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Top 40 Funny Place Names in Switzerland


Rotzloch - a town in Switzerland
All over the world, there are cities and villages with names that strike us as funny. Places such as Sexi (Peru), Middlefart (Denmark) or Hooker (USA) make us smile or even giggle a bit. Especially, when you actually get to visit one of them. I once actually drove through Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu (New Zealand) which is one of the longest names any populated place on earth has. Sometimes, it is the sound of the place name that sounds funny to foreign ears but most of the time it's the either the literal meaning (as in Climax (USA)) or the similarity to a word in another language (as in Bitsch (Switzerland)) that tickles our sense of humor.

There are plenty of collections of weird and unusual place names from all over the world but there aren't that many lists of places with funny names in Switzerland - at least none in English that I could find. After some research I compiled my own Top 40 of Switzerland's Funniest Place Names (in brackets the abbreviation of the canton where the city, town or village is located):

  1. Agasul (ZH)
  2. Arschwald (GL) - forest of asses
  3. Ast (TG) - branch
  4. Baden (AG) - bathing
  5. Bethlehem (BE)
  6. Betten (VS) - beds
  7. Bitsch (VS)
  8. Chäs und Brot (BE) - cheese and bread
  9. Dicken (SG) - fat, plump
  10. Dorf (ZH) - village
  11. Ecce Homo (SZ) - lat. behold the man; words used by Pontius Pilate to present Christ
  12. Enge (ZH) - constriction, narrowness
  13. Finsterhennen (BE) - dark hens
  14. Gabi (VS)
  15. Galgenen (SZ) - gallows
  16. Geiss (LU) - goat
  17. Gockhausen (ZH) - rooster dwelling
  18. Haltestelle (BE) - stop, station (for public transportation)
  19. Hosenruck (TG) - pants jerk
  20. Jammertal (LU) - vale of tears
  21. Libanon (LU) 
  22. Lohn (GR) - salary
  23. Moskau (SH)
  24. Muhen (AG) - mooing, to moo
  25. Paradies (TG  - paradise
  26. Paradiso (TI) - paradise
  27. Petersburg (SH)
  28. Romanshorn (TG) - horn of Roman
  29. Rotzloch (LU) - snot hole
  30. Rotzenwil (SG) - snot village
  31. Sack (ZH) - bag
  32. Scherz (AG) - joke
  33. Tinizong (GR)
  34. Turin (VS)
  35. Unterwasser (SG) - under water
  36. Wienacht (AR) - christmas
  37. Wintersingen (BL) - winter singing
  38. Witzwil (BE) - joke village
  39. Wolfenschiessen (NW) - shooting of wolves
  40. Wunderklingen (SH) - wonderful sound, wonderful blades



You can also test your knowledge of other unusual Swiss place names with this Swiss Place Name Quiz! Have fun!





© 2014 IRENE WYRSCH "A HUMOROUS GUIDE TO SWITZERLAND" ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Comments

  1. Hello Irene! We just stumbled across your blog and are looking forward to reading more about Switzerland.
    If you are looking to incorporate additional expat blogs, we started a blog, More2Explore in 2012 to chronicle our life in Switzerland, our travels, and other aspects of our daily life. http://m2explore.wordpress.com/ . All the best to you and enjoy your travels! Kind Regards, Melinda

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Melinda! I'll definitely add your blog to my blog roll!

      Delete
  2. Street near where I live called Buttholenweg!

    ReplyDelete
  3. You left off the best one... Wankdorf :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I always thought Zug was a funny name for a city.

    ReplyDelete
  5. a) Rotzloch is not situated in the canton Lucerne but Nidwalden!
    b) Finsterhennen does not stem from finster (meaning dark) but feist (in german gemästet, in English FAT)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you are obviously right about a).
      In regards to b), would the Swiss German pronunciation be "Finschterhenne" or "Feischterhenne"?

      Delete
  6. I randomly saw this page on the internet and I thought I could contribute with some funny Tessiner place names. South to North:

    Chiasso (Noise)
    Lattecaldo (Hot milk)
    Suino (Pig)
    Cademario (Mario falls down)
    Denti della Vecchia (Old lady's teeth - it's a mountain)
    Cadempino (A pine tree falls down)
    Cadepezzo (A piece -of something- falls down)
    Muralto (High wall)
    Broglio (Rigged vote)
    Sobrio (Sober)

    Nice blog. Have a good night!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very nice! These are great additions to this list. I especially love Lattecaldo!

      Delete

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