What’s in a name?

How did Berrima get its name? Find out more at the next Berrima District Historical Society’s monthly meeting. Photo: supplied

How did Berrima get its name? Find out more at the next Berrima District Historical Society’s monthly meeting. Photo: supplied

Find out what’s in a name at a special history meeting at Mittagong.

David Blair will be speaker at the Berrima District Historical Society’s monthly meeting on September 28. 

Mr Blair is a former director of the Australian National Placenames Survey project and was one of the founding editors of the Macquarie Dictionary.

He now serves as researcher on the Placenames project, edits its quarterly journal Placenames Australia and directs the progress of a database of 330,000 items. 

The project aims to discover and publish stories behind Australia’s millions of placenames.

It is an initiative of the Australian Academy of Humanities and supported by the Geographical Names Board of NSW. 

In his talk, Mr Blair will show how the way we name our places says a lot about our culture and will deal with questions like: How many placenames are there in Australia? Who names our places? What can you do if you hate the name of your suburb/street? What do Wagga Wagga, Woy Woy and Bong Bong have in common?

Mr Blair lives in Sydney. He completed an MA thesis on early Australian pronunciation at Sydney University and, after a brief career at that university and in NSW high schools, he became Macquarie University’s Dean of Humanities.

He worked on the Macquarie Dictionary until 2005.

He was the editor of the Pocket Macquarie and Macquarie Junior dictionaries, co-editor of the Australian Learners Dictionary, and Australian consultant for the Encarta World English Dictionary. 

For many years Mr Blair advised the ABC on matters of usage and pronunciation, as a member of its Standing Committee on Spoken English.

From 1998 until 2007 he was the Director of the Australian National Placenames Survey. 

The meeting commences at 2:00pm.

The presentation will be held at the Historical Society’s Research Centre, Old Council Chambers (Mittagong Playhouse) Building, Bowral Road, Mittagong.

For further information call 4872 2169 or email bdhsarchives@gmail.com

- Supplied by Philip Morton, Publicity Officer, BDH&FHS

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