Welcome to Yorkeys Knob council sign at the entrance to the Cairns beachside suburb. Picture: Brendan Radke.
Welcome to Yorkeys Knob council sign at the entrance to the Cairns beachside suburb. Picture: Brendan Radke.

REVEALED: The rudest place names on earth

Could the novelty even wear off for those living in Yorkeys Knob, Bullshit Hill or Dickey Point - and they're just the tip of Australia's metaphorical 'quirky place name' iceberg.

The country is awash with quirks, insults, and pick-up lines masquerading as place names, according to the Marvellous Map of Actual Australian Place Names - created by Strumpshaw, Tincleton & Giggleswick - and "Queensland is full of them".

Yorkeys Knob, Qld 4878
Yorkeys Knob, Qld 4878

 

ST & G's Marvellous Map of Actual Australian Place Names has over a thousand such names peppered through a unique snapshot of the country. The company itself described the map as being "classy from afar but it's very far from classy up close".

Zooming in on the northernmost tip of Queensland, you can imagine what was topmost on the minds of sailors who landed at Bootie Island, but Bushy Island further up the coastline and Booby Island on the other side of the cape might take a bit of explaining.

Choc-A-Block Creek must have been a very busy place at some stage, and neighbouring Stomachache Creek must have been quite a pain.

 

Marvellous Maps popular graphic of “actual Australian place names”.
Marvellous Maps popular graphic of “actual Australian place names”.

 

Real estate agent Susan Cooper of L J Hooker Trinity Beach still has a laugh about the name, though she did take to creating a flyer about Yorkeys Knob for her shop window after being questioned about it once too often.

"It doesn't get old at all," she said. "I did a 'what is in a name' flyer we put on our office window. People always get a bit of a surprise as to how the place was named. A Yorkshireman lived on the hilly area, and back in the day they pointed up there and said well that's Yorkey's Knob."

 

6/29 Sims Esplanade, Yorkeys Knob, Qld 4878
6/29 Sims Esplanade, Yorkeys Knob, Qld 4878

 

Noone laughs about the "Yorkeys" more than they do themselves it seems.

"I'd go to real estate conferences and there was so much heckling that used to go on (because of the name)," she said, "so I used to say I'm the real estate queen of the Knob - because I've been lead agent for 20 years now."

If you're after the place name for an investment, among properties Ms Cooper has on the market is 6/29 Sims Esplanade, Yorkeys Knob, a beachside two bedroom, two bathroom, single car park apartment listed at $459,000.

 

3/6-8 Deauville Close, Yorkeys Knob, Qld 4878
3/6-8 Deauville Close, Yorkeys Knob, Qld 4878

 

Yorkeys Knob real estate agent Richard Rudd of Professionals Cairns Beaches has 3/6-8 Deauville Close, Yorkeys Knob, on the market priced upwards of $342,000. It's not beachfront but it is in Yorkeys.

Marvellous Maps creator Humphrey Butler was astounded when he began creating the "rude" maps of the world, officially saying that no Australian state stands out for having the most knobs. "There are just lots of them all over Australia".

At the time he said Queensland "definitely has a huge variety of place names - funny, rude, quirky, miserable-sounding - the full range".

Some of them have long histories, like Humpybong which is Aboriginal for dead or empty dwelling or Gin Gin, which was a corrupted form of the local Jinjin burra tribe.

 

Marvellous Maps version of Queensland’s northernmost tip (Source: oz.marvellousmaps.com).
Marvellous Maps version of Queensland’s northernmost tip (Source: oz.marvellousmaps.com).

 

But others came in with the sailors, riffraff and ruffians roaming the continent through the colonial era. Names like Thirsty Sound - said to have been coined by Captain Cook in 1770 "by reason we could find no freshwater" - or Struck Oil, not because they had but because of a play that was being performed in the 1880s. Yes, go figure.

Several watering holes have played witness to innuendos and hardship, like Sick Man Creek, Prisoner Creek and Piggy Piggy Creek, but whatever possessed anyone to go with Dirty Dick Creek or Naughty Girl Creek is beyond most people's comprehension, though the fact that they stuck with them is worth more than a small chuckle.

"Most of the place names we find funny today probably weren't noteworthy to the academics who researched place name origins in days gone by," according to the map makers.

 

 

Many places like Stomachache Creek had no recorded origin for its name, "but as with almost every negative sounding place name in Australia, the hardship endured while discovering/settling these places often came through in the naming".

Southern neighbours have a lot of answer in terms of place names too, and Tasmania has some doozies such as Lovely Bottom and Pisspot Creek. The Victorians can't shy away from Titwobble Lane, and not many people know what South Australians were thinking when they named Bullshit Hill and Peculiar Knob.

 

Place Names that make you look twice:

Bland

Six Mile Knob

Stomachache

Mount Mee

Bald Knob

Butt Street

Dingleberry Creek

Muff Creek

Pimple

Wonglepong

Ugly Creek

Sick Man Creek

Mount Blowhard

Hell Hole Creek

Repulse Bay

(Source: oz.marvellousmaps.com).

 

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Originally published as The rudest place names on earth


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