The New Zealand Geographic Board Gazetteer records every place name you can find on a map in this country, so we went through all 49,370 and wrote down every one that sounded kind of dirty.
Aotearoa New Zealand is a land of incredibly diverse natural landscapes. Soaring mountains and epic glaciers, gentle streams and powerful rivers. There are also lots of nondescript fields and boring rocks.
At some point, every single place received a name. Some things are named with deep honour and history, some are named by or for the person who found it, and other things were given names with apparently no thought at all.
The New Zealand Geographic Board Gazetteer records every listed place name you can find on a map in this country, from major cities to tiny knolls. Over time, some places names have become local legends because they sound kind of dirty. We set out to find every one of those names.
We chose to do this not because it was easy, but because it might be mildly funny and maybe some very silly people might like to go tramping to these places.
The process was simple: we sat down and read a big long list of all 49,370 names in the gazetteer and wrote down everything slightly dirty. Some are obvious, some are a bit more of a reach and need to be read with the right mix of creativity and immaturity. All of them are real locations in New Zealand.
To be included in the The Spinoff’s directory of dirty place names in Aotearoa, the place name must be listed by the New Zealand Geographic Board Gazetteer.
A few notes before we get started:
- This list does not include te reo Māori names because some concepts of “rudeness” don’t necessarily translate across languages and cultures. This means the list is slightly biased towards the South Island, which has proportionately more English place names.
- We’ve also excluded some names which can only be read as dirty in an offensive or demeaning context.
- The gazetteer does not use apostrophes even for names that are obviously intended as possessive proper nouns. We’ve added them back in where we felt it was appropriate because we were afraid our subeditor might murder us if we didn’t.
- Knobs are abundant and low value. Not every knob made the cut, but there are still lots of knobs.
This work was not supported by the Public Interest Journalism Fund.
Upper North Island:
Shag Rock [There are going to be a lot of shags, be prepared.]
Central North Island
The Big D
Knob [So many knobs gets descriptors. Not this knob. It stands on its own reputation.]
Lower North Island:
Mount Dick Lookout
Angle Knob Point
Conical Knob [How many knobs does Wellington need?]
Colonial Knob [That’s what Captain Cook called his penis.]
Upper South Island:
Mount Gomorrah [How dirty these two are depends on your biblical interpretation.]
Old Man’s Head
Bald Knob Ridge
Central South Island:
Lower South Island:
Bowels of the Earth
Friendship Head [bro-jobs?]
Master Head [kinky?]
Antarctica (Ross Dependency)
Stoner Peak [Not dirty but still funny]
Lastly: an honourable mention to Dirty Island, just offshore of Stewart Island. The Gazetteer lists this important information: “Facetiously named when it became the first landing place of the runholders coming from Halfmoon Bay (Oban) after consuming a hearty breakfast.” Yes, it was named Dirty Island because someone took a dump there once.