List of New Zealand place name etymologies

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Placenames in New Zealand derive largely from British and Māori origins. An overview of naming practices can be found at New Zealand place names.

Thomson's Barnyard[edit]

Many of the locations in the southern South Island of New Zealand, especially those in Central Otago and the Maniototo, were named by John Turnbull Thomson, who had surveyed the area in the late 1850s. Many of these placenames are of Northumbrian origin, as was Thomson himself.

There is a widespread, probably apocryphal, belief that the naming of many places was through a disagreement with the New Zealand surveying authorities. It has long been suggested that Thomson originally intended to give either classical or traditional Maori names to many places, but these names were refused. In response, Thomson gave prosaic Northumbrian names to them, often simply in the form of a Northumbrian dialectic name for an animal[4] The Maniototo region around the town of Ranfurly is rife with such names as Kyeburn, Gimmerburn, Hoggetburn, and Wedderburn as a result. Ranfurly itself was originally called "Eweburn". The area is still occasionally referred to as "Thomson's Barnyard" or the "Farmyard Patch".

External links and sources[edit]

  1. ^ Mahoney, Liz (1998). "Edge city". New Zealand Geographic (37). Retrieved 17 August 2017.
  2. ^ Baker, Amy (22 August 2017). "History books offer 'definite' guidance on pronunciation of Albany". Stuff. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  3. ^ "Queenstown". New Zealand History. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  4. ^ Reed, A. W. (1975). Place names of New Zealand. Wellington: A. H. & A. W. Reed. ISBN 0-589-00933-8.
  • Land Information NZ (LINZ) An authoritative list of New Zealand placenames, used for NZ government maps, is available in various forms. The list does not cover their meanings.
  • NZ Geographic Board Nga Pou Taunaha Aotearoa - Free download of 55,000 New Zealand placenames. Note: Special care is required, for instance the geographic coordinates are NOT the centroid of the placename, they are the lower left corner of the original label scan from the 260 series maps (1:50 000 Topographic hard copy).
  • "Place names map". Māori Language Commission. Retrieved 2007-07-11.