Tongue Twisting Places I thought I know how to Read!

I used to take calls when I worked in a contact center. Before taking in a call or making one, I always made sure that I was well prepared but then there were times  that I had to double check if I know how to read the details in front of me. Now don’t laugh. Anybody who must have worked with a contact /call center for an Australian or UK campaign must have felt the same way. At times I am almost sure that ‘Hey this must be a typo error’ but no way mate..

Here are some of the places which can pass as tongue twisters, can you try reading them? Angurugu, Aurukun, Baryulgil, Binningup, Boroondara, Coolangatta, Coonabarabran, Cootamundra, Eumundi, Gnowangerup, Grong Grong, Indooroopilly, Jeebropilly, Manangatang, Maroochydore, Maribyrnong, Mooloolaba, Murwillumbah, Nhulunbuy, Parramatta, Toowoomba, Tuggeranong, Wollongong, Woolloomoloo, Woolloongabba, Wulkuraka, Yarramalong, Yarrawonga.

Almost all of these place names listed, usually do not sound the same as they do phonetically, but it helps to start that way until you find that pronunciation of these place names is rather quick. Let’s try a couple that with some assistance you can sound out;

Indooroopilly – IN-DOOR-RO-PILLY – sounds like: Indra-pilly

Maribyrnong – MARRI-BYR-NONG – sounds like: Mara-beenon

Manangatang – MA-NAN-GA-TANG – sounds like: Manang-gatang

Maroochydore – MA-ROOCH-Y-DORE – sounds like: Ma-rooch-e-door

Phew! Whoever thought of naming these places as such must have been …%#$&*^bleep bleep.

Perhaps it must be worth mentioning that Australia used to be (there are still quite a number now) inhabited by Aboriginals or “Indigenous Australians”. They are sometimes seen at local places and are often mistaken as witch doctors (and at times Cannibals-nah that’s too much!). “Indigenous Australians” is what most of them consider acceptable. “Aboriginals” has acquired negative connotations in some sectors of the community, most regard it as insensitive, and even offensive.

They named places with names that can easily remind them of what was in that place. For example, in Western Australia, there are places ending with the suffix -up (pronounced /ʌp/). The suffix originated in a dialect of Noongar, an Indigenous Australian language, in which “-up” means “place of”. It’s commonly found in place names in south western Western Australia.

Places derived from Aboriginal meanings:

Boing Boing NT – mosquitoes buzzing

Bong Bong NSW – Out of Sight

Burrumbuttock NSW – Per locals Burrumbuttock means ‘bullock’s backbone’

Burpengary QLD – place of the wattle trees

Chinkapook VIC – waterhole

Gingin WA – place of many streams

Grong Grong NSW – poor camping ground

Humpybong QLD – means “dead shelters”

Innaloo WA – name of an Aboriginal woman of the Dongara region. Nothing to do with being in a loo 🙂  originally called Njookenbooroo until 1927

Koolyanobbing WA – large hard rocks

Manangatang VIC – land and water

Moolooloo NT – slippery ridges

Nar Nar Goon VIC – koala

Ozenkadnook VIC – very fat kangaroo

Poowong VIC – From the Aboriginal word for “carrion” or “putrefaction”.

Tom Ugly NSW – Named after an aboriginal man (wonder how he looks like?)

Wagga Wagga NSW – the place of many crows

Watanobbi NSW – Hills surrounded by water

Wee Waa NSW – Fire for Roasting

Wonglepong QLD – forgotten sound

Woolloomooloo NSW -young kangaroo

Mind you, the places are not just hard to read or pronounce, they sound funny too (no offense to Aussie friends out there, most share the same sentiments 🙂 )

Banana QLD – South of Rockhampton, well known for beef cattle and not bananas.

Binnaway NSW – Like Been Away but it means peppermint tree

Boyland QLD – Popular place for teenage girls. Most Australian boy bands came from here.

Broke NSW – A wine growing region in the Hunter Valley.

Chinaman’s Knob VIC – Name of a hill in Victoria

Cock Wash SA – ?? There’s also a creek of the same name…

Cockburn WA – Named in honor of Vice Admiral Sir George Cockburn.

Coffin Bay SA – Named after Vice Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin. Houses less than 500 people permanently, but brings in many more holiday goers that like to snorkel, swim and surf.

Come By Chance NSW – see, it seems to be a safe and quiet place! Houses a mere 200 people but the town’s big event each year are the Picnic Races (horse races) that draw thousands to the area.

Delicate Nobby NSW – A popular tourist destination.

Diapur VIC – for babies?

Dismal Swamp TAS – As named by the surveyor.

Dog Swamp WA – hmm.

