After almost a year-long hiatus, 10News reporter Jim Matheny is bringing back the segments that examine the origins of East Tennessee's interesting names.
The series returns to 10News with a new name of its own.
"I've ditched the name 'Why do they call it that?' in favor of 'Namesake.' I wanted to change the name for several reasons. The old title was too long. Just typing the title took up an entire headline and it was a mouthful to say on-air. We also used to joke that it sounded like the name of a game show," said Matheny. "I think
'Namesake' is an improvement because it is shorter, sweeter, and fits well with our 'Straight from the Heart' style at WBIR."
The newly renamed Namesake debuts Wednesday night with the story of an unusual name in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
"We start back with a hilarious place name called 'Holy Butt.' That is a peak in Sevier County along the edge of the Park and Gatlinburg. We talk to a historical researcher who shares a really interesting story that combines topographical terms with some of the area's religious heritage," said Matheny. "I hope folks have fun learning about the history of the name."
The Namesake segment on Holy Butt airs Wednesday, November 14, at 11:00 p.m. on 10News Nightbeat.
Matheny said he also hopes people will continue to participate and contribute to the success of Namesake.
"I used to get so many emails from people with wonderful ideas about places with interesting names. A lot of requests were for funny names like 'Boogertown' and 'Stinking Creek.' But it was amazing how some places or landmarks with fairly normal names have tremendous back-stories of heroism and bravery. That seemed to be the case for almost any bridge or landmark named in honor of a military veteran. I hope people remain curious about any name they see and will send ideas my way."
Send your Namesake suggestions
If there is a place or landmark with a name you would like us to research, send your suggestions to 10News reporter Jim Matheny using the "Namesake Suggestions" form on this page. Be sure to include your name and a note on how to pronounce it in case we use your suggestion on-air. Likewise, please let us know if you do not want us to use your name on-air.
You can also join the conversation at Jim Matheny's WBIR Facebook page as well as on Twitter @jimmatheny