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Austins Ferry is a suburb of Hobart, named after convict James Austin. Austin and his cousin was transported to Australia in 1803, and after their sentences expired, were given small land grants on the River Derwent near Hobart. In 1818 they established a ferry service across the river, and became very wealthy. You can still visit James Austin’s original cottage. Austin is an Old French shortening of the name Agustin, the equivalent of the English Augustine, and the surname Austin has the same source. Austin was #108 in the 1900s, and left the charts in the 1950s. It returned in the 1990s at #196, the decade of the Austin Powers spy comedies with Mike Myers in the title role. Groovy, baby! It climbed steeply and joined the Top 100 in 2011. It is currently #61, and was the fastest-rising name in Queensland and a fast-rising name in South Australia last year. It was a fast-rising name in New South Wales in 2013 too, so this retro name is doing very well for itself, and is now more popular than it has ever been before.
Cornelian Bay is a suburb of Hobart, whose bay on the River Derwent provides anchorage for yachts; there are boathouses and a waterside restaurant along its foreshore. The first English navigator to explore the Derwent was Lieutenant John Hayes; he came ashore here in 1793, and named the bay after the semi-precious cornelian stones which he found on the beach. Cornelian (also known as carnelian) is a dark red mineral whose name is from the Latin for the cornel cherry, a flowering dogwood tree which has small dark red fruit just the colour of the gemstone. Cornelian was used in Roman times for signet rings used to seal important documents, as hot wax doesn’t stick to it. It was a gemstone often associated with courage and good luck. Cornelian has been in very rare use as a personal name since the 17th century, and overall has been given fairly evenly to both boys and girls. Not many gemstones work well as boys’ names, but this sounds very similar to Cornelius, yet seems much more up-to-date. This would also make a great middle name, and is suitable for both sexes.
Fitzroy is an inner-city suburb of Adelaide, and an exclusive area overlooking the North Adelaide Parklands. The houses are mostly 19th century mansions along a few tree-lined streets, as this is where the upper class settlers lived in the city’s early days. It may have been named after Fitzroy in Melbourne, which is named after Sir Charles FitzRoy, the governor of New South Wales in the mid 19th century. Another suggestion is that it was named for historic Fitzroy Square in London, whose name comes from Charles FitzRoy, 2nd Duke of Grafton, an 18th century politician who was a distant ancestor of Diana, Princess of Wales. The English surname Fitzroy (or FitzRoy) comes from the Old French for “son of the king”, and was traditionally given to illegitimate sons and daughters of a monarch, and could be inherited as a surname by their descendants. For example, the father of the 2nd Duke of Grafton was an illegitimate son of King Charles II by his mistress Barbara Villiers. Fitzroy has been used as a personal name since the 18th century, and was sometimes used to indicate a family relationship with illegitimate royalty. Roy- (and royal) names are on trend, and this is one you could consider that has Fitz or Fitzy as the nickname.
Hobart is the capital of Tasmania; it is Australia’s second-oldest capital city after Sydney, and is our most southern capital city, serving as a hub for Australian and French Antarctic operations. It is located on an estuary of the Derwent River at the foot of Mount Wellington, and more than half of the city is taken up with bushland, so it contains much natural beauty. A small city with many historical buildings from its colonial past, Hobart has a great deal of charm. Hobart was named after Robert Hobart, 4th Earl of Buckinghamshire: Lord Hobart was the Colonial Secretary at the beginning of the 19th century. The surname Hobart is derived from the personal name Hubert, meaning “bright mind”. Hobart has long use as a personal name, and can be found often in historical records, with it being a bit of a favourite in Tasmania – indeed one example I found was Tasman Hobart. The Ho- at the beginning is rousing yet problematic, but you could use Bart or Barty as a nickname. A patriotic choice that may work better as a middle name.
Holden Hill is an inner-city suburb of Adelaide. It was named after a road extension called Halden’s Hill in the mid 19th century, as the land the road ran through was owned by a Mr Halden. The name was corrupted into Holden Hill. Holden is an English surname after a small village in Lancashire; it comes from the Anglo-Saxon meaning “deep valley”. Its most famous literary namesake is Holden Caulfield from J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye. It’s quite likely that Salinger named the character after a friend called Holden Bowler he met while they were both working on a ship. Mr Bowler went on to run his own advertising business and was godfather to singer Judy Collins. In Australia Holden will remind people of the car company, its name coming from South Australian manufacturer Sir Edward Holden (although it is owned by General Motors). Sadly, Holden will cease production in Australia in 2017. A very uncommon name in Australia because of the car.
