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Tarsdorf, Austria

Fucking, Austria

American soldiers discovered Europe's best one-liner at the end of World War II. 

Since the Americans came into town in the 1940s, the Fuckingers, as people of the town are called, have had to deal with hordes of people posing in front of, defacing and stealing their street signs.

Originally named for the medieval Baron Focko, the town’s name evolved through multiple iterations (Fukching and Fugkhing) before becoming Fucking in the 1700s. Despite the obvious choice of English articulation, the town is actually pronounced Fooking, as in rhymes with booking and didn’t raise the slightest eyebrow until English speakers came to the small town on Austria’s western border.

Although the town of 104 people draws in tourists with its name, the behavior associated with sign tourism in the area has been only bad news for locals. Street signs were regularly stolen, including 15 thefts in just a few years and recently, the town has also had a problem with visitors filming themselves engaged in sexual acts in front of the signs as well.

To stop the mayhem, the town held a vote to change the name, but it was kept, due to a stubborn mayor who didn’t feel it necessary to change a name that had been around for 800 years before any tourists set foot there. Since 2005, a number of measures have been enacted to stop theft and lewd behavior including theft-proof signage and closed-circuit televisions that monitor the town’s four “Fucking” signs.