Ripper Aussie Names

“I’ve been everywhere, man … I’ve been to Wollongong, Geelong, Kurrajong, Mullumbimby, Mittagong, Molong, Grong Grong, Goondiwindi … Cabramatta, Parramatta, Wangaratta, Coolangatta; what’s it matter?”

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So goes the classic Aussie song penned by Australian country singer Geoff Mack in 1959.  

Whilst I definitely haven’t been everywhere I’ll be working on it this year. And I can vouch for Mr Mack’s words. Within our vast land and our Aboriginal ancestry we have some pretty bizarre place names.

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There’s a place in the Northern Territory where we’re traveling mid year called Bong Bong. Apparently it translates in an Aboriginal dialect to “mosquitoes buzzing”.  Ah, not exactly inspiring.

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We’ve traveled to some strange sounding places. But twice?  Mitta Mitta, Wagga Wagga, Baw Baw, Lang Lang, Dum Dum, Booti Booti, Colac Colac, Mundi Mundi and Nar Nar Goon. And that’s just for starters.

What’s with the double barrelled names?

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There’s even a place called Woop Woop in the outback of Western Australia. That’s our slang term for “in the middle of nowhere”.  

And it’s not somewhere I want to get stranded any time soon.

One of my favorite places is Yackandandah, known by the locals as Yack. A picturesque town in the valleys of the high country.

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There’s a suburb in Perth called Innaloo.  It was originally called Njookenbooroo but was changed as no one could spell or say it right. Can you imagine if someone asked where you lived. Innaloo. 

The wacky names extend beyond the towns and cities to the islands.

There’s Christmas Island and on Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island, signs are needed along the sandy tracks to ensure that adventurers don’t get lost.

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Yep, the names in Australia are as creative and as original as the slang in our language. 

But our speech is free, our pubs are friendly and if we’re ever stuck out on the road I’d like to think someone will lend us a hand.

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It’s a great place to live. 

Close to home is Christmas Hills and Kinglake (where there’s no lake for miles) and Kangaroo Ground, (where there are plenty of kangaroos).

Further afield there’s Bobbin Head, Bald Knob, Cape Cockburn, Dicky Beach, Blow Hard, Tittybong, Shag Waterhole, Fannie Bay in Darwin and Come by Chance, to name just a few. Reads like something out of a porn movie!

There’s even an Eggs and Bacon Bay in Tasmania.

Yep, we have strange names that sometimes make little sense. But it makes traveling through them interesting and a whole lot of fun.

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I’m sure most countries have their share of weird and wonderful names. Anywhere near you?

In response to Weekly Photo Challenge: Names

Wishing you all a fun, safe and happy January.

Hope you’re enjoying the journey as we travel through the start of 2017 together. 

Where ever you are, buckle up, it’s gonna be a great year. 


153 thoughts on “Ripper Aussie Names

  1. They are unique names, and so much fun! Makes life interesting. I live in the Northeast United States, known as New England, and most of the names are straight from old England. I live in Manchester. Not far is is Coventry, Simsbury, Avon, Canterbury, blah, blah, blah. However, here in the Connecticut River Valley we do have some rivers and small towns with Native American names, but not too many. Boring!

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  2. What a fun post, Miriam. We do have some interesting place names. I went through the list in your opening paragraph and I’ve been to eight of the places in those lines of the song. Once, I wrote a post about amusing creek and river names and guessed at the origin of the names. It made me laugh.

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      1. He is well, he is changing every day and making new noises and ‘filling out’ as my mum calls it. We on the other hand are a little worse for wear, as Megan has an infection and I have a touch of sciatic nerve issues… but we are coping. May have to live vicariously this year 🙂

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        1. Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. The early months are often such a challenge for us parents. But hang in there, these tough days and nights will pass and he’ll grow so quickly. Before you know it you’ll be planning your first family trip together. All the best. x

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  3. I love those names! Is there any reason Australia has so many interesting and quirky names for its towns? Here in the States we have some different ones, but no where nearly as fun and creative as the ones you mentioned!

