Lizard Lick is a small town at a crossroads in North Carolina. Legend has it that in the 1800s there was a distillery near the crossroads. Near the still there was a fence, and lizards would come out by the thousands to catch the insects that fed on the discarded mash from the still. We’re not sure if the Lick part of the name comes from the word Liquor, (some people say the liquor store, which was not the officially-sanctioned government one, was called Lizard Liquor), or if it’s because it looked like the lizards were licking the insects, or if it’s because an old man who used to walk along the road were the fence was gave the lizards a lickin’ with his cane.
I guy I know used to have a T-shirt that said “Where the heck is Spuzzum?” I think the lettering was done in brown velour. So, where is Spuzzum? What is Spuzzum? It is a small town in British Columbia, Canada, not far from the town of Hope.
So, what kind of a name is Spuzzum? Well, we’re not sure. We think that is’s a word in the language of one of the local First Nations, or at least a word in a very localized dialect of the language of one of the local First Nations. It either is a version of the word “spatsum,” which is the reed used to weave baskets in the area, or it means “little flat.”
Many years ago Spuzzum was a large-ish place. The railway goes through the town, and there used to be a ferry crossing the river there as well. Spuzzum is also on the Trans-Canada highway. Spuzzum is very small. I only drove through it once that I remember, sometime in the nineties. There was a sign saying that we were in Spuzzum, but I’m not sure if the gas station/general store/post office was still standing, (it burned down sometime in the nineties). The Spuzzum First Nation has its offices there, and there is a picturesque bridge there as well that appears to have once been part of the Trans-Canada, (now there’s a newer, larger, bridge).
The name of the town La Tuque, Québec is funny for Canadians because a Tuque is a very warm hat, so a town named after a hat is funny, (if you’ve ever heard of a place called “Top Hat” or something then let me know and I’ll write about it). So, there we have it, a town in Canada with a funny name.
But how did it get this name? According to Wikipedia, back in the day when we used canoes to get around these parts, there was, (maybe there still is), a portage there, and the coureurs des bois named the portage La Tuque because there was a mountain close by that looked like a tuque, (the hat). I have tried to find a photo of this tuque-shaped mountain to put here, but despite finding some photos of the La Tuque region, I’m not sure which one is the tuque. None of the mountains really look like tuques to me.
The town of La Tuque was created in 1911, so next year will be its centennial celebration, and they are planning already. There is a website up and an interesting photo album of life at the beginning of La Tuque.
Crapaud, (pronounced crap-o), is the French word for toad. It is also the name of a town in Prince Edward Island, Canada.
According to the Community Profile for the Municipality of Crapaud, (download from the PEI Government – PDF), the community was named in 1842 after a nearby river that is full of frogs, called, (at least at the time), Rivière aux Crapauds. In 1996 there were 378 people living in Crapaud, and from some Googling it appears that there is an Agricultural exhibition and Tractor Pull held there each year, (visit: http://www.crapaudexhibition.com).