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Friday, April 18, 2014

What's In A (Mississippi) Name?

Mississippi, like any other state, has towns named for a grab-bag of things: last names (McComb was named for a Colonel H.S. McComb, President of the New Orleans, Jackson, and Great Northern Railroad), other towns (Kilmichael was named for Kilmichael, Ireland), Native American names (Pascagoula means bread eater or bread people), and a various other odds and ends.

Here are a few of our favorites:

Bogue Chitto, in Lincoln County, is a Choctaw phrase meaning "big creek" (307).

Veto, in Franklin County, asked its citizens to submit name ideas when it applied for a post office. The postal authorities nixed all the names its citizens suggested and named it Veto (143).

Mahrud, in Humphrey's County, was settled by a man named T.F. Durham. He named the town after himself, but spelled it backwards (195).

Deovolente, also in Humphrey;s County, was an African-American settlement established in 1865. It means "God willing" in Latin (194).

Tallaloosa, in Marshall County, is a Native American name meaning "black rock" (336).

Buttahatchie, in Monroe Coumty, is also a Native American name. It means "river which comes from the hills" (339). I think that's downright poetic.

Locopolis, in Tallahatchie County, was a combination of two root words, loco, meaning "place", and polis, meaning "city"(467). Apparently, it was a fine place for a city.

Bovina, in Warren County, was named by a pair of comedian settlers, Cowan and Bullen (507). Get it?

Brozville, in Holmes County, was named for its first settler, Zoo Broy. Apparently the hand-written request for Broyville was a bit too messy for the short-sighted postal officials (185).

D'Lo, in Simpson County, is a shortened version of the French De Leau. It seems that the French named the Strong River this, meaning "deep water" (439).

Want to know where your town got its name? We'd be happy to oblige! Drop us a line in the comments and we'll try to track it down.
Brieger, James. Hometown, Mississippi. 1980. Print.

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