A Sideways Glance at the Hidden Meaning of Aussie Place Names

There are many place names around the world that cry out to tell you their true meaning. Well, perhaps not their ridgey didge true meaning, but who has ever looked at the name Footscray and not felt that it probably also exists as an entry in a medical dictionary? Or Patchewollock, or Humpty Doo? Exactly.

This work attempts to do for (or to) Australian place names what Douglas Adams and John Lloyd did for Britain and the rest of the world, in The Meaning of Liff and The Deeper Meaning of Liff.

Words by Duncan Waldron, illustrations by Matt Davis.

Creative Commons License
This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.


See Why am I doing this? for something approaching a motive.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Aaron’s Pass - Agery

Aaron’s Pass n
In football (any code), delivery of the ball so that it is just out of reach of any team-mate, and rolls safely into touch.

Abbeyard adj
A medieval rating for the comfort level of monastic beds - particularly those made of stone. cf Abbeywood.

Abbeywood adj
A moderate comfort rating for a monk’s bed, softer than Abbeyard (qv).

Abercorn n
The first – and most painful – damage to the feet when breaking in a new pair of hiking boots.

Aberfeldy n
The ungainly stumble performed by a novice attempting any form of Scottish country dancing for the first time, when he goes the opposite direction to everyone else and tries to correct the mistake. cf Acland.

Abergowrie n
A particularly fierce scowl, which only those with at least 5 generations of Scots ancestry can perform. May be silent or accompanied by a low growl or, occasionally, a mystic Gaelic curse.

Abraham’s Bosom n
The appearance of the chest of a man carrying live geese in his shirt.

Acheron n
A testicle that suffers repeated accidental abuse.

Acheron River n
Tears brought to the eyes as a result of a severe Acheron (qv) incident.

Acland n
A successful recovery from what would otherwise have become an Aberfeldy (qv), performing instead an entertaining and inventive variation on the conventional sequence of movements.

Adventure Bay n
Cupid’s playground. The nether wonderland. Happy hollow. The groin.

Adaminaby n
A person who leads another into temptation, fully intending to dump them in the fertiliser afterwards. cf Old Adaminaby.

Addington n
A person who, after doing a sum with an electronic calculator, has to repeat it because he fears having miskeyed one or more digits. A second repetition will be necessary, in case the suspected mistake was repeated. However, all three answers will be identically correct.

Adelong n
A persistent and copious drip at the back of the throat, from the nose, during a heavy cold. If tapped, a typical Adelong could supply a small outback town with adequate moisture to keep several lawns watered for a week.

Agery adj
Over-sensitive to having your advancing years mentioned in public.

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