We have all met or heard of some poor child afflicted by a gross name, often created by some half-witted parent to ‘celebrate’ difference. The child didn’t get to choose. How they must grin and bear it, particularly in the school playground, and perhaps weep in the night. Hills and valleys must too, even when they are themselves playgrounds.
We don’t get to choose where we are born either, but can choose where we live as we get older, and I chose to live in one of the most beautiful, wild and compact places on earth. And there are some wild names here, named no doubt by some wild folk.
Tasmania is separated from ‘the Big Island’ to the north by some 200 miles of rough water, sitting in the middle of which is a small rock just 85 x 165 metres which is the boundary between the two States. Happily it is called ‘Boundary Islet’. Sensible. But all sense disappears as one sets foot on Tassie.
Here we find (just a few) Mother Brown’s Bottom, Buggery Bumps (now renamed ‘beggery’ so as not to offend Nicola Roxon), Murderer’s Hill, Hangman’s Creek, Haunted Bay and Phantom Bay, Bust-me-Gall Hill, Break-me-Neck Track, Jack-the-Liar’s Creek, Porky Lagoon, Chuckle Head (one for you, Chuckles) and Kafoozalum Ridge (after the legendary Harlot of Jerusalem in the bawdy campfire song). We also have a Jerusalem, by the way, and a Bahgdad.
Filed under: History & Culture