Jupiter Creek is a semi-rural suburb of Adelaide which was once part of a gold-mining area, and still a place to go fossicking. Its name was given by gold-miners, possibly after a bull named Jupiter who was fond of running away to graze there. In Roman mythology, Jupiter is king of the gods, and the god of the sky and thunder, the equivalent of the Greek god Zeus. Ruler of the heavens, he was a divine witness to oaths and the protector of the state and justice; his symbols were the oak tree, the eagle, and the thunder bolt. His name is from an ancient root meaning “O Father Sky-god”, so his name is an invocation: to speak the name of Jupiter aloud is to call upon the god. The Romans named the largest planet in the solar system after Jupiter, and believed those born under its influence to be especially fortunate. As Juno is a hip name for girls, and so is Juniper, Jupiter for boys doesn’t seem too strange. A possible issue is the movie Jupiter Ascending, which has Mila Kunis as a heroine named Jupiter.
Linden Park is an affluent suburb of Adelaide. It was named after a house and estate which was built by Sir Alexander Hay in 1861. Linden trees (Tilia) are also called lime trees, although they are not closely related to the tree which produces lime fruit. They are tall, shady trees that have great significance in Germany and Eastern Europe, where they were seen as sacred; in German folklore, the linden is said to be the tree of lovers. Lindens have often featured in stories and poems, often as a symbol of love, protection, or resurrection. In Marcel Proust’s Swann’s Way, the narrator dips his madeleine cake into a cup of lime-flower tea, which opens up a flood of memories. The word linden is from an ancient Germanic root which may mean “mild, soft”: the timber of the linden tree is soft and easily worked, making it ideal for carving. Linden has been used as a name since the 18th century, overwhelmingly for boys, and is found in Australian records quite often, mostly from around the late 19th and early 20th centuries, although I know a few men around my age named Linden. I haven’t seen it on a young child, but this is a handsome, soft-sounding tree name, not so different in sound from popular Lincoln.
Montrose is a northern suburb of Hobart. It is named after Montrose House which was built in 1813 by a Scottish settler named Robert Littlejohn, a renowned painter, botanist and teacher. It is the third oldest house in the state, and is named after Montrose, on Scotland’s east coast. A picturesque resort town, it is regarded as a cultural centre, and known for its sculpture. The town’s name is usually thought to be from the Gaelic monadh, meaning “moor”, and ros, meaning “peninsula”. Folk etymology understands it as “mount of roses”, and the town’s Latin motto is Mare Didat, Rosa Decorat, meaning “the sea enriches, the rose adorns”. Montrose is also a surname, and the Duke of Montrose is a title in the Scottish peerage, held by the Graham family. Montrose has been used as personal name since the 18th century, and first used by the Grahams. It has been used for both sexes, but is more common as a male name. Scottish and aristocratic, this is like a cross between Montgomery and Ambrose, and has Monty as the obvious nickname.
Sorell is a historic market town north-east of Hobart, now a dormitory suburb of the city. It is named after William Sorell, the state’s third Lieutenant-Governor. William Sorell did a good job of cleaning up the colony, which he had found in a fairly lawless and untidy position. The English surname Sorell is from the Old French nickname Sorel, meaning “chestnut”, and given to someone with reddish-brown hair. It has been in rare use since the 19th century, and is given to both sexes, although more common overall as a male name. It may be known from Sir Julian Sorell Huxley, biologist and brother of Aldous Huxley. An interesting, intelligent name that may sound too close to the word sorrow for some parents.
Mount Stuart is a suburb of Hobart on a ridge with the wonderful name of Knocklofty. The suburb is named because of Mountstuart Elphinstone, a Scottish statesman and historian who was Governor of Bombay (now Mumbai). A ship named in the governor’s honour as the Mountstuart Elphinstone visited Hobart in 1836, bringing the welcome news that the cruel and unpopular Lieutenant-Governor George Arthur was ordered to return to London. In celebration of getting rid of him, two roads were named Mount Stuart Road and Elphinstone Road, and eventually the area became known as Mount Stuart. Mountstuart Elphinstone was probably named after Mount Stuart House on the Isle of Bute in Scotland, the seat of the Stuarts of Bute. They are descended from Robert II of Scotland, the first of the Stuart kings (the Elphinstones are related to the Stuarts). The name of the Stuart dynasty comes from Stewart, the Scottish form of steward, meaning a governor. The first of this surname was Walter Stewart of Dundonald, High Steward of Scotland. The Stuart dynasty ended up ruling Great Britain for more than a century, and it’s because of them that Stuart was used as a personal name. Stuart was #135 in the 1900s, joined the Top 100 in the 1940s and peaked in 1969 at #31. It left the Top 100 in the 1990s and hasn’t charted since 2010. Stewart was less popular, never reached the Top 100, and hasn’t charted since the early 2000s.
People’s favourite names were Linden, Austin and Holden, and their least favourite were Montrose, Jupiter and Hobart.
(Photo shows Hobart)