How I imagine the Australian states were named

“All right, we’ve got eight major regions of Australia to name. Let’s get started. This one over on the left?”

“Western Australia.”

“All right. Simple, descriptive, I like it. So this one down here would be, what, Southern Australia?”

“No. South Australia.”

“South? Really? Not Southern? I mean, I don’t want to nitpick, but shouldn’t it be consistent with …”

“South. Australia.”

“O-okay. Well, so this one up top, that would be — what? North Australia?”

“Northern …”

“Okay, Northern Australia.”

“Northern Territory.”

“Wait, what? It’s a territory? Do we have any others that are territories and not states?”

“Yeah, the capital region is a territory.”

“So that would be — Capital Territory?”

Australian Capital Territory.”

“You don’t think that’ll be implied by the … ? Never mind, sorry. Okay, no other territories? So let’s keep going with the big areas. This one down here to the right, that would be Southeast Australia?”

“It’s New South …”

“New South Australia?”

“New South Wales.”

“Of course. I’m sorry, that should’ve been obvious. Look, the main thing is that all these big regions have a compass direction in the name. Let’s at least stick with that. So the one down there is …”



“We have to have at least one big land area honoring the Queen.”

“All right … all right, I guess that’s fair, we’ll make an exception there. And this one?”



“Because it’s also the land of the …”

“Right, no, I get it. Look, I don’t care anymore. We’ve got one left. All I ask — just don’t make it completely and utterly crazy, okay?”

“Not crazy?”

“Not crazy. That’s all I ask.”

“Let’s call it Tas …”

“Tas Island?”

“… mania.”

“I hate you.”

“I know.”


3 responses to “How I imagine the Australian states were named

  1. Just saw this — it’s amazing and I love it.
    Now I’m curious to how they actually got these names O_O

    • I did look up Tasmania, out of curiosity about the “mania” part. Apparently the island has been called that since “1853, named for Dutch navigator Abel Tasman (1603-1659), who discovered it in 1642.” (

      Abel itself is a curious name, presumably deriving from the biblical Abel, the first murder victim ever. Accordingly, the name means “breath,” as in “his life was short and fleeting, like a breath.” Kind of a morbid thing to name your kid, no? But I digress.

      I’m actually most curious about how they got Western Australia but South (not Southern) Australia.

      • Huh; I guess it was typical for people to name places after who discovered them…or whomever funded the travel. Grammar is hard; or, maybe someone got drunk and was like “this is the best idea ever.”

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