Mount Buggery to Nowhere Else: 4 STARS
Mount Buggery to Nowhere Else
The stories behind Australia's weird and wonderful place names
Author: Eamon Evans
Publication date: 25 Oct 2016
Imprint: Hachette Australia
Page count: 288
Source: Hachette Australia
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this publication contains names and images of people who have passed away
The stories behind Australia's many, many strange, and downright hilarious place names.
From Dismal Swamp to Useless Loop, Intercourse Island to Dead Mans Gully, Mount Buggery to Nowhere Else, Australia has some of the strangest, funniest, weirdest and most out-of-place names going - now described and explained in one humorous and fascinating book.
Australia's vast spaces and irreverent, larrikin history have given us some of the best place names in the world. Ranging from the less than positive (Linger and Die Hill, NSW), to the indelicate (Scented Knob, WA), the idiotic (Eggs and Bacon Bay, TAS) to the inappropriate and the just plain fascinating, MOUNT BUGGERY TO NOWHERE ELSE is a toponymical journey through this nation of weird and wonderful places.
Well, you just cannot ignore the title can you? It’s certainly what drew me to the book. Put this on your coffee table and nobody will be able to resist picking it up and diving in. In fact that is the perfect way to read and enjoy this book.
We begin with how Australia (eventually) got its name, then, each state and territory is given its own chapter prefaced by the origins of that state or territory name. Some are pretty much self explanatory, such as the Northern Territory and the imaginatively named Western Australia but, it seems, no one can come up with a good reason for how New South Wales got its name.
Similarly, no one can do much better than to guess at the origins of some of the place names either.
Probably one of the first names readers will look up is Mount Buggery in the state of Victoria. There’s no explanation for this one other than in order to get there the valiant hiker must climb mountain after mountain in order to to reach it. The author settled on a cartoon of an exhausted hiker sitting on the mountain anddeclaring: “I’m Buggered”.
As good an explanation as any I guess. Thankfully nobody lives there, imagine having that for your postal address.
My first stop (following Mount Buggery) was my home state of Tasmania, where, incidentally we find the titular Nowhere Else located up the road (okay, dirt track) from Sheffield, which, authors comments aside, is quite nice really.
The whole book is written in a very humorous and slightly irreverent style, and it might just be my imagination, but did the author ramp up the irreverence levels a tad when he reached our little island state?
Yes, Mr. Eamon Evans, I read your “Monster Creek” entry! May Charlotte Badger (Badger Head) haunt your dreams!
This a great book for some entertaining reading and, what with knobs and boobies abounding, is also great fodder for schoolboy humour, as a bonus, there’s also plenty to learn too.
Put it on your Christmas want list and buy it for everyone else, not a one will be disappointed.
Copy provided by Hachette Australia for unbiased review.