Friday, January 28, 2011

'Yeehaw' In A Dignified Context

Earlier this month, we talked about Hobe Sound, Florida, which in an attempt to become the next Hollywood changed its name to Picture City. They are not the only Florida city to change their name.

There's a good possibility that, if you've been to Orlando, you've stopped in nearby Yeehaw Junction at some point, if only for coupons. It's a tiny town, so you probably took 'Yeehaw' as a sign that you're in the sticks. In fact, there are two schools of thought about where 'Yeehaw' came from: a mule, or the Creek Indian word for 'wolf'.

It's still a step up from the previous name: Jackass Junction.

This was absolutely a mule-related name- mules were used to haul lumber back when the town got roads in the 1930's- but you could also pin it to the patrons of the Desert Inn, which was, let's not mince words, a whorehouse. And the local watercooler.

This was fine when there were no tourists around. Eventually, of course, tourists came. So did the Florida Turnpike. A town called "Jackass Junction" was not good for business. In 1957, the state legislature ordered Jackass Junction to change their name.

One can imagine how gritted the teeth were as they accepted the new name.

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