What does your Sydney surburb mean?

sydney signsFor foreigners coming to Sydney, many of the suburbs can have long, funny-sounding and hard-to-pronounce names. I mean who ever thought that Woolloomoolo should be pronounced like "Woolah-mahloo" instead of how it's spelt?! Anyway, the reason these suburbs actually have such exciting sounding names is because they come from Aboriginal words.

Ah, yes, you probably knew this already, but did you happen to know that Woolloomooloo means "place of plenty" according to some sources?

Well how about these other Sydney suburbs?












  • Bondi - Bondi is said to mean "the sound of breaking waves", which seems suiting enough since Bondi is a coastal area and all.
  • Coogee - I am so sorry to inform our tenants in furnished flatshares Coogee that the etymological meaning of your suburb is actually "smelly place" or "stinking seaweed". Now, however, Coogee does not smell bad whatsoever since the beach is kept quite clean, but long ago, this word referred to the smell of kelp that washed onto the shores and was left to sit there. So, it is OK to look for furnished flatshares in Coogee today... more like great, and Furnished Property Group can help!
  • Parramatta - Parramatta comes from an Aboriginal word that means "head of waters".
  • Woy Woy - Woy Woy is not really so close to Sydney, but if you ever get on a train, you might have heard this city name over the loudspeaker. Woy Woy is said to come from the Aboriginal for "much water" or "big lagoon". It is interesting to point out that repeating a word will mean "many" or "much" as in the case of Woy Woy.


roo on aussie beachBesides city names, Aboriginal words also contribute to naming wildlife. Kangaroo, for example, is said to come from the Aboriginal word "gangurru", as recorded by James Cook. There was controversy for a while when Philip King could not confirm this record and thought that gangurru actually meant "I don't know".

Imagine the Scenario

James Cook: "What is it?"

Native: "Gangurru (I don't know)."

This theory has since been denounced.