OddThinking

A blog for odd things and odd thoughts.

Pseudo-Reduplication in Australian Place Names

I recently saw an American blogger refer to Walla Walla as some parochial region of Australia. I assumed he meant Wagga Wagga, a well-known city with a weird name, but no, there is also a place called Walla Walla, so maybe he wasn’t confused at all.

Which brings up the question – apart from the well-known Wagga Wagga, Woy Woy and Curl Curl, how many other Australian locations have repeated names?

Well, according to the 2010 Australian Gazetteer:

Ambah-Ambah
Bael Bael
Balla Balla
Bally Bally
Ban Ban
Banda Banda
Bandi Bandi
Bang Bang
Barra Barra
Baw Baw
Beean Beean
Beek Beek
Beggan Beggan
Bellum Bellum
Bet Bet
Billa Billa
Bindi Bindi
Bira Bira
Bli Bli
Bom Bom
Bon Bon
Bone Bone
Bong Bong
Boo Boo
Book Book
Bookine Bookine
Boola Boola
Boonoo Boonoo
Booti Booti
Bouka Bouka
Bril Bril
Brim Brim
Brit Brit
Bruk Bruk
Budgee Budgee
Bul Bul
Bulla Bulla
Bulla-Bulla
Buln Buln
Bunda Bunda
Bunna Bunna
Burrah Burrah
Burrum Burrum
Carag Carag
Chalby Chalby
Charl Charl
Chiggil Chiggil
Chin Chin
Colac Colac
Collum Collum
Coomoo Coomoo
Cope Cope
Cowan Cowan
Curl Curl
Derra Derra
Derri Derri
Doon Doon
Dora Dora
Drik Drik
Drop Drop
Drung Drung
Duckan Duckan
Dum Dum
Durd-Durd
Durren Durren
Elong Elong
Eurie Eurie
Gan Gan
Gang Gang
Ganoo Ganoo
Gatum Gatum
Gherang Gherang
Ghin Ghin
Ghinni Ghinni
Gil Gil
Gin Gin
Gol Gol
Golton Golton
Good Good
Gooda Gooda
Goonoo Goonoo
Gre Gre
Greg Greg
Grong Grong
Gubbuh Gubbuh
Gumly Gumly
Gun Gun
Gundy Gundy
Gunyah Gunyah
Gurra Gurra
Guy Guy
Ika-Ika
Imbi Imbi
Itali Itali
Jellat Jellat
Jerra Jerra
Jika Jika
Jil Jil
Jimba Jimba
Jingi Jingi
Joel Joel
Jung Jung
Kadji Kadji
Kalk Kalk
Kara Kara
Karup Karup
Kawl Kawl
Keri Keri
Ki Ki
Kin Kin
Korrak Korrak
Kunat Kunat
Kundle Kundle
Kurri Kurri
Lal Lal
Lang Lang
Mandu Mandu
Merri Merri
Merty Merty
Mia Mia
Millaa Millaa
Milly Milly
Min Min
Mirra Mirra
Mitta Mitta
Mogil Mogil
Mona Mona
Moon Moon
Mooney Mooney
Moora Moora
Morrl Morrl
Mucca Mucca
Mugga Mugga
Muggy-Muggy
Muli Muli
Mulla Mulla
Mundi Mundi
Munna Munna
Murra Murra
Murrin Murrin
Nacki Nacki
Nan Nan
Nap Nap
Nareeb Nareeb
Narra Narra
Nerren Nerren
Nerrin Nerrin
Never Never
Ngarram Ngarram
Ngillin Ngillin
Ni Ni
Nil Nil
Nour Nour
Nowa Nowa
Nulla Nulla
Numby Numby
Nunga Nunga
Nurra-Nurra
Obi Obi
Obum Obum
Ona Ona
Pandie Pandie
Pangki Pangki
Pendyk Pendyk
Perrit Perrit
Pier Pier
Pindi Pindi
Pom Pom
Puka Puka
Pura Pura
Pyry Pyry
Quanda Quanda
Tabba Tabba
Talga Talga
Tambal-Tambal
Tarra Tarra
Tilba Tilba
Tilun Tilun
Toogan-Toogan
Topi Topi
Tucka Tucka
Tucki Tucki
Tyrl Tyrl
Ula Ula
Utah Utah
Valley Valley
Vite Vite
Waar Waar
Wadda Wadda
Waddy Waddy
Wagga Wagga
Wak Wak
Wal Wal
Walla Walla
Wallah Wallah
Wallan Wallan
Wallen Wallen
Walyer Walyer
Wangi Wangi
Warra Warra
Warra-Warra
Wat Wat
Wau-Wau
Way Way
Weeyuh Weeyuh
Weir Weir
Whian Whian
Wilby Wilby
Willi Willi
Wing Wing
Wirrum Wirrum
Wodi Wodi
Wog Wog
Wolla Wolla
Wong Wong
Wonga Wonga
Woodie Woodie
Wooli Wooli
Woop Woop
Woorong Woorong
Woy Woy
Wujal Wujal
Wuk Wuk
Wurruk Wurruk
Wye Wye
Wyndi Wyndi
Yabba Yabba
Yan Yan
Yang Yang
Yarra Yarra
Yarram Yarram
Yeo Yeo
Yere Yere
Yo Yo

That’s only official names. It excludes a long list of unofficial names (like Kulu Kulu) and historical names (like Wirra Wirra), but I assume you were all sticklers for government approval. It also only includes exact duplications, with or without a space or dash separator.

So, in total, 234.

I hope that satisfies your curiousity.


If it doesn’t, you can do some further research, as I did. You can find out that Wikipedia had a list all along (but only manages to find 116 of them). Wikipedia also explains that, in some Australian aboriginal languages, plurals are formed by doubling a word, explaining the common occurrence.


Comments

  1. Walla Walla Bang Bang, isn’t that part of a song? Didn’t know it was Australian though…

  2. “Walla Walla Bing Bang” is part of the chorus of Witch Doctor, a casually-racist hit song from 1958.

    Or maybe you are thinking of the 1968 musical number about a magical car that flew from Queensland to New South Wales, Chiggil Chiggil Bang Bang?

  3. I was talking about Witch Doctor, I had no idea it’s “Bing Bang” rather than “Bang Bang”.

  4. This clearly calls for a Walt Kelly quotation:

    Deck us all with Boston Charlie,
    Walla Walla, Wash., an’ Kalamazoo!
    Nora’s freezin’ on the trolley,
    Swaller dollar cauliflower alley-garoo!

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