A Town Called Greasy

Here's your nightly math! Just 5 quick minutes of number fun for kids and parents at home. Read a cool fun fact, followed by math riddles at different levels so everyone can jump in. Your kids will love you for it.

A Town Called Greasy

January 24, 2014

Most American towns and cities have names that don’t sound either good or bad. Places like Springfield and Mountainside sound like what they are. But some towns want to tell you how great they are. There’s a town called Happyland in Connecticut, and Kentucky has towns called Beauty and Lucky. Carefree, Arizona and Friendly, West Virginia also tell you ahead of time what you might find there. But then there are some towns that warn us not to get our hopes up. Boring, Oregon doesn’t sound like much fun, nor does Greasy, Oklahoma. Some places sound downright weird, like Oddville, Kentucky or Peculiar, Missouri. If you want to go somewhere and not face too many surprises, maybe it’s best to go to Ordinary, Kentucky and just stay put.

Wee ones: Kentucky takes the prize for the greatest number of crazy names: Beauty, Lucky, Oddville, and Ordinary, for starters. How many towns is that?

Little kids: 833 people live in Flat, Texas (at least as of 2007). Embarrass, Wisconsin has 409 people. Which town has more?  Bonus: If you moved to Flat, now how many people would the town have?

Big kids: It’s 87 miles from Oddville, KY to Ordinary, KY, and then 81 more miles from there to Beauty, KY. If you visit them in that order so your day gets better and better, how many miles do you travel?  Bonus: How far is Ordinary from the halfway point on that trip?




Wee ones: 4 towns.

Little kids: Flat, TX has more.  Bonus: 834 people.

Big kids: 168 miles.  Bonus: The halfway point would be at 84 miles, so Ordinary is 3 miles from that spot.

And a big thank-you to Zachary T. for sending us this idea!

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About the Author

Laura Overdeck

Laura Overdeck

Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking while still in diapers, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.

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