COVINGTON, Ky. -- Nonesuch. Big Beaver Lick. Oddville.
The state of Kentucky is known for its bourbon, basketball and horse racing, but there are also a lot of strangely named places.
Even the conventions of naming are odd. Why must there be a Ryland Heights right next to Ryland? Why are there so many Groves, Heights and Licks? Why do so many people say they live in Cold Springs when, in reality, it's just one singular Cold Spring?
Without further ado, we present the nine weirdest place names around the Northern Kentucky area.
We'll try to give some explanation for their origins -- although some reasons may have been lost to history and legend.
9. California -- Allegedly, this Campbell County town was named after the state of California, which was celebrating the gold rush in 1849, the same year as the city's founding. According to Donald E. Grosenbach, author of "Campbell County Place Names," there also may have been a city here called Oregon, which was named after that state. Unfortunately, like Atlantis, the city of Oregon was supposedly washed away in a flood.
8. Sparta -- No, King Leonidas never lived here, nor was the place named after the Greek city-state. This town, located in both Gallatin and Owen counties, began as a village named Brock's Station in 1802 and was incorporated as a town in 1852. In 1999, the Kentucky Speedway was built and now hosts NASCAR races. It was actually named after a nearby grist mill, or a mill for grinding grain, according to the book "Pioneering North America."
7. Bachelors Rest -- The Kenton County Public Library website has this to say about the Pendleton County town: "Five miles east/southeast of Falmouth is Bachelors Rest, so named because of the bachelors that spent time sunning themselves in front of the local store." Basically, it was like the "MTV Beach House" of the mid-1800s.
6. Rabbit Hash -- Rabbit Hash is a small town in Boone County where the Rabbit Hash General Store was recently rebuilt after a fire. The town is named for a dish that supposedly saved residents from starvation during a flood. In A.M. Yealey's "History of Boone County," published 1960, he wrote, "During the flood of 1816, two travelers were looking for something to eat. When they asked about the availability of food they were told that because the flood drove so many rabbits into the hills, there were plenty of rabbits available to make hash." Yum.
5. Nonesuch -- Located in Woodford County, the online Kentucky Atlas & Gazetteer states that the history of the name is "obscure." However, locals tell the story of a man asking a woman how she liked the area. She replied, "There's none such place as fine as this."
4. Oddville -- Located in Harrison County, Oddville got its name because locals wanted their post office to have a unique name, according to the RoadsideThoughts website. Well, I guess it worked.
3. Big Bone Lick State Park -- According to the Kentucky State Parks, the name of the park, located in Boone County, comes from "the Pleistocene megafauna fossils found there." Wooly mammoths are believed to have been drawn to the location by the salt licks deposited around the sulfur springs.
2. Big Beaver Lick -- Big Beaver Lick in Boone County was a fur trading post from 1780 to 1820 and was initially known as Beaverlick, according to "Kentucky Place Names" by Robert M. Rennick. Located at the source of the Beaver Branch of Big Bone Creek, the locals named it Big Beaver Lick because of the "licks," or natural salt and mineral deposits that animals lick for vitamins.
1. Sugartit -- Sadly, the community no longer exists, even though your iPhone will sometimes tell you you're calling from there. It was located between Florence and Union in Boone County, and according to The Cincinnati Enquirer, "it had the name of Pleasant Ridge as shown on Lake's 1883 Atlas. It was later called Gunpowder and the area is so designated in John Uri Lloyd's book, 'Felix Moses, Beloved Jew.' A sugartit is an old-time pacifier for babies made by tying up a bit of sugar in a piece of appropriate cloth or handkerchief. Sugartit is clearly shown on the contour map provided by the United States Coastal and Geodetic Survey."
So that's what they mean by Sugartit.
Of course, the Northern Kentucky area isn't the only region where odd names exist in the state. All across the Bluegrass state, there are weirdly named places.
We'd be remiss not to mention a few more.
Honorable mentions include: Monkey's Eyebrow, Possum Trot and Black Gnat, all located in other parts of the Kentucky.
Those are just weird.