Is there a special name for small villages? Like a made up name of the village or a real one that functions as a recognizable synonym for a small village? E.g. "This 'town' he lives in is actually the size of _(the name of small village)"

Edit: I was thinking more about something which sounds funny; also, the name does not necessarily have to fit the example. it can be 'as big as _' or whatever comes to your mind.

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    I can think of no such name (there may be several, but I would suspect they’re probably fairly localised). I might say something like “This ‘town’ he lives in is really no more than a hamlet”, or “This ‘town’ he lives in is about the size of a postage stamp!”, or (if we’re being really colloquial) “What a dump, this ‘town’ he lives in!”. Jun 3 '14 at 14:40
  • Thank you, I have heard about a hamlet, and dump (obviously), but a postage stamp is the best solution.
    – user78169
    Jun 3 '14 at 14:46
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    I don't think "dump" particularly relates to the size of the place. You might consider "one horse town", although it doesn't fit into your "size of" sentence. But if you're happy with "size of a postage stamp" then you could just compare the size to any small thing.
    – Rupe
    Jun 3 '14 at 15:08
  • I think you might want to change your question title to get better answers. Obviously hamlet is good but not funny or slang. I thought you were looking for something more serious when I answered too. Jun 3 '14 at 22:13
  • Given the mention of East Jesus, I just wanted to say there IS an East Jesus, though it's probably jocular. A section of Slab City in the California desert, itself east of the frightful, accidental, life-killing Salton Sea. Nov 21 '18 at 0:02

From: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hamlet

"Full Definition of HAMLET: a small village"

"Examples of HAMLET she always longed to return to the quiet hamlet where she had been born"

For the more relaxed requirements of the edited version of the question, how about:

"This 'town' he lives in is actually the size of Dogpatch."

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    +1 In my locale, the town is largely a political unit made up of several hamlets. The hamlets do not have separate governmental functions. A village is a different type of government/geographic entity. There is also one within our town.
    – bib
    Jun 3 '14 at 15:27
  • 3
    Specifically in BE, a hamlet doesn't have a church. The presence/absence of particular sizes of churches is reflected in various other 'cities' which are only named as such for having a cathedral.
    – Sam
    Jun 3 '14 at 16:19
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    @Sam Or a Royal Charter. The City of Brighton & Hove doesn't have a cathedral, but does have a city charter.
    – Andrew Leach
    Jun 3 '14 at 16:55
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    @AndrewLeach The delights of the arbitrary bounds on British collective nouns for clusters of humanity!
    – Sam
    Jun 3 '14 at 16:57
  • Likewise Cambridge, and Bradford between 1897 and 1918. I've often wondered what the city-has-a-cathedral bunch make of Leeds, which has a Catholic Cathedral, but not an Anglican one (though it may soon have a pro-Cathedral, whatever that is).
    – Colin Fine
    Jun 3 '14 at 17:30


Po·dunk: a small, unimportant town

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    Unless referring to one of the various places actually named Podunk, podunk is usually dismissive or derogatory. Mention a podunk town and its denizens may feel insulted— justifiably or not.
    – choster
    Jun 3 '14 at 18:40
  • @choster They may also feel insulted by being called denizens. :)
    – biziclop
    Jun 4 '14 at 9:43

Consider Rubesville, Hicksburg, Hicksville, whistle stop, and the idiomatic one-horse town.

"This "town" he lives in is actually the size of Hicksville."

"This place he lives in is actually the size of a one-horse town."

"This place he lives in is as big as a one-horse town."

Hicksville: Sl. a derogatory term to describe a small town or suburbs.

rube, hick: N. Amer an unsophisticated countryman; a hayseed

whistle stop: a small, unimportant town, esp. one along a railroad line.

one-horse town: Fig. a very small town; a small and backward town

Alternately, such modifiers as jerkwater, backwater, backwoods, and vest-pocket might fit what you're looking for.

jerkwater: US remote and unimportant: jerkwater towns

backwater: mod. isolated, backward (as of a town or village). n. a quiet place (such as a town or village) where there's little activity, excitement, progress, etc.

backwoods: mod. of, from, or like the backwoods. n. any remote sparsely populated place

vest-pocket: US small enough to fit into a vest pocket; very small

That way we could see and enjoy more of America, her history, her scenic vistas, her many picturesque vest-pocket towns and villages.

