Do Towns with Tedious Names Have a Sense of Humor?
In 2017, a few Boring, Dull and Bland people around the world decided to do something about their lot in life. If you haven’t already run screaming at the thought of where this might be headed, stay with us. This is a story about the Scottish village of Dull, the American town of Boring, in Oregon, and the Australian region of Bland Shire, and their brainstorm to put themselves on the tourism map. Since unofficially teaming up as the "League of Extraordinary Communities," more people have come to enjoy these unfortunately-named areas.
It all started when Dull and Boring became sister communities back in 2012, after a Scottish visitor on a cycle trip to America noticed the similarities in the names. Although these places can't be officially twinned due to having vastly different populations (Boring has around 12,000 residents, Bland has around 6,000, while Dull has fewer than 100 residents), that hasn't stopped them from grabbing headlines. And now Ordinary and Dreary, both towns in America, want to join in the fun. Can Mundane be far behind?
Nothing boring (or dull) about that:
- So where did these names come from? Boring and Bland were both named after early residents of their respective communities – William Boring and William Bland. "Dull" likely came from the Pictish word for field.
- “People were suddenly interested in visiting our communities,” explained Norm Rice, a member of the Boring Community Planning Organization. “They found out that there's nothing dull and boring about Boring and Dull.”
- In addition to more tourist visits, the idea has helped boost businesses (such as the Not So Boring Bar & Grill), and spurred sales of Boring mugs, Dull T-shirts, and other merchandise. There's even an annual Boring & Dull Day, celebrated on August 9.
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