A photo of Slapout Service in Slapout, OK
Photo by John Curran. Slapout, OK.

There are at least two towns called Slapout in the United States, and it looks like they both got their name in pretty much the same way.

During the depression, highway three was built across Oklahoma. Where it passed his land, a fellow named Tom Lemons moved a chicken coop over to the highway and started a store. His sister worked in the store, and whenever the someone would come in looking for something that they didn’t have she would reply that they were “slap out” of the product. Despite Tom’s protestations, the name stuck, and the town became known as Slapout, Oklahoma.

Some other time, maybe about the same time but data is sketchy, there was a store called the Boys Store in a the community of Holtville, Alabama. If you went into the Boys Store and asked for something they were out of you would be told that they were “slap out of it.” Here too, the name stuck.

Two towns in the US, both with the same name, and the same story about how they got their name. Fascinating.


  1. The name “Slapout” for the Alabama town got its name long before the Boys’ Store even existed. There was a small country store, about the only thing in the area, run by an older gentleman who, though he had a fairly good stock, would tell the customer “I am slap out of that” even as he was reaching for the item to hand to the customer. This name, Slapout, stuck and Slapout is a well-known location in central Alabama today. Slapout has long been recognized as the place “Where most of the stars fell” when stars fell on Alabama. In more recent times the Boys’ Store has come into existence. it is nothing like the original store in Slapout. Today it is a modern Piggly Wiggly.

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