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The Aboriginal and Other Meanings of many of our Region's Town Names



Note - Some of the Town names have no Aboriginal Content.


Adelong- River or Plain

Albury- first named Bungambrawartha in 1839, but changed to Albury

             after a village in Kent.

                 Bungambrawartha Creek runs from North Lavington to the Murray River

              behind the Albury Botanical Gardens.

              Meaning - favourable place for a very tall talk .

Ardlethan- from the Gaelic for high and hilly

Baarmutha - Barmootha, a number of small creeks

Balldale- believed named after R.T. Ball, an MLA for the district at the time.

Bandianna - bandy legged native woman named Anna

Barambogie - big waterhole

Baranduda - a water rat

Barnawartha - Barna-woodther, without hearing, deaf and dumb

Barwidgee - short green mossy grass

Benalla - Benalta, musk duck, name of a large water hole

Berrigan - emu bush

Bethanga - a weed

Bogong - moths and grubs

Bonegilla - deep waterhole

Bontherambo - Bootho, the liver, ramb, incision, o, his

Bundalong - joined together ( the Ovens and Murray Rivers )

Canberra- from aboriginal word Nganbirra meaning meeting place.

Carrarragarmungee - Carrajarmongui, place of goannas

Cobargo - grandfather

Cobram - head

Colac-Colac - Klack-klack, a locust

Condobolin- hop brush.

Coolamon- native word for symetrical wooden troughs cut from trees and ingeniously

                    fashioned for carrying water.

Cooma- a lake.

Cooma Doodle - Henty - the name for sweet water.

Coonabarabran- term for an inquisitive person.

Cootamundra- from native word Gooramundra, variously given as turtles and marsh.

Coreen- end of the hills.

Corowa- from native word Currawa, a pine from which Aborigines procured gum

                for fashioning spears.

Corryong - Caryoong, belt made of possum wool

Cudgewa - skin of kangaroo

Dederang - hailstones

Deniliquin- the sandhills.

Dubbo- from native word Tubbo, possum fur head covering.

Echuca - the place of stones, gravel reefs in river bed

Edi - cold wind

Ettamogah- aboriginal meaning lets have a drink.

Euroa - Eurawa, push, shake, thrust

Eurobin - falling water

Finley- named after F.G. Finley, surveyor in district in the 1860's.

Gilgandra- long water hole.

Gooramadda- parting of the clouds. On the Victorian side of the Murray River

    at Howlong, the natural land formation and thermal currents create this

    unusual phenomena whereby on one side of the river it can be raining, but dry

    on the other.

    Also means a grassy place

Goorambat - Coorambatti, nonsense

Griffith- named after A. Griffith, minister for public works who opened the irrigation project.

Grong Grong- poor camping ground.

Gundagai- said to be from the native Gundabandoo- bingee, cut by tomahawk to the

                back of the knee.

Gundowring - Gundowringha, a camping place

Gunyah- house or home, native shelter  ( Kergunyah and Wahgunyah )

Hay- Once known as Lang's Crossing, was named after Sir John Hay, a local politician.

Henty- named after Henry Henty, an early settler.

            also known as Cooma Doodle - sweet water.

Holbrook- originally Germantown, but changed in 1914 during First World War to

                due to anti German feelings, named after an heroic submarine commander.

Howlong- named after a two horse race that went for 160 kilometres in 1876.

Jerilderie- reedy place.

Junee- frog.

Kergunyah - silent place

Killara - creek, always there, permanent creek ( Kiewa River )

Korumburra - kingfisher

Kyabram -  Kiambram thick forest

Ladysmith- named after Ladysmith, besieged in South African War, 1900.

Leeton- named after C.A. Lee, a minister for public works in NSW.

Lockhart- after one of the earliest Commissioners of Crown Lands in NSW.

Longerenong - split, the dividing of the waters

Maindample - woman's breasts

Mangoplah- natives singing.

Matong- powerful.

Merriang - plenty of native dogs

Merrijig - good, well done

Milawa - from mill, an eye or star, and wah, startling or large

Mildura - sore eyes

Mirrabook- or Mirrabooka - Southern Cross.

Mitiamo - Mittia mum, follow behind me

Mitta Mitta- little waters. Also Mutta mutta, thunder

                Also Hinnomunjie, named after Mitta river at that point

                hinno, cod fish, mungie, place of

Moama - dead

Molesworth- named after a Crimean War hero, Lt. J Molesworth.

Mooroopna - ghost, spirit

Moyhu - wind

Murmungee - Murrumungee, murra, hand, mongie, mosquito

Murrindindi- mist of the mountains, and also nest in the hills.

Nagambie - Nagomba, woman's breasts

Narbethong - lively, cheerful

Nar Nar Goon - koala

Narrandera - place of goanas

Numurkah - Gnamulka, my war shield

Omeo - mountains

Porepunkah - meeting of the waters

Peechelba - behind

Puckapunyal - middle hill

Savernake- after the English Savernake which was once a Royal Forest.

Sebastopol- ( between Beechworth and El Dorado ) named after the Russian town

                    that the British and French besieged for 11 months in 1854.

Taggerty - named after the creek, means a blue grey pipe clay used for pigment

Talgarno - dry country

Tallangatta - Toolanggutta, an abundance of currajong trees

Tallarook - wattle bird

Tangamgalanga - white clawed lobster, yabbie

Tarcutta- meal made from grass seeds.

Tarrawingee - Karawingi, emu

Tatura - small lagoon

Temora- named in 1848 after a poem by Ossian ( James Macpherson )

Thoona - a hill

Thurgoona- the darter, a diving bird

Tocumwal- name given to an allegedly bottomless hole in the river.

Tumbarumba- sounding ground- the earth at places giving out a hollow noise.

Tumit - a camp by the river

Tungamah - wild turkey

Uranquinty- much rain.

Wagga Wagga- many crows.  Another translation is reeling, a sick man

Wahgunyah - the resting place of crows

Walla Walla- lots of rain.

Wallan Wallan - a circular piece of ground covered with rain water

Walwa - a place of waters

Wandiligong - ghost, spirit

Wandong - ghost, spirit

Wangaratta - Wanga, cormorant, ratta, to sit

Wodonga - Woodanga, edible nut

Wooragee - peppermint tree

Yackandandah - Yag-gun-doona, hilly country

                        - Locals say the meaning is running water over rocks

                         at the junction of the two creeks.

Yarroweyah - strong wind

Yarrawonga - where the wonga, or cormorant, builds in the river gums

Yass- the story goes that Hamilton Hume sent a man to evaluate the country beyond.

            Hume asked him is there was good country ahead. He replied "Ya-ass- plains"

            Hume was tickled and adopted the name.

            Others however maintain that Yass is a corruption of native words

                Yarras, Tahr, running water.

Yea- Named after Colonel Yea, a British Crimean War Hero.

Yerong Creek- Yerong, native for place of initiation ceremony


Australian Aboriginal Paintings

Aboriginal Artist

Aboriginal Dot Paintings

Aboriginal Paintings

Aboriginal Art Gallery

Aboriginal Art

Australian Aboriginal Products


Significant Australian Aboriginal Sites

Mt Pilot Cave Drawings

Cave Paintings thousands of years old of a Tasmanian Tiger.....

Boat Rock

The only known example of Aboriginals digging a water catchment "well" in solid rock.



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