Off-topic: Aussie place names [was Re: Automation]

Steven D'Aprano steve+comp.lang.python at
Thu Nov 21 01:58:48 CET 2013

On Wed, 20 Nov 2013 17:58:27 -0500, Dennis Lee Bieber wrote:

> On Tue, 19 Nov 2013 21:48:10 +1100, Chris Angelico <rosuav at>
> declaimed the following:
>>Anyway, we Aussies know more about your geography than you know about
>>ours, I reckon. Which of these is not a real place: Parramatta,
>>Warrnambool, Cerinabbin, Mordialloc? No fair Googling them, see if you
>>can call it. I've been to three of the above places, the other one came
>>up in a fantasy name generator.
> Parramatta reads like a accented "parameter"
> Cerinabbin and Mordialloc sound like names from the Welsh influenced
> Arthurian mythos: cf: Ceredwyn, Mordred (or a new word for a core dump
> caused by memory faults: morte-alloc, death in allocation)

Cerinabbin is the fake name, although there is a suburb Morrabbin in 
Melbourne (and Darebin as well, which is pronounced "Darra Bin" not "Dare 

Many placenames in Australia are borrowed from the UK, or named after 
British Royalty or explorers. Melbourne itself was, for a short time, 
named "Batmania", after the explorer John Batman. Others are based on 
native Australian Aboriginal words or placenames, such as Wagga Wagga, 
Woolloomoloo (a real place with an imaginary university, notable for the 
famous Monty Python Philosopher's Sketch), Coolangatta, Kalgoorlie, Moe 
(pronounced "Mo-e", not "Mow"), Koo Wee Rup, Didjabringabeeralong, and 
our capital city, Canberra.

Actually, Didjabringabeeralong is a town in the land of Fourecks (or XXXX 
for those who can't spell), invented by Terry Pratchett for the novel 
"The Lost Continent". But the others are real.

For a serious look at Australian placenames named after Australian 
Aboriginal words, see wikipedia:


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