Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Aboriginal Place Names

By User Thomasburrows on en.wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Did you know that the names of many places in Australia are of Aboriginal origin? European settlers would often adopt the names of locations and landmarks from Australia’s indigenous people. This also explains why several names – such as Woy Woy – are repeated, with the repetition creating a form or emphasis in the native language.

These are the translations of some well known places:

  • Ballarat – Resting place;
  • Bondi – Water breaking over rocks;
  • Caboolture – Place of the carpet snake;
  • Geelong – Tongue;
  • Illawarra – A pleasant place;
  • Indooroopilly _ Gully of running water;
  • Mt Coot-tha – Dark honey;
  • Parramatta – Place where the eels lie down;
  • Pilbara – Mullet or Dry;
  • Wagga Wagga – Place of many crows and;
  • Woy Woy – Deep water.

There are many others and many are simply Aboriginal names for a particular place in their own right.

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