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Talking Turkey and Other Stories of North Carolina's Oddly Named Places

Jamie Cox

Down Home Press
$14.95 paperback
5 ½ x 8 ½  
183 pages
Published in 2000

North Carolina has more than its share of oddly named places, and Jamie Cox has been fascinated with them since childhood. Why did people decide to name their communities Shakerag, or Ether, or Sharecake, or Bull Scrape, or Dumpling Town? How did Scratch Hall get its name? Or Burrtown? Or Hanging Dog? Why were so many places in North Carolina named for the devil? Jamie Cox spent years coming up with answers to these questions and many more.

She discovered that George Washington gave Comfort its name. Silk Hope got its name from a resident's dreams and failure. And Arden's name came from one townsperson's love of Shakespeare. The people of Bull Scrape, incidentally, decided their community's name was not quite dignified enough. They renamed it Montezuma, because that just happened to pop out of somebody's mouth at the time they needed another name.

People who love North Carolina will find this book of Tar Heel lore wonderfully entertaining and are likely to become as fascinated with our place names as Jamie Cox always has been.


“This is a delightful and insightful book that is well researched. It has very interesting backgrounds on many place names and gives the reader a new understanding on why we have such odd names for many of our towns, etc. I am sure that the same kind of explanations may be applied to place names in many states, not just North Carolina; therefore this book is not just for North Carolinians!”
Amazon.com reviewer