Sunday, May 22, 2022

REPRINT WEEK: OZ PLACE NAMES

-----oOo-----

Ugly Week having finished, a new week commences which I am calling Reprint Week, a collection of reprints of interesting articles from various publications. I am sure you will find them interesting and entertaining, I certainly did.

The first reprint follows.

Lengthy but easy reading and fun.

-----oOo-----

AUSTRALIAN PLACE NAMES

The following article, by Calla Wahlquist, is from The Guardian at:


Spanker Knob, Bullshit Hill and Guys Dirty Hole are all real places in Australia

From Bumcooler Flat (South Australia) to Kockup (Tasmania), we’ve rounded up some of Australia’s weirdest place names. Add your suggestions in the comments

The North Pole is located a short distance from Marble Bar, the hottest place in inland Australia. Siberia is near Kalgoorlie, with an average summer temperature of 35C. Australian humour is not complicated. And when you colonise a land that is almost the size of Europe, it’s easy to run out of names.

Which is possibly why there are so many bottoms in Tasmania.

Australia’s weird place names should be celebrated, if only so they don’t come as a shock next time you hear them read out on an ABC emergency broadcast.

However some, like Suicide Bay and Victory Hill in Tasmania, named by the workers of the Van Diemen’s Land Company to celebrate the massacre of 30 Aboriginal people, should be recognised only as a reminder of a brutal past. The Tasmanian Aboriginal Corporation in 2017 lobbied to have those places renamed in palawa kani: Suicide Bay would be luwuka, Victory Hill called timuk and an island called Niggerhead Rock would be karanutung. The name changes have not been made official.

Queensland has renamed seven places that used the N-word. Western Australia has renamed the King Leopold Ranges the Wunaamin Miliwundi Ranges, removing the name of the genocidal Belgian king in favour of the name given to the landscape in the local Ngarinyin and Bunuba languages.

Other place names just betray an explorer’s frustration. For example, what would you call a recently discovered cave? Well It Wasn’t There Last Year.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the oddest Australian place names. Please add others in the comments!

The footballers: Joel Joel and Joel South, Victoria. Keith and Bruce, South Australia.

No, not that one: Texas and Cleveland, Queensland. Bagdad, Tasmania. Majorca, Victoria. Perth, Tasmania. Antwerp, Victoria. Brighton, Tasmania, SA, Victoria and WA. Andover, Tasmania. Waterloo, Tasmania. Malaga, WA. Harrogate, SA. Toronto, NSW. London Lakes, Tasmania. North Pole and Siberia, WA.

Grub’s up: Eggs and Bacon Bay, Tasmania. Sausage Gully, Onion Bay, and Gruyere, Victoria. Saucebottle Swamp, Queensland.

We’re not mad, we’re just disappointed: Useless Loop, Useless Inlet, Hard to Find Dam, Point Torment, Disaster Bay, and Woop Woop, WA. Break-me-neck Hill, Bust-me-gut Hill, Bust Me Gall, Dismal Swamp, Horrible Hollow Gully and Nowhere Else, all Tasmania. Mount Great Groaner, NSW. Mount Buggery and Mount Disappointment, Victoria. Mount Mistake and Ugly Creek, Queensland. Rubbish Cave and Bullshit Hill, SA.

We’re not disappointed at all: Most Remarkable Blowhole, SA.

It’s been a long day: Nevertire, Nap Nap (a Madi Madi word meaning very swampy) and Goodnight, all NSW.

The bottoms: Lovely Bottom, Prickly Bottom, Deep Bottom, Officers Bottom, Broad Bottom, Bottom Fancy, Boomers Bottom, Round Bottom, Stumpys Bottom, Lake Fanny, Bottom Lagoon, The Butts, and Butt of Liberty, all Tasmania. Fannie Bay, Northern Territory. Break Wind Reserve, Backstairs Passage, Bumcooler Flat No1. and No.2, all SA.

The tops: The Nipples, Mossy Nipple Bend and Breasted Sugarloop, Tasmania. The Boobs, NSW. Mount Breast, Queensland. White Breasted Airport, SA.

The knobs: Blueys Knob, Quality Knobs, Booner Knob, Two Mile Knob, Red Knob, Scrubby Knob, Cleanskin Knob and Jerking Creek, Queensland. Misery Nob and Funny Nob Creek, and Pinnacle Knob Tasmania. Spanker Knob, Victoria. Delicate Knobby, NSW. Prominent Knob, Peculiar Nob, Southern Jerk Island and Cock Wash, SA.

Send your complaints to the Tasmanian board of nomenclature: No No Hole, Humongous Hole, Guys Dirty Hole, Pensioners Bush, Tonguers Point and Kockup, Tasmania.

Ditto, NSW: Rooty Hill, Flirtation Hill, and Pleasure Point.

Isn’t that that guy? Awesome Wells, Tasmania.

It’s a name if you make it a name: Other Side Of the Moon, WA. Deep Thought, Tasmania. Come by Chance, NSW. Broken Nose and Seventeen Seventy (1770 to locals, named for the year Captain James Cook stepped off the boat), Queensland. Well it Wasn’t There Last Year, SA.

