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Unusual Australian Place Names

A-Z of unusual Australian place names

From James

Amphitheatre (Vic)
A hamlet in Victoria's Pyrenees ranges, originating from the gold mining rush, located in a hollow between two hills which roughly resembles an amphitheatre. Pleasant picnic spot, unless you're a gladiator.

Boing Boing (NT)
Meaning "mosquitoes buzzing" in Aboriginal, Boing Boing narrowly takes the cake for the most unusual place name beginning with "B" — it narrowly beat Blighty in NSW, which probably reminded somebody of home.

Come by chance (NSW)
Immortalised in a Banjo Patterson poem, this settlement in north-western New South Wales got its name from pastoralists who happened upon a large vacant block, while en route somewhere else more promising.

Diapur (Vic)
Diapur, in Victoria's Wimmera region, just beats Dunedoo in New South Wales as Australia's oddest sounding place beginning with "D". Named after the area's black swans, Diapur is particularly popular with babies.

Ehrenbreitstein (SA)
Sadly, like many South Australian towns named by German migrants, this town no longer exists. Its name was changed to Mount Yerila by the 1917 Nomenclature Act as it was one of 69 place names considered to indicate enemy origin following World War I. Other lost names include Wusser's Nob and Pflaum, renamed Hundred of Geegeela possibly because it was much frequented by horses.

Foul Bay (SA)
Named by Matthew Flinders in 1802 because of its poor anchorage, this bay on the Yorke Peninsula is far nicer than its moniker suggests. Also nearby is the delightful sounding Tiddy Widdy Beach.

Gingin (WA)
This town north of Perth sounds good enough to drink. The Aboriginal meaning is "place of many streams".

Humpybong (Qld)
Lovely name originating from when the British abandoned the area in favour of settling Brisbane, leaving behind empty huts or "humpies". Humpybong means "dead shelters" in Aboriginal.

Innaloo (WA)
Perth suburb with a fruit market called Innaloo Fresh (we kid you not!) and a shopping plaza, presumably with plenty of indoor restrooms.

Jimcumbilly (NSW)
Tiny settlement and disused railway station located near Bombala, inland from the New South Wales south coast. Mystery surrounds the meaning of its Aboriginal name.

Provocative Yorkeys Knob (Qld)

Knuckey Lagoon (NT)
Near Darwin and actually a wildlife reserve, rather than a place popular with couples. Just beats Kurri Kurri in New South Wales, where good Indian cuisine is guaranteed.

Loos (SA)
This settlement's original German name, Buchsfelde, was considered offensive during World War I so they came up with this much better alternative.

Mount Buggery (Vic)
The evocative and typically Aussie name, Mount Buggery, cannot be bettered anywhere in Australia — although WA's Muchea (as in "there's nothing muchea"), a corruption of the Aboriginal word Muchela, is excellent too.

Nowhere Else (Tas)
Located near Devonport in north-western Tasmania, there really is "nowhere else", like Nowhere Else.

Ozenkadnook (Vic)
An almost unpronounceable place name in the West Wimmera region bordering South Australia and meaning "very fat kangaroo" in Aboriginal.

Poowong (Vic)
This Gippsland town with smelly connotations appropriately got its name from the Aboriginal word for "carrion" or "putrefaction".

Queanbeyan (NSW/ACT)
Close to Canberra and meaning "clear water", a place fit for pollies and insect royalty.

Rooty Hill (NSW)
Area in western Sydney named by Governor King in 1802. Disappointingly, the name refers to roots exposed in fields around the hill following floods.

Smiggin Holes (NSW)
Popular ski resort that got its Scottish name from pools formed in rocks by cattle.

Tom Ugly (NSW)
Tom Ugly Point, near Sylvania in Sydney's south, is named after an Aboriginal Australian who lived in a rock shelter in this area during the mid-19th century. His nickname was said to be ironic as he was a strong, handsome fellow.

Uki (NSW)
Pronounced "yook-eye", this River Tweed dairy town's name originates from the Aboriginal word for "fern with edible roots" and just beats Ubobo in Queensland.

Vite Vite (Vic)
Vite Vite, on the railway line close to Pura Pura and Nerrin Nerrin in South Western Victoria, may have got its name from the French word for "quick", as in "I hope the train arrives double quick".

Wonglepong (Qld)
Although New South Wales has Woolloomooloo (meaning young kangaroo), and Wards Mistake (named after bushranger Frederick Ward), Queensland's delightfully named Wonglepong, possibly meaning "forgotten sound" in Aboriginal, pips them all, and also tramples all over Victoria's Wurt Wurt Kurt as number one "W".

Xantippe (WA)
Australia's only place name beginning with "X" is found near Dalwallinu in the WA wheat belt, and got its name from workers on the rabbit-proof fence. On discovering that the granite ground they were working on was almost impenetrable, they called the place Xantippe, after the wife of Greek philosopher Socrates, reputedly a very hard woman!