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    1. Not really sure Ann. The Aborigines have a very unique language with lots of colorful words so who knows. Then again maybe the early explorers drank too much moonshine and wanted to get creative!

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  4. Miriam, a wonderful celebration of the unusual place names! I love your vast selection and found myself trying to pronounce some whilst reading – probably not right at all! Yorkshire has a brilliant variety of unusual names which I took as ‘normal’ growing up there but became aware of when visiting with my husband and son. ‘Blubberhouses’ and ‘Ramsbottom’ are two examples. Also, the pronunciation of ‘Keighley’ always used to throw them – as in Keithley.

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    1. Love your examples here Annika. We have friends with the surname.Keighery, similar to the name you mentioned. It’s amazing what you take for granted growing up before realising it’s not the norm.

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  5. A town near me is called Mattoon…. when we moved here, with our broad Scottish accents whenever we mentioned Mattoon to any friends or relations backhome in Scotland would assume we were talking about ‘My town’… Ma toon 😉

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  6. Brilliant post to start my ‘fun’ journey today.. I’m buckled up and ready.. where are we off to? We could meet up in Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch – a lovely little village on the Island of Anglesey in Wales and a regular ‘camping stop’ for us ….. about 2 hours drive for me.. If you set off now you may make it by Spring when the weather is warming up!
    Alternatively… it may have to be me travelling to Tittybong’ or .. I do love ‘egg and bacon’!!
    Have a lovely evening and I’ll see you ‘somewhere’ soon xx
    ps – I’m intrigued… who are the kids going to ‘waltz with’ (cut off the bottom of the sign)….

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    1. Oh Wendy, you make me laugh. Right, OK, we’re off to Liamfairipwllgwatchamacallit or we’ll meet up in Egg and Bacon Bay, haha! By the way, the kids are going to Waltz with Matilda (have you heard our iconic song?)
      Happy hump day. 😊 xo

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      1. Hahaha – thank goodness that little mystery is solved. No I haven’t hear it and will be doing a search for ‘happy hump day’ …. sounds like the perfect song..haha! I can now genuinely go around to all I come across and say Happy Hump Day.. may have to become my new mantra!

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      2. laughing more now I’ve just re-read and noticed your new version of Llanfair… Yours is definitely the Aussie Version haha.. not sure what the Welsh would make of it though… chuckling loudly!! x

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        1. Haha – we’ll keep it secret and won’t tell anybody from Wales then … hahahahah!! That really is a name – I think it may be the longest place name in Britain.. so yep – it’s a ‘fair dinkum name’ … still doesn’t match up to Egg n Bacon though.. or some of those ‘porno’ towns you’ve got.. those were hilarious! x

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        2. Maybe we should ‘collaborate’ on that book Miriam … I’m going to be the first ‘purchaser’ – Can’t wait to see you here .. hehehe!

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  7. This was an incredibly cool post. Not only in content, but in execution. We have a place nearby called Rutherfordton, but it’s pronounced ROOF-ur-tun. Also, there’s a mountain town called Cullowhee. We also have places called Lizard Lick, Whynot and Climax.

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  8. What a fun post, Miriam! I remember the names in Australia being really interesting 🙂 (Traveled across the country at one point, which was quite educational). I wish you a beautiful year of travel…full of healing, grace, peace, and so many blessings!
    Have a great rest of your week, and I’m so glad that I saw this. Love, Debbie ps – hugs to you. xo

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  9. What a fun post! I didn’t think it was possible to want to visit Australia even more… but now I do! Where I’m from, the Native American place names are just hard for non-locals to pronounce. They aren’t nearly as fun. 🙂

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  10. love your post! We live near yack, and they now have a sign as you drive in it just says #Yackandandah, always makes me laugh now the historic town with a hashtag. lol
    if you have been to Mitt Mitta, then i guess you seen Tangambalanga? visitors to our area can never say that one.

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    1. Hey Jess, great to meet you! I’ll have to look out for that #Yackandandah sign next time we pass. How funny is that! And yeah I have been to Mitta Mitta … love it round there. You live in a beautiful part of Vic.

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