  • 1
    I'm not aware of any such use of freshwater as you mention. Perhaps you should edit it to jerkwater (1,2,3) Jun 4 '14 at 15:33
  • @jwpat7 Yes! That makes a lot more sense!
    – Elian
    Jun 4 '14 at 15:38
  • @jwpat7 That said, "freshwater" does exist in the meaning "small," "provincial," but it's more commonly used to refer to schools and colleges. dictionary.reference.com/browse/freshwater
    – Elian
    Jun 4 '14 at 15:47
  • I will comment as I have before... it would be nice that you don't add my answers to yours. Man this is what the 20th time? Jun 4 '14 at 17:53
  • @RyeɃreḁd What are you talking about? Which answers of yours have I added to mines? I can't make heads or tails of what you're talking about. In addition, it'd be great if you could quit posting harsh comments to my answers merely with a mind to influence the votes. Man, this ain't fair play. ;-)
    – Elian
    Jun 4 '14 at 18:28

In Australia we have a few equivalents to "boondocks", though that term and "middle of nowhere" are commonly used.

Although these ostensibly refer to remoteness of location, the implication is a small outback township or station (ranch).

  • back o' Bourke* / back of Bourke*
  • back o' beyond / back of beyond
  • beyond the black stump
  • Woop Woop (pronounced like the American Woop-ass)

    "Where's that new bloke from?"

    "I dunno mate, moved here from out Woop Woop somewhere"

Bourke is a town, about 800km west of the state capital, Sydney. Bourke is the edge of settled agricultural districts and where the outback begins. This red dirt road is the Bourke-Wilcannia Highway, 10km west of Bourke

Bourke-Wilcannia Highway


I have heard of townlet, not sure where but it popped in my head.

When the pilgrims came over they created a settlement.

John Mellencamp wrote about small-town USA.

And in the Midwest I have heard small towns referred to as outposts.

A remote part of a country or empire.

I will add that there are a lot of slang phrases too. There was an old phrase, a one-horse town, that was used well when people rode horses.

Now I hear, a one stop-sign town or one gas-station town. Or varieties off of this.

People may also say they live in the middle-of-nowhere or the boonies ,boondocks, or the sticks. There are a lot of terms for unincorporated America.

You can also use the word bum-fuck instead of your town name.

.. "Where do you live?"

"I live in bum-fuck Ohio."

"Where's it at?"

"Little town near Perryville out in the middle of no where. We got a stop sign on D7."

Edit: Another term popped in my head that I still hear a lot - East Jesus. Someone would say, "Damn you live all the way out in East Jesus." Meaning a very small town out in the middle of no where.

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    A common collocation for the last one is Bumfuck, Nowhere, which is presumably even farther away from anything than Bumfuck, Ohio. Jun 3 '14 at 23:18
  • 1
    Bumfuck, Egypt is pretty much interchangeable with Bumfuck, Nowhere.
    – Dispenser
    Jun 4 '14 at 16:52
  • 1
    @JanusBahsJacquet - Bumfuck, Nowhere is past the boonies, through the sticks, and right next to East Jesus. Jun 4 '14 at 17:41
  • @RyeɃreḁd … where (as we say here) the crows bring their own lunchbox and the pigs wear number plates. Jun 4 '14 at 17:48

Smallville might work (from the Superman mythos, as a typical small town).


A very small town can often be referred to as a "two-horse town".

There's also the very, ahem, colorful expression "You can't swing a [dead] cat [by the tail] [without hitting two people you know]", which is used to describe a town so small that you know practically everybody.


A suffix used in the past for a village in the United Kingdom was by. So arguably you could add by to any English word and voilà, you have the name of a typical quaint English village. Other suffixes used to denote smallness are as follows

by | Old Norse | settlement, village : Grimsby, Tenby, Derby, Whitby, Selby, Crosby, Formby, Kirkby, Rugby, Helsby, Corby, Wetherby
cot, cott | Old English, Welsh | cottage, small building or derived from Brythonic/Welsh Coed or Coet meaning a wood : Ascot, Draycott in the Clay, Swadlincote
parva | Latin | little : Appleby Parva, Wigston Parva, Ruston Parva, Glen Parva, Thornham Parva Source

Other common suffixes found in hamlets and small villages are: bury; dale; gate; ston(e); ville; and wood.

England is famous for its apples and cider and there are many villages and hamlets which contain the name apple, thus a typical sounding hamlet is: Appleby; Applecote; Appleston(e); Appledale; Applewood; Applegate... etc. Swap the fruit with pear and you have equally quaint named villages

If the OP is however interested in more amusing and unusual village names I suggest the following, which by the way all exist in the UK.


In the US, we generally refer to "small populated areas that are not incorporated into an urbanized governing body" as a "civil township".

In the US Census, civil townships (Twp) and towns are considered Minor Civil Divisions (MCD) for census purposes.

  • I think this is largely dependent on the state. Civil townships are subdivisions of counties, and do not exist in the South or the West. I'm certain I've never heard Minor Civil Division used in everyday speech, and even for official purposes, they only exist in 29 states.
    – choster
    Jun 4 '14 at 19:25

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