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Residents seeking name change of Lake Horney

Posted at 7:05 AM, Jun 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-06 07:05:31-04

LAKELAND, Fla. - Lakeside living has its perks: beautiful views, bird watching, and maybe other wildlife encounters. But residents around one Lakeland lake are tired of getting a case of the giggles every time they tell people where they live.

The lake is named Lake Horney -- that's horney with an "E", named after Julius Teague Horney, a developer from the 1920's.

One Lake Horney resident, who is too shy to go on camera, has had enough of the red-faced moments. He recently sent an application to the United States Board of Geographic Names to try to get the lake officially changed.

The issue has become a debate within the neighborhood. Some residents believe it would be disrespectful to remove name of someone who is significant to the city's history.

Others, would appreciate putting an end to the sexually suggestive jokes.

"People don't forget where we live when we tell them," said MaryJo Williams, who used to live on Lake Horney Drive until she remodeled her house and changed the orientation so she doesn't have to tell people she lives on Lake Horney.

"I couldn't say Lake Horney without laughing, so I had to say I just moved there I can't remember my address," she said.

Nick Abraham, who lives on the lake with his girlfriend, doesn't mind the name but does hear the jokes.

"My mom is catholic and when we told her where we are living, she screen shot it and sent it to us, 'oh Lake Horney', really nice guys'," he said.

Since Mr. Horney's name is also on a park and a street, even Lakeland Mayor Howard Wiggs believes maybe it's time to change the name of the lake because he's heard from other concerned citizens as well.

But he said he was never embarrassed by it.

The U.S. Board of Geographic Names is looking into the issue. ABC Action News is told they typically side with whatever local leaders believe is right.

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