Yorkeys Knob (Qld)
Located just north of Cairns, it got its name from a fisherman from Yorkshire, George Yorkey Lawson, who lived nearby in the late 19th century. Locals have since resisted attempts to rename it Yorkeys Beach, fond as they are of the original moniker, despite the reactions it sometimes provokes.

Zeehan (Tas)
Former silver and lead mining town in Tassie's south-west that gets its name from one of Abel Tasman's ships.

A famous proverb

He who knows not and knows not that he knows not is a fool, shun him.

He who knows not and knows that he knows not is a child, teach him.

He who knows and knows not that he knows is asleep, wake him.

And he who knows and knows that he knows is wise, follow him.

(I will add one extra line:-

He who knows, but keeps it to himself is a genius, ask him.)

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Douglas Adams:



To actualize its potential.

Pat Buchanan:

That chicken crossed the road to steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.


If you ask this question, you deny your own chicken-nature.

George W Bush:

We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road or not. The chicken is either against us or for us. There is no middle ground regarding this chicken.

Noam Chomsky:

The chicken didn't exactly cross the road. As of 1994, something like 99.8% of all US chickens reaching maturity that year had spent 82% of their lives in confinement. The living conditions in most chicken coops break every international law ever written, and some, particularly the ones for chickens bound for slaughter, border on inhumane. My point is, they had no chance to cross the road (unless you count the ride to the supermarket). Even if one or two have crossed roads for whatever reason, most never get a chance. Of course, this is not what we are told. Instead, we see chickens happily dancing around on Sesame Street and Foster Farms commercials where chickens are not only crossing roads, but driving trucks (incidentally, Foster Farms is owned by the same people who own the Foster Freeze chain, a subsidiary of the dairy industry). Anyway, ... (Chomsky continues for 32 pages. For the full text of his answer, contact Odonian Press)

Howard Cosell:

It may very well have been one of the most astonishing events to grace the annals of history. An historic, unprecedented avian biped with the temerity to attempt such an herculean achievement formerly relegated to homo sapien pedestrians is truly a remarkable occurence.

Salvador Dali:

The Fish.


It was the logical next step after coming down from the trees.

Jacques Derrida:

Any number of contending discourses may be discovered within the act of the chicken crossing the road, and each interpretation is equally valid as the authorial intent can never be discerned, because structuralism is DEAD, DAMMIT, DEAD!

Rene Descartes:

It had sufficient reason to believe it was dreaming anyway.

Emily Dickinson:

Because it could not stop for death.

Albert Einstein:

Whether the chicken crossed the road or the road crossed the chicken depends upon your frame of reference.

Ralph Waldo Emerson:

It didn't cross the road; it transcended it.


For fun.

Johann von Goethe:

The eternal hen-principle made it do it.

Stephen Jay Gould:

It is possible that there is a socio-biological explanation for it, but we have been deluged in recent years with socio-biological stories despite the fact that we have little direct evidence about the genetics of behavior, and we do not know how to obtain it for the specific behaviors that figure most prominently in socio-biological speculation.

Werner Heisenberg:

We are not sure which side of the road the chicken was on, but it was moving very fast.

Ernest Hemingway:

To die. In the rain.


Because of an excess of black bile and a deficiency of choleric humour.

David Hume:

Out of custom and habit.

Saddam Hussein:

This was an unprovoked act of rebellion and we were quite justified in dropping 50 tons of nerve gas on it.

Carl Jung:

The confluence of events in the cultural gestalt necessitated that individual chickens cross roads at this historical juncture, and therefore synchronicitously brought such occurrences into being.

Martin Luther King Jr:

I envision a world where all chickens will be free to cross roads without having their motives called into question.

James Tiberius Kirk:

To boldly go where no chicken has gone before.

Timothy Leary:

Because that's the only kind of trip the Establishment would let it take.

Karl Marx:

It was a historical inevitability.


So that its subjects will view it with admiration, as a chicken which has the daring and courage to boldly cross the road, but also with fear, for whom among them has the strength to contend with such a paragon of avian virtue? In such a manner is the princely chicken's dominion maintained.

Catherine MacKinnon:

Because, in this patriarchial state, for the last four centuries, men have applied their principles of justice in determining how chickens should be cared for, their language has demeaned the identity of the chicken, their technology and trucks have decided how and where chickens will be distributed, their science has become the basis for what chickens eat, their sense of humor has provided the framework for this joke, their art and film have given us our perception of chicken life, their lust for flesh has has made the chicken the most consumed animal in the US, and their legal system has left the chicken with no other recourse.

Jack Nicholson:

'Cause it (censored) wanted to. That's the (censored) reason.


Because if you gaze too long across the Road, the Road gazes also across you.


For the greater good.