Dante’s Australia: Satan’s Lair, Hellfire Bluff, and Paradise, Tasmania. Little Hell, Tasmania and SA. Purgatory Hill, NSW.

-----oOo-----

Reader comments:

I'll never forget calling out the Licking Hole (NSW, near Oberon) RFS Brigade and their call sign: "Licking Hole 1". Australia is full of place names like this.

Personal favourites of mine are Fairy Hole Road and Fairy Hole Creek near Yass in NSW.

In Kyogle NSW half the town is built up the side of Fairy Mount - not too far from Fairy Hill which is a hop skip and a jump away from Gays Hill, in nearby Casino.

Blue Knob is not far from there too. Just North of Nimbin on the South side of Mt Burrell.

You forgot one of my favourite suburb names - Innaloo, in Perth.

Innaloo has a connection with the suburb Upper Swan in Perth.

Most folk would rather be in Innaloo than Upper Swan.

Humpybong, Queensland. Woodenbong, NSW

I used to live down the road from Woodenbong, and can report that nowadays the locals make them out of plastic orange juice bottles.

Don't forget Iron Knob, up near Whyalla.

One might also enjoy a visit to:
Grassy Patch WA
Younghusband SA
Blue Knob near Nimbin NSW
Grub Road at Dismal Swamp SA

Or in England one could even take a dip in Wilsford cum Lake. :-)

My Aunty in Yorkshire lived near Penistone. The signpost got regularly souvenired.

Is that anywhere near Wetwang?

Used to have a bit to do with SA railways timetables and one that always used to promote conversation was Bumbunga

Cockburn, Perth (honestly how did you miss that one!)

Brown Knob near Kyogle NSW. Disturbingly, site of a preschool at nearby Eden Creek. The signpost at the turnoff reads "Brown Knob Road" "Preschool".

In Perth we pronounce it as “Co-burn”. But I’m led to believe that everywhere else it would be said as it’s spelt! Would be a handy place to have an STI clinic, though, as it is a regional hub Cockburn Central (yes, that is the suburb’s name!).

It's pronounced “Coh-burn” in the UK as well

Also pronounced in northern NSW as "co-burn" - I have never ever heard it referred to as cock-burn!

(To read a very funny exchange between Prime Minister Gough Whitlam and journalist Milton Cockurn, click on the following link to a past Bytes
Well worth the click and a look
Otto).

And then there is Damboring in WA which is Damn Boring - don't blink or you won't see it.

To be compared with Crook Place in a smart suburb of Canberra.

Many of these Australian names are a shame to the country. Does Canberra not smell the stench, see the rot and, feel national shame in the eyes of the world?

I rather think that there more shameful acts that the country should be addressing before going into meltdown about puerile placenames

for f* sake, hasn't cultural cringe faded with the ageing of the boomers?

Agreed. A shame, as you say. A legacy of a young nation. When people have been around for a long time, and have roots, they think twice about giving joke names.

Except for a joke name here and there.

This looks like quite a bit more.

And naturally some reactionaries will start shouting "it's only a place name" or "you do-gooders!"

Most of these places had names. Tens of thousands of years old. Give them those names back rather than "piss pot creek" which i've just made up, honest, and which, after a cursory search, I find does indeed exist ... in Australia. (honest : that was random chance).

Shaming indeed. Especially the offensive ones.

Yorkeys Knob - Cairns

And the famous Oh My God Hill near Dingo (Whitsunday Region).

And the equally famous Bust Me Gall Hill and Break me Neck Hill on the Tasman Highway in Tassie.

But we'll leave Black Charlies Opening out of it.

Mount Mismanagement, TAS

And in sad news...
The small Austrian village of Fucking will get rid of the unfortunate name that has seen a brisk tourism trade and frequent thefts of the town sign, the town council announced Thursday.

Mayor Andrea Holzner told Austrian broadcaster Oe24 that the name would be changed to Fugging from January 1, 2021.

The small community in Upper Austria of around 100 people has been pushing for a name change for years, the German Press Agency reported. The name of the town, which lies north of Salzburg near the German border, has no meaning in German.

Locals have grown frustrated by the thefts of the town signs by tourists and of people photographing the sign.

The town has been known as Fucking for around 1,000 years.


Fuggin' hell.

There is a Dead Horse Creek in the Kimberley, Mount Nameless near Tom Price, and Lake Disappointment in the Pilbara.

There are Dead Horse Creeks (and Gaps and Hills) all over the high country.

Oh, well done Australia. I thought we (Canada) were the only ones:
Dildo, Newfoundland
Climax, Saskatchewan
Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump, Alberta
Stoner, British Columbia (funny because stereotypes)
St.-Louis-du-Ha! Ha!, Quebec (yes, exclamations points are for real)
Blow Me Down, Newfoundland
Mosquito Grizzly Bears Head Lean Man, Saskatchewan
Big Beaver, Saskatchewan
Flin Flon, Manitoba

Dry Prong, Louisiana
Ding Dong, Texas
Satan's Kingdom, Massachusetts
Hell, Michigan
Hell for Certain, Kentucky
Bacon Level, Alabama
Greasy Corner, Arkansas
Blue Ball, Delaware

Nowhere Else on Eyre Peninsula SA. Found on a carefree road trip when we had... well... nowhere else to go...

