Black Swan Emblems and Popular Culture - Eastern Australia - Place Names - English Language

English Language

The English-language place name "Black Swan" occurs as a descriptive toponym in four states, usually as a "name cluster". Queensland has a Black Swan Creek near Gladstone, together with nearby Black Swan Island and a Black Swan Rock further south near Shoalwater Bay; another Black Swan Creek near Maryborough; and a Black Swan Lagoon inland on the Darling Downs near Warwick. New South Wales has a Black Swan Anabranch adjoining a Black Swan Lagoon on the north side of the Murray River in the Corowa Shire. In South Australia's arid north, there is a Black Swan Swamp just north of Roxby Downs and a Black Swan Waterhole further north of the old Overland Telegraph line. Tasmania has a Black Swan Island near the wild South West Cape. Given the broad sweep of the Black Swan's natural habitat, the presence of only nine distinctive place names or name clusters within that range indicates the rarity of "Black Swan" as a toponym. New Zealand also has a Black Swan Stream in the South Auckland district.

The more generic toponym "Swan" invariably refers to Black Swans. The Gazetteer of Australia lists 57 examples in New South Wales, 32 in Tasmania, 20 in Queensland, 19 in Victoria, 10 in South Australia, 5 in the Northern Territory, and none in the other territories. Some idiosyncratic examples are Swan Hole (NSW), Swan Spit (Vic) and Swan Nook (Tas). The Gazetter also lists two "White Swan" toponyms: a mine and reservoir near St Arnaud, on the Victorian goldfields. A clear concentration is evident in New South Wales and Tasmania. By contrast, the toponymist Reed lists only three examples: Swan Hill and Swan Pond in Victoria, and Swan Point in Tasmania (all named by explorers after sighting Black Swans in large numbers).

In Sydney, there are thirteen "Swan" street names and one "Black Swan" street name, in contrast to a lone "Swan" street name in Darwin.

The rarer form of Cygnet ("young swan") occasionally occurs. The Gazetteer of Australia records eleven in Tasmania (the densest concentration), five in South Australia and one in Victoria, but Reed's only example is Cygnet, Tasmania, anglicised from Port des Cygnes, so-named by the French explorer Bruni d'Entrecasteaux in 1793 because of the large number of swans he observed there.

Read more about this topic:  Black Swan Emblems And Popular Culture, Eastern Australia, Place Names

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