Portmanteau place names of Melbourne

Melbourne has approximately 320 suburbs (depending on how you count them), each with their own unique name. Some names are more original than others. They may have a historical context, be connected to an indigenous name or have been simply dreamt up by an overly-excited developer.

There is a theoretical point at which you run out of names to use. Or, at least, you run into writer’s block.

As a result, the names of several suburbs and localities in Melbourne are a portmanteau.

What is a portmanteau?

The Oxford Living Dictionary defines this as “A word blending the sounds and combining the meanings of two others “.

Examples include ‘brunch’ (from ‘breakfast’ and ‘lunch’) and ‘motel’ (from ‘motor inn’ and ‘hotel’).

Portmanteau place names

  • Kealba – Keilor + St Albans
  • Warranwood – Warrandyte + Ringwood
  • Albanvale – St Albans + Pascoe Vale
  • Moonee Vale – Moonee Ponds + Ascot Vale
  • Westmelton – West Melton + Melton

There are many others used on a smaller scale by one or two institutions or businesses. For example, ‘Donburn’ (portmanteau of ‘Doncaster’ and ‘Blackburn’) is used by Donburn Primary School. However, these are not recognised by the Geographic Names Victoria as suburbs, localities or neighbourhoods.

I’ll be honest and say that I expected many more. If you know of any, other let me know in the comments below!


Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

27 June, 2019 at 8:34 am

Ashwood, a portmanteau of neighbouring Ashburton and Burwood!

30 October, 2020 at 3:39 pm

Good list! Donvale the other I could think of – named after the junction of Doncaster (Road) and Springvale (Road).

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