 am

What about Climax, NC???


August 8th, 2012
9:11 am

Don’t forget Gay, GA.


August 8th, 2012
9:48 am

personally i always hated the name CUMMING, GA…can you imagine telling someone not from metro atl you live in cumming?


August 8th, 2012
9:53 am

The name of the town in PA is “Blue Ball” NOT Blue Balls.


August 8th, 2012
10:09 am

What about Intercourse Alabama.


August 8th, 2012
10:23 am

forget town names…can you imagine a guy being named harry puse….no lie its true…wow

To: Oooh!

August 8th, 2012
10:23 am

That’s perfect. Been in Ga 37 years and never heard it.


August 8th, 2012
11:01 am

Isn’t Climax right after Cumming??


August 8th, 2012
11:21 am

Growing up in Climax, I never knew it was an unusual name. College taught me differently. If you look at your map, Climax sits directly between Hopeful, Recovery and Mt. Pleasant communities. All said, I am very proud to say I once served as Mayor of this special little town.


August 8th, 2012
11:27 am

Yep, we shared some serious laughter during college over the name of Martha’s home town. What she didn’t add to her comment was that her first job after college was teaching school in Cumming, Ga. As we all said, “That Martha is something! She went straight from Climax to Cumming!”

[...] have more innocent explanations. Climax received its name, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “because it was the highest point on the rail line between Savannah and the Chattahoochee [...]


August 8th, 2012
12:50 pm

There is one road in and out of Chicken, AK.


August 8th, 2012
12:56 pm

Dubois PA!!!!

Wanita Shaffer

August 8th, 2012
2:10 pm

Hellforcertain, Ky

Rick Shaw

August 8th, 2012
2:45 pm

And that old Newspaper Headline from the 60’s : Fertile (Minn) woman dies in Climax (Minn).


August 8th, 2012
3:45 pm

Let us not forget French Lick, Indiana.
If one were driving from Intercourse PA to Climax GA, one could truthfully say that one was going from Intercourse to Climax. Hot!! And maybe a side trip along the way through Gay GA.

Doug Aligood

August 8th, 2012
3:54 pm

Being raised near Climax, GA in the metropolis of Iron City, GA I am very familiar with an event that takes place in Climax, that has not been mentioned here thus far. On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, those fine folks host an event known as “Swine Time”, where they celebrate the pig. It is a very large event, which at one time drew thousands of people to that tiny little town that has a population of around 500. They even have a beauty pageant, and that’s all I will say about that. There is all sorts of events taking place there on that day such as a parade, “The Greasy Pig Chase”, “Chitterling Eating Contests”, “Hog Calling Contest” and the lists goes on. Climax, may be second on the lists of worst names, but the folks there are first in hospitality!


August 8th, 2012
3:55 pm

One of my favorite intersections back in the Bill Clinton years and during the Hillary run for president is in Newberry SC, where the road sign gives you a choice between opposite directions: you can turn left towards Clinton, or turn right towards Prosperity. Perhaps the town of Clinton should consider changing its name to Obama, so the road sign is still relevant.


August 8th, 2012
4:59 pm

Didn’t somebody back in the 80’s take a picture of the “Climax – Hopeful” sign and it made the David Letterman show one night?


August 8th, 2012
7:04 pm

What about Humptulips, WA


August 8th, 2012
7:33 pm

Freehome is not a town, It’s just an area. it’s nothing


August 8th, 2012
8:16 pm

The town of Assawoman is in Virginia. There is only a lagoon called Assawoman Bay in Maryland.


August 10th, 2012
2:00 pm

Is Gay, Ga anywhere near Fruitland, GA?


August 10th, 2012
5:24 pm

I went to high school in the 1980’s with a girl who was from Chicken, Alaska (she had been home schooled all her life). Here in TN we have a town called Difficult and Defeated (Smith County) I discovered these little towns that once roared loudly and now only meow when I was doing my own family tree history. Now I help people start their family trees and have run across some really funny town names in the Census records. If you need to know if you have any strange towns in your family history, look me up and we will talk, drop me a message with any questions.


August 12th, 2012
9:05 pm

What about Innercourse, Alabama?


August 13th, 2012
12:38 pm

Well Recovery Ga. is only about 30mi. not minutes from Climax !!!!


August 13th, 2012
4:47 pm

As others have said, growing up there, we didn’t think anything about the name of our hometown. But the first trip to PC in high school was filled with gales of laughter everytime I told someone where I was from. I learned pretty quickly to say I was from Bainbridge but still wasn’t quite sure why.