A recent blog by someone who goes by the handle problogic was about cities whose name ends with I. Looking at only medium and large cities (min size 150K), he found some 200 of them. That got me to thinking about the rarest last letters of city names.
The rarest last letters for English words are Q and J in that order. There’s less than 50 of each, even if you scour the OED and other unabridged dictionaries. So it’s not too surprising that I couldn’t come up with very many with those two letters.
The only Q-ender I know of is a very small place in Greenland (Qaanaaq) and I only know of that one because it’s a rare Q-palindrome. No doubt there’s others in Inuit lands or Arabic-speaking countries. But not Iraq. That’s a country, not a city.
For J, the only one I could think of is Cluj, Romania. Again, there are likely others in various other countries, India, perhaps.
Other rare letters in English are X and Z. For Z I thought of Fez, Morocco and Valdez, Alaska. For X, there’s Phoenix, Halifax, and Bordeaux. Probably with more thought I could think of more.
The next four rarest letters in English are K, V, B, and P. Compared with the other letters discussed here, K is quite common. New York, York, Innsbruck, Dunkirk, Selkirk, Norfolk, Kennewick WA, Kennebunk ME, and many more. So I’m not that interested in K.
V, though, seems to be only represented by Kiev. Perhaps there’s others in Russia or somewhere.
B. McComb MS, Macomb IL, and Babb MT.
P. Islip NY and Puyallup WA. Places that end in -thorp in England. Thorp is an old word meaning “village”.
C seems to be somewhat rare: Passaic NJ, Cadillac MI, and Fond du Lac WI. Shediac, New Brunswick. Maybe Quebec, but that usually goes by Quebec City, I think.
F: Flagstaff AZ and Red Bluff CA. Düsseldorf. But that brings up that Dorf is a German word for village, cognate with thorp. So there’s probably plenty of dorfs in Germany. Also other Bluff’s and Cliff’s.
Any additions? Except for K. Don’t tell me about any Ks. Way too common.