What’s in a Name?

Do you ever wonder how a place got its name? I’ve been looking into the origin of some of the place names I’ve been to recently – what a mixture of aboriginal, English and who knows what!

Mudgee – from the local Wiradjuri word moothi, meaning “nest in the hills”


Gulgong – from the local aboriginal language for “deep waterhole”. Apart from being a picturesque historical town, Gulgong’s other claim to fame is as the town on the original Australian $10 note.


Cassilis – in the 1830’s this was a private village called Dalkeith after a large landholding in the area. It was gazetted as a town and changed its name to Cassilis in 1869 supposedly after the wife of a local property owner who was the daughter of the Earl of Cassilis.


Wingham – named in 1844 after a town near Canterbury in Kent, England. There is a massive bat (flying fox) colony living in Wingham Brush and the local Kaltang aboriginal word, wingan, means “where bats come to drink”. Makes sense to me!

Grey-headed flying foxes at Wingham Brush
Do bats come to drink here?

I’m hoping fish come to eat here and that my bait will tempt them on to my hook. Freshly caught fish for dinner …. yes, that sounds tasty!