Pyrrho the Skeptic:

What road?

Ronald Reagan:

I forget.

Jean-Paul Sartre:

In order to act in good faith and be true to itself, the chicken found it necessary to cross the road.

B.F. Skinner:

Because the external influences which had pervaded its sensorium from birth had caused it to develop in such a fashion that it would tend to cross roads, even while believing these actions to be of its own free will.

The Sphinx:

You tell me.

Joseph Stalin:

I don't care. Just catch it. I need its eggs to make my omelette.

Dr Seuss:

Did the chicken cross the road?
Did he cross it with a toad?
Yes, the chicken crossed the road,
But what's the reason? I've not been told.

Henry David Thoreau:

To live deliberately ... and suck all the marrow out of life.

Thomas de Torquemada:

Give me ten minutes with the chicken and I'll find out.

Mark Twain:

The news of its crossing has been greatly exaggerated.

Ludwig Wittgenstein:

The possibility of "crossing" was encoded into the objects "chicken" and "road", and circumstances came into being which caused the actualization of this potential occurrence.

William Wordsworth:

To have something to recollect in tranquility.

Malcolm X:

It was coming home to roost.

Zeno of Elea:

To prove it could never reach the other side.

New time sheet codes

To: All Personnel
From: Finance

It has recently come to our attention that many of you have been handing in time-sheets that specify large amounts of "Miscellaneous Unproductive Time" (Code 5309). However, for accounting purposes, we need to know exactly what you are doing during this time.

Attached below is a sheet specifying an extended job code list based on our observations of employee activities.

This list will allow you to specify what exactly you are doing during your unproductive time. Please begin using this job-code list immediately.

Thank you,

Attached: Extended Job-Code List

Code and Explanation:-

5316 - Attending a useless meeting

5317 - Obstructing communications at a meeting

5318 - Trying to sound knowledgeable while in a meeting

5319 - Waiting for a break

5320 - Waiting for lunch

5321 - Waiting for end of day

5322 - Vicious verbal attacks directed at a colleague

5323 - Vicious verbal attacks directed at a colleague while colleague not present

5393 - Covering for the incompetence of a friend

5400 - Trying to explain concept to a colleague who is not interested in learning

5401 - Trying to explain concept to a colleague who is stupid

5402 - Trying to explain concept to a colleague who hates you

5481 - Buying a snack

5482 - Eating a snack

5500 - Filling out this time sheet

5501 - Inventing new time sheet entries

5502 - Waiting for something to happen

5503 - Scratching

5504 - Sleeping

5510 - Feeling Bored

5511 - Feeling randy

5600 - Complaining about lousy job

5601 - Complaining about low pay

5602 - Complaining about long hours

5603 - Complaining about a colleague (See Codes #5322 & #5323)

5604 - Complaining about lousy boss

5605 - Complaining about personal problems

5640 - Miscellaneous unproductive complaining

5701 - Not actually present at job

5702 - Suffering from 8 hour flu

6102 - Ordering a take away

6103 - Waiting for food delivery to arrive

6104 - Taking it easy while digesting food

6200 Using Company Resources for Personal Profit

6201 Stealing Company Goods

6202 Making Excuses After Accidentally Destroying Company Goods

6203 Using Company Phone to Make Long-Distance Personal Calls

6204 Using Company Phone to Make Long-Distance Personal Calls to Sell Stolen Company Goods

6205 Hiding from Boss

6206 Gossip

6207 Planning a Social Event (e.g. vacation, wedding, etc.)

6210 Feeling Sorry For Yourself

6211 Updating Resume

6212 Faxing Resume to Another Employer/Headhunter

6213 Out of Office on Interview

6221 Pretending to Work While Boss Is Watching

6222 Pretending to Enjoy Your Job

6223 Pretending You Like Coworker

6224 Pretending You Like Important People When in Reality They are Jerks

6238 Miscellaneous Unproductive Fantasizing

6350 Playing Pranks on the New Guy/Girl

6601 Running your own Business on Company Time (See Code #6603)

6602 Complaining

6603 Writing a Book on Company Time

6611 Staring Into Space

6612 Staring At Computer Screen

6615 Transcendental Meditation

7281 Extended Visit to the Bathroom (at least 10 minutes)

7400 Talking With Divorce Lawyer on Phone

7401 Talking With Plumber on Phone

7402 Talking With Dentist on Phone

7403 Talking With Doctor on Phone

7404 Talking With Masseuse on Phone

7405 Talking With House Painter on Phone

7406 Talking With Personal Therapist on Phone

7419 Talking With Miscellaneous Paid Professional on Phone

7425 Talking With Mistress/Toy-Boy on Phone

7931 Asking Coworker to Aid You in an Illicit Activity

8000 Recreational Drug Use

8001 Non-recreational Drug Use

8002 Liquid Lunch

8100 Reading e-mail