So you think the names of cities, towns and places in Australia are quaint? Do you approve of the sound of the names Sydney, Melbourne, Darwin, Canberra, Brisbane, et cetera? Well let’s just say you haven’t gone out and explored the more remote parts of the country yet, because if you do you might get bowled over by what this place or that is called.
A British company, Strumpshaw, Tincleton and Giggleswick (ST&G), has recently published The “Marvellous Map of Actual Australian Place Names” which is exactly what it says: a map of the country highlighting some place names you don’t usually see on a run of the mill travel itinerary for Australia. It’s filled with names of little settlements and geographical landmarks whose names are weird, hilarious and just plain dirty.
Here’s a sampling of what names you’ll run into far out of the major cities of the Land Down Under. In the southwest corner of Western Australia State you might run into the Hard to Find Dam if you’re lucky. That’s an example of weird. If you need directions for Hard to Find Dam, locals might tell you that it’s close to a place called Sodden Jerk. If you’re good with euphemisms and figures of speech you figure out what that usually means and think it’s perverted. And don’t get me started on the cave called “Well It Wasn’t There Last Year”.
You’ll find that cave in South Australia, in the nearby environs of wholesome-sounding Adelaide. This city is surrounded by a multitude of kinky place names like Titwobble Lane, Backstairs Passage, Burnt Pussy Mine and – serious here – Cock Wash.
The Northern Territory isn’t exempt. A bit of a go-around and you might just pass through Fannie Bay and Knocker Bay. Further inland are such gassers like Mount Delight, Shag Waterhole and Hooker Creek. You’d be tempted to think that it must have been hard for early Australian settlers alone in the wilderness that they’d dream up these names.
The king of having the highest concentration of weird place names in Australia would have to be the island state of Tasmania. Yes where the Devil lives according to old Warner Bros. cartoons. Here you get Pisspot Creek, Prickly Bottom, Guys Dirty Hole, Dirty Forest and my personal favorite, Lovely Bottom.
And let’s not forget that the country has a disproportionate amount of places named “Knob” or “Nob”. They’re just everywhere.
ST&G have created similar maps involving funny place names that cover both the US and UK, but company head Humphrey Butler opines that “What makes Aussie place names so good is that some of them are just very Australian.” And yes, there are some places called Mate, Dinkum and Humpty Doo around.
All place names mentioned here can be verified in Geoscience Australia Place Names Search (http://www.ga.gov.au/place-names/index.xhtml#), but ST&G’s map really brings the funny and the kinky to the fore. Get your own copy at the ST&G website at http://oz.marvellousmaps.com/store/stgs- marvellous-map- of-actual- australian-place- names.
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