Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Narbethong - a cheerful place

Recently I walked with my dog on a track near Narbethong. As usual, I wondered about the origin of this place name.

Housenameheritage says the word means cheerful place, in one of the many indigenous languages of Australia, but unfortunately it doesn't say which Aboriginal language. I thought of looking at a map I have of indigenous groupings before European settlement, but there are so many language groups for Victoria that I didn't feel confident I could work it out.

A further search came up with the information that it said to be from  Woiwurrung (or Daungwurrung) language, but there is some uncertainty whether that is correct.

How good it would be to live in a place named for its cheerfulness. (Of course, we will always remember the tragedy of the 2009 bushfires).

At any rate, Penny and I had a cheerful time, even if she did get covered in mud.


Honey the Great Dane said...

Oh - I love finding meanings of "foreign" words - or in this case, indigenous. When we lived in NZ, so many places were named after Maori names and I always loved learning the meanings.

I know it's silly but it always makes a place seem a bit more mystical and special to have an unusual name than something like "Hunter's Creek" - doesnt' it? :-)

Glad you & Penny had a good time!


parlance said...

Hsin-Yi, I love languages. I always enjoy thinking about place names, because there is always some history behind the name, no matter how ordinary the name seems. We used to have a short article in our local newspaper each week explaining the story behind street names in the locality.