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From Red Hot to Monkey's Eyebrow

From Red Hot to Monkey's Eyebrow: Unusual Kentucky Place Names

Robert M. Rennick
Illustrations by Linda Boileau
Copyright Date: 1997
Pages: 96
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  • Book Info
    From Red Hot to Monkey's Eyebrow
    Book Description:

    " Of course you'll find Paradise in Kentucky, but it's only one of the many unusual place names in the Commonwealth. Meeting these names for the first time, visitors and residents alike assume that some clever or funny stories lie behind them. So they ask, how did Elkhorn Creek get its name? Were the roads to Red River really Hell each way? Did bugs really tussle in Monroe County? Why was everyone whooping for Larry? To be hospitable and helpful, Kentuckians have come up with convincing -- if not always truthful -- answers to these and other questions about how places got their names. Some of these stories were clearly not intended to be believed, though a few of them have been anyway. From Red Hot to Monkey's Eyebrow presents some of the classic accounts of Kentucky's oddest place names. Complete with map, index, and humorous drawings by Linda Boileau, this handy guide is a delight.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-4613-3
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-ix)
  3. [Map]
    (pp. x-xii)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-4)

    Kentucky certainly has its share of curious and unusual place names, some of which are unique. I don’t think any other state has aMonkey’s Eyebrow, Helechawa, Mousie, Whoopflarea, Thousandsticks, Black Gnat, Eighty Eight, Fancy Farm, or Thealka.

    Colorful names inspire colorful stories. For the most part the stories that follow are my retellings of traditional tales that I’ve been collecting for more than forty years from people who lived at or near the places they refer to. The few exceptions are published tales known to nearly all students of Kentucky literature.

    Whether these accounts are true or not does...

  5. Unusual Kentucky Place Names
    (pp. 5-62)

    No one really knows how Kentucky got its name or what it means. Most assume it had an Indian origin. But one of the few things on which Kentucky’s historians, geographers, and experts on Indian names agree is that in no known Indian tongue does it mean “dark and bloody ground.”

    It is said that a young Cherokee sub-chief, after the signing of the Treaty of Sycamore Shoals in the spring of 1775, told the representatives of Colonel Richard Henderson that the large expanse of land between the Kentucky and Cumberland Rivers they had just bought would be for them...

  6. Sources
    (pp. 63-74)
  7. For Further Reading
    (pp. 75-76)
  8. Index
    (pp. 77-82)