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.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cooee - Currawong

Cooee n
The quiet joy felt discreetly by a bookseller who has just sold another book to a regular customer, whom he knows has already passed Buckenderra (qv).

Cookamidgera n
Someone who maintains that a broken biscuit will not taste the same as a whole one, and therefore steadfastly refuses to eat it.

Coolangatta n
The feeling, when you wake in the night, that a very small part of your body is much colder than it should be.

Coolongolook n
The urge to check artistically undraped statuettes for intimate anatomical detail. Usually felt by people who suffer Ettamogah (qv).

Cooriemungle v
To behave like a scarecrow, audibly.

Corringle v
To grin like a Darawank (qv).

Cosmo Newberry n
1. When a gardener, who lovingly tends his buds, blooms or prize vegetables, does not recognize the sprouting greenery that he planted as seed last month, and which is clearly not what was on the packet, he is said to have grown a Cosmo Newberry. It will be quite delightful and most likely bear very tempting fruit, but will not be found in any horticultural encyclopaedia.
2. The jacket, trousers, or other item of outer clothing that, although appealing when bought, appears to be a very bad mistake when actually worn for the first time; this fact will usually be made very clear by a spouse. Temporary colour-blindness is normally the best defence.

Countegany v
To use a computer for a task that could be carried out at least 3.1415927 times faster using a pencil and paper. The amount of time wasted on Countegany worldwide would be sufficient to allow the cows to come home, the long way.

Crooble v
To use the word "oops", when "yes that’s right, I do remember you telling me not to do that" would be more honest.

Currabubula n (med)
A form of amnesia brought about by excessive drinking, manifested by the utterance, yet again, of the expression "I’ll never do that again". cf Merrywinebone.

Currawong n
The desire to drive the wrong way round an empty roundabout while sober. cf Euston.

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