Doo Town TAS – What happens here? Well, Doo Town is a small place in Tasmania known for being a holiday village where every house is named with “doo”. According to Tourism Tasmania, there’s Gunadoo, Doodle Doo, Love Me Doo, Doo Us, Doo Me, Doo Nix, Wee Doo, Xanadu, Rum Doo and Doo Little. Sounds like a fun place to visit, especially since it is located on Pirates Bay.

Dunedoo NSW – Prononced ‘dunny-doo’, Aus lingo a dunny=toilet

Eggs and Bacon Bay TAS – Am not sure if they serve those for breakfast there.

Foul Bay SA – just down the road from Tiddy Widdy Beach and it’s looking far from foul 🙂

Gooloogong NSW – In the small town there are apparently about 250 Gooloogongians!

Goonoo Goonoo NSW – Pronounced “gunna g’noo”

Humpty Doo NT – Home of a boxing croc

Mangalore VIC – It’s Mang-alore not Man galore!

Mooball NSW – Make sure you visit the Moo Moo Cafe if driving by!

Mount Buggery VIC – mountain

Nowhere Else TAS – There is also a place called Nowhere Else in SA

Orange NSW – are there lots of oranges here?

Pimpinbudgie QLD – South of Kingaroy on the way to Toowoomba.

Rooty Hill NSW – the name refers to roots exposed in fields around the hill following floods.

Smiggin Holes NSW – Popular ski resort that got its Scottish name from pools formed in rocks by cattle.

The End of the World TAS – The western most point of Tasmania

end of the worldIf this is how good the end of the world looks, I’d say- take me to the end of the world baby!

Tittybong VIC – If your looking, it’s just north of Teddywaddy

Upotipotpon VIC – A place half way between Nalinga and Violet Town in Victoria

Useless Loop WA – salt mining area, I don’t think it’s a useless place, really!

Vite Vite VIC – Vite Vite is near Pura Pura and Nerrin Nerrin in South Western Victoria.

Wineglass Bay TAS – Stunning location

Woodie Woodie WA – Home to a Manganese mine.

Xantippe WA – Australia’s only place name beginning with “X” named after the wife of the philosopher Socrates.

Yackandandah VIC – Small village the other side of Bogan Gate.

Yorkeys Knob QLD – Named after a fisherman from Yorkshire, George Yorkey Lawson.

So, remember, before planning for some fancy, exotic trip and dream about your new plan to get to a nice tourist destination..don’t dare just rely on the name, check it out first 🙂

Other places around the world can be difficult to read and pronounce too. They seem to sound like magical places, I hope we don’t get to meet this one when out there..


Ynysybwl (Ynys-y-bŵl) it’s a village within the Clydach Valley in Wales

Pontrhydfendigaid Bridge    Pontrhydfendigaid Bridge

Pontrhydfendigaid is a village in Ceredigion, Wales, lying on the River Teifi. It is known for the ruins of the Cistercian Strata Florida Abbey

Lastly…Here’s a list of  “The World’s Top 10 Most Mispronounced Places.”…now repeat after me…hisssss…

1. Phuket, Thailand – say “Pu-get.”

2. Mooball, Australia – pronounced “Moo-bull.”

3. La Jolla, California – a double LL in spanish is pronounced often as Y, say La Hoya : Trivia “El Pollo Loco, pronounced “L Po-yo Lo-co” – Spanish for “The Crazy Chicken,”

4. Oaxaca, Mexico – correct way to say it is “Wah-ha-ca.”

5. Hjo, Sweden – The correct pronunciation of the town is “You.”

6. Wauchope, Australia – pronunced “War-hope.”

7. Cobh, Ireland – pronounce it “Cove” not “Cob.”

8. Coxsackie, New York – say “Cook-sock-ee!”

9. Sequim, Washington – “Sqwim” is the correct pronunciation for the Lavender Capital of N.America.

10. Ptuj, Slovenia – pronounced “P-too-ee.”

Enough for now…concentrate! maybe look into a local account or one that does not require you to have nose bleed..say Bangkok, Thailand!

That’s easier to pronounce.. but then again …they have this place there and the mere thought of attempting to read and spell this back to clients to verify details may not be a very good image for me!

WHAT IS IT? a place with 163 characters if correctly spelled “Krung­thep­maha­nakorn­amorn­ratana­kosin­mahintar­ayutthay­amaha­dilok­phop­noppa­ratrajathani­burirom­udom­rajaniwes­mahasat­harn­amorn­phimarn­avatarn­sathit­sakkattiya­visanukamprasit” Now why don’t you try? Good luck!

Only a handful of Thais can remember this. I am happy to know the abbreviated translation is Jeweled city of the god Indra or as most Thais simply refer to : Krung Thep, City Angels.” Now that’s a lot better.

DISCLAIMER:This article is not intended to make fun of the people, culture or places mentioned. The names aren’t supposed to be funny or rude when they were initialy given, it’s just how they happen to have turned out on this modern times. Each person or place has their own unique characteristics worth learning and discovering.