I noticed high-quality reader input on the recent He Went Thata Way article. I never imagined that there were so many creative Ways to approach the situation and it proved to me that I might be able to mine additional road name gold. I’d have said "No Way" while the 12MC audience responded "Way" and all that irrelevant quote from Wayne’s World accomplished was to make me feel old when I noticed that the movie was released in 1992, and of course based on a recurring theme from Saturday Night Live even earlier. Great. That was a fine way to start the week.(¹) Confronting my own mortality.
Let’s recap a few comments since I realize most viewers don’t go back once they’ve read the original article. It also gave me an opportunity to credit a few people for their excellent discoveries.
- Greg flagged Anchorsa Way in Saint Inigoes, MD (a waterfront community near a U.S. naval facility, not surprisingly)
- Jbapo mentioned a garbage disposal company located on Throwita Way in Placerville, CA
- Glenn noticed an abundance of Milky Way. I hoped to find one inspired by the candy bar. Alas, they all seemed to observe astronomical themes.
That got me thinking about the possible existence of No Way. Wouldn’t that be cool? Sadly I couldn’t find one. I did uncover North Way in Oceanside, California. One could abbreviate that as No. Way with a little twisted logic. Does that count? How about Know Place in New Bloomfield, Missouri?
Know Place, in Particular
"Where do you live? Know Place." I could see that creating a wonderful Who’s-on-First scenario without too much effort.
Then I decided to use Scrabble Finder to review every word ending in Way or Away. I don’t play much Scrabble and I spend Sunday morning writing Twelve Mile Circle instead of solving the New York Times’ crossword puzzle so I don’t normally have much use for this kind of tool. It felt a bit like cheating although it worked effectively enough for my purposes.
That allowed me to uncover numerous additional gems. I’ll highlight only a few:
- LOTS of examples, too many to mention, for Drive Way, Express Way, High Way, Free Way, and Road Way. I did discover that the faster the implied speed of the name, the more rural and remote the location of the street in question (e.g., does this road look like a freeway?) It also amused me that Maps abbreviated Road Way as Rd Way.
- Cara Way — as in the caraway seed used as a food seasoning — made frequent appearances. I don’t think residents consciously intended to be clever or funny. Cara has become a somewhat common given name for women (albeit waning in the last decade) and I’ve noticed that housing developers seem to have a penchant for naming streets after family members when they run out of other ideas.
- Any Way? Everywhere.
- I found Stowa Way in Daly City, CA; Cottonwood, CA; and Garden Valley, ID.
- And Sea Way in Bodega Bay, CA; San Rafael, CA; and Harwich, MA.
Nor Way isn’t Norway
My favorite instance, however, did not appear on the list. That was Nor Way. I couldn’t tell if its usage implied Norwegian heritage or whether residents simply considered it amusing. Either way(²), I found Nor Way locations in Ithaca, NY; Barnstable, MA; and Harwich, MA.
Are we done with WAY or will the great 12MC audience continue to find even better examples?
I would be remiss if I didn’t highlight additional recent input not directly related to today’s topic, although noteworthy as standalone curiosities.
- Longtime reader Peter mentioned what he considered the "best street name anywhere." I concur for obvious reasons.
- Finally, Doug sent an email to Twelve Mile Circle. It wasn’t about a street, rather a town. Take a look at the peculiar boundaries of Round Mountain, Texas including its spindly legs and a divot at its primary intersection.
I enjoy these little discoveries so kindly keep them coming!
(¹) Please forgive me if I sound a little surly. I’m still trying to ease back into normal 12MC production after my recent holiday. I appreciate everyone bearing with me as I posted a long series of travel articles. I know from reader statistics that those are not audience favorites, however I enjoy them so that’s what you got. I did try to sprinkle in a few genuine anomalies like the KYTNVA Tripoint and the Time Zone thingy in between Turtleman and the Interstate rest stop. The usual geo-oddities will now take center stage going forward until the next vacation.
(²) Either Way is in Boulder Creek, California, by the way.(³)
(³) Bytha Way is in Shelby, North Carolina.