If you ever visit the Kempsey area in New South Wales you can tour Bellimpopinni, Baraganyatti and other villages and locations named in the traditional Dunghutti language.

Hundreds of thousands of Australians live in towns and suburbs such as Brisbane's Indooroopilly, Coorparoo, Woolloongabba, Kallangur and so on.

Going on your argument all UK names should be renamed in Pictish?

The offensive ones listed there are a different kettle of fish. They're not accidental, for example the one remembering that massacre.

It sounds hilarious, sure, but I don't find it very funny myself. And I'm not the only one I see.

Well said, JamesV: I've visited Massacre Island (aka Murdering Island) and Poisoned Water Holes Creek nearby - early 19th century massacre sites of Wiradjuri people just to the east of Narrandera - on/close to the Murrumbidgee/(aka The 'Bidgee) River. And many other places too in which unspeakable things were done to Indigenous/First Nations Australians throughout and beyond the colonial era (1788-1901 ->.

Wilpena Pound in the Flinders Ranges has a cute pointy hill named Dick’s Knob. Named by the Adelaide Uni Bushwalking club I was told.

It's shown on the maps as Dick Nob. Just above Bridle Gap. Great place for a sunset, although the descent back to the campsite at the gap is ... interesting ... in the dark.

It's clear that, rather than gentlemen explorers with a classical education, it was pissed-off gold prospectors or similar who scattered these random names across Australia. (“Random” could be another!) But apart from the racist ones, I prefer the world-weary imagination of “Bullshit Hill” to a possible “Mount Olympus.” Though maybe there's one of them as well?

Meanwhile in Kent, the “Toilet of England,” the village of Petts Bottom is not too far from Loose, with its infamous Women's Institute. And this signpost near Sandwich is absolutely genuine:

Nowhere Else, South Australia.

Berserker, a suburb in Rockhampton is an interesting name, more so if you saw the residents of Rockhampton at play on a Friday or Saturday night.

Just one for the linguists. Unlike the North America, in the UK and Australia the word fanny has a very specific meaning and it's not bottom, bum, butt or any other reference ones rear end, quite the opposite. In Australia and the UK the term refers to female genitalia :)

Fanny Bay was named after an opera singer called Fanny something. It was quite a common female name, e.g. in Jane Austen.

Fanny is short for Frances.

And while it's not a place name, there's the book & movie 'Fanny by Gaslight', which is about Victorian prostitution. Wonder if the author realised ....

I went to Starvation Bay WA but got out alive.

Bullshit Hill - what a great place to relocate NewsCorpse HQ if media reporting became contingent on being commensurate with location !

Bullshit Hill would also be an appropriate name if Capital Hill in Canberra ever needed a new name.

Cheap shot! Remember the ACT only provides the tent, the entire country provides the clowns! :)

I like Doo Town on Eaglehawk Neck in Tasmania, where every house carries a name starting with "Do", my favourite being "Do F*** All".

Surprised Intercourse Island,[W.A] didn't get a run, it's about a 1000 k's north of Useless Loop, but much more rewarding.

What about the suburb in ACT _ Swinger Hill - must have been named by a real estate agent

My favourite is Mt Seldom Seen in NE Victoria.

Yes, its also a now non-existent town, Seldom Seen.

Whenever I drive through Cockwhy (just north of Bateman's Bay) I think of Hannah Gadsby.

Well I suppose a land where 'convicts' were used to populate it is it any wonder these 'intellectuals' would have come up with well thought up names of places etc.

The convicts sent to Australia had a higher literacy rate than the general English population. They were selected for nation building. They even had schools on the convict ships on the long voyage to Australia. Irish female convicts were in great demand as nannies to the children of English free settlers as they could read and write, unlike the English gentry wives who were illiterate.

There's a Hell in NSW, mentioned in Banjo Patterson's poem about "Hay and Hell and Booligal".

My favourite place name is the locality of Willigobung, NSW. There’s not a whole lot there but this one time at high school band camp (not kidding) the instructors at the camp were army musicians, one of whom was getting married after the camp. His wedding present was of course a pilfered Willigobung road sign :)

Tittybang - Victoria

And let's not forget Muff Creek near Tully NQ. Backpackers always assumed we were taking the piss.

South Australia boasts a particularly crude coastline. When sailing to Port Lincoln I pass well north of Horny Point and Shag Cove. Point Fanny is a dangerous spot, just past Rotten Bay. Splitarse Rock is somewhere in the area. Somewhere inland is World's End Creek.

As long as you didn't end up in Coffin Bay... :-/

I've been there often. It's quite harmless, if you don't run aground. It's named after Sir Isaac Coffin. Nearby is Seasick Bay, which I think may live up to its name.

North East Victoria has Mount Buggery, and Salt Log

-----oOo-----

No comments:

Post a Comment