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Utah Travel Headlines

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Article Looks At Quirky Utah Place Names

Utah's rugged backcountry includes many spots with interesting names. Some apparently come from historical and cultural references while others are simply quirky.

Mark Milligan, with the Utah Geological Survey, has written an article in this publication that describes interesting Utah place names. The Deseret News has this article about Milligan's article, with this headline: Utah has plenty of 'bars' and more devils than 'hell'.

Below are excerpts from Milligan's article.

• The San Rafael Swell, in Utah, has the company of 12 other
Swell places across the U.S.

• Based on “feature names,” Utah has more Bars (29) than
Arizona (1), Nevada (3), and Wyoming (3). Also based on
“feature names,” the density of Bars is apparently not directly
related to how dry a state is; Florida has 10, while Idaho has
115. But based on “feature class,” Florida, Idaho, and Utah
have 211, 116, and 40 bars, respectively. Note: a bar is an
elongated ridge of sand, gravel, or other sediment that forms
in a river, lake, or ocean.

• Of the 99 U.S. Nipples, nearly one-third (29) are in Utah;
Mollies/Mollys is most common (8).

• The U.S. has 365 Eggs, but only Utah, Virginia, and Texas have

• Utah has only two wives (Wife), but this is one more than any
other state in the nation.

• Devil (U.S.–1,853 and Utah–69) is more common than Hell,
but God and Jesus are omnipresent. Each has “more than
2,000” matches in the U.S. In Utah God has only 37 matches,
while Jesus has 1,126. This is due to the inclusion of church
names in the database (the devil is in the detail).

• Hell on earth (or at least in the U.S.–983 matches, and Utah–
55 matches) is much more common than Heaven (U.S.–327
and Utah–13).

• Utah has a Mitten Canyon in Uintah County, but the famous
Mittens (East and West Mitten Buttes) of the Navajo Nation’s
Monument Valley are on the Arizona side of the border.

• Shite Creek is in Idaho. Shitten Creek is in Oregon.
Shitamaring Creek is in Utah. None of these states contain
one of the nation’s 28 Paddles.

• Scape Ore Swamp in South Carolina has not always been
named such. Feature names can be and are changed for
political correctness and other reasons, but the original name
is maintained in the database. (You will have to look up the
original name yourself.)

• Curiously, Utah contains none of the 104 Strange U.S. names
and not one of the truly Odd (311) U.S. Names.

• While 23 names across the U.S. include Goblin, Utah’s
“Goblin Valley” is unique.

• Unique is not unique (12 in the U.S.), but nothing is Unique
in Utah.


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