Scottish Place Names
- Sydney, Australia

For comparability with other large cities around the world, Sydney has been defined as the metropolitan area extending from the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park in the north-east to the Royal National Park in the south-east, and from Richmond in the north-west to the Camden-Campbelltown area in the south-west. Also included in this area are suburbs in the lower reaches of the Blue Mountains as far as Faulconbridge. Of the names of the 776 suburbs and neighbourhoods located to date in the Greater Sydney Metropolitan area, 160 (20.6%) are based wholly or in part on place names that can be found in Scotland, on Scottish family names or on Scottish words. Of course, many of the names are used in other parts of the British Isles as well but at least 69 (8.9%) of these appear to have a definite connection with Scotland. Official suburbs and other localities with names that occur only in Scotland and not elsewhere in the British Isles, and/or are definitely or most probably of Scottish origin are:

Some of the following suburbs and neighbourhoods are also likely to have a direct or indirect Scottish connection, but these names are associated with other parts of the British Isles as well. Included in this list are places named by Governor Lachlan Macquarie but which do not necessarily refer to any particular place in Scotland.

A third category of suburban names comprises places that definitely exist in Scotland, but the likelihood that the Sydney counterpart was named for Scotland, even indirectly, is greatly diminished because these names are far more commonly associated with other parts of the British Isles.

A final category of suburban names comprises places that can be found in Scotland, but which, in Sydney's case, definitely or most probably have no connection with Scotland.

Judging purely by its suburban names, Sydney does not appear to be quite so Scottish as the other major Australian cities. This is partly because of the preponderance of English and Aboriginal names in this city, and partly because of the opportunities provided by Sydney's many coves and inlets to use descriptive names such as Bayview, Beauty Point or Middle Cove. Scottish influences on the development of Australia's oldest and largest city soon become very apparent when looking at the names of parks, reserves, sports grounds and major thoroughfares throughout the metropolitan area. There are literally hundreds of parks and reserves with Scottish sounding names. The list is too long to publish (at least 24 names begin with the letter 'A' alone!) but is a testament in itself to the marked influence of the Scots and their descendants on the growth of the city. The following highways, main roads and other thoroughfares have distinctly Scottish sounding names:

Governor Lachlan Macquarie is commemorated by no fewer than 45 avenues, circuits, drives, groves, lanes, places, roads, streets and terraces within Metropolitan Sydney. There are also at least 17 avenues, closes, courts, drives, groves, lanes, places and streets named Lachlan. Moreover, the name of one of Sydney's major universities, Macquarie University, also honours the Governor, as do the names of five parks and reserves. These are fitting tributes to one of Australia's most popular Governors and the man who has been dubbed "The Father of Australia".


© Ian Kendall
Melbourne, Australia, April 2006
Revised May 2011

If you wish to contact Ian about his research, his e-mail address is

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