France’s Funniest Village Names


Bumming a lift? Corps nuds's place-name is a lot more hilarious than that of its Irish twin Kildare.

Apart from the ones that make us English-speakers chuckle (such as “Condom”), there are many French place-names that make you wonder why they didn’t save themselves undue embarrassment and just change the name. I suppose the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.

At some point in time, towns in France with funny or curious place-names realised that they need not take umbrage at people laughing at them but could instead cash in on the phenomenon. The town of Chirac in the Lozère department, for example, found that mock-ups of the sign at the entrance to their town sold like hot-cakes during President Chirac’s twelve-year term of office and that when Chirac left office in 2007, sales of the town sign with the line across it as you leave town sold even better.

There is now even a website dedicated to hilarious and curious place-names in France – a site founded by representatives of strangely-named communes across France in 2003. There are now some 1,282 communes in 39 different categories on the list of the Association de Communes de France aux Noms Burlesques, with more towns adding to the national register each year. Some names have pleasant connotations like Croissanville in Calvados (which sounds like a good place for breakfast), while others are simply hilarious.

Below is a sliding list of some of the better ones as chosen by Tootlafrance:

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