Saturday, 20 March 2010

A town called Aubergine

I have always been interested in place-names, especially the strange ones. I always wonder about the history behind the names of such places. The state of Perak has its fair share of places with odd-sounding names. Places such as Parit (drain), Dinding (wall) and Lumut (moss). Even the state itself is named after `silver’ although it is more famous in producing a different mineral (tin).

Along the Taiping to Lumut road (Federal Route 60), there is a small town called Terong. Now... terong or spelled in modern Malay as terung, is the vegetable we know as aubergine or eggplant or brinjal. I am not actually sure if my translation is entirely accurate because the place is also spelled as `Trong’, without the `e’.

So what’s interesting about this town called Terong? Well… nothing much really. In fact, Terong can hardly be called a town. It is just a row of old timber shops lining either side of the road at a T-junction. But what caught my eye was the town’s post office that makes use of an old wooden building which was most likely an old government staff quarters. Very quaint and classic.

By the way, the aubergine is one of my favourite vegetables. Tastes lovely when cooked together in fish or mince-meat curry, or in gulai dalca


Kak Teh said...

Oldstock, Perak does have a lot of places with interesting names. In Alor star we had a few: langgar, kubur panjang to name a few. and it is indeed interesting to find out how they got their names.

Ilove those all govt buildings. Used to live in one - in Yan.

D said...

OOoo... I love sambal terung!! But I've heard that aubergine affects the male performance tau.. LOL! (Don't know how true that is though)

HLiza said...

Whoa bila sampai Perak ni? Tak habaq pun..

3yearshousewife said...

I've been here when I was a child. My grand aunt was a midwife in the village clinic.

I just found out that there is a town called Sandwich in Kent.

lili said...

Salam Oldstock,

Tu dia, jauh you berjalan sampai ke Trong! I last went there when I was a school-girl. Masa tu my arwah tok sedara was the penghulu.

Hehe, you forgot to mention Papan (plank!), also in Perak!

Did you know, there is also another place called Pusing?

Hmm...wonder if you've tried terung berlada and terung bakar with 'sepoh', a kind of air asam, Perak-style... perghh...! :-)

Pat said...

Yeah! I've been to, or know about, all the places you, and your pals, mention here! Usually, I am clueless!

I love terung, too. It is soooo yummy. My son refused to eat it when he was little. So? I'd cut it up, and put it into the pasta sauce - and he'd wolf it down, none the wiser ;)

Perak: maybe it looked like silver? That metal that was found there eons ago? Perhaps that's how/why it was named such. Just a thought.

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Hi Oldstock,

I just love eggplant stuff with fish paste as in Yong Tau Foo soup, yummy!

Talking about places' name what about this little village in Austria named ‘Fucking’…hahaha, I really feel sorry for the 104 Fuckers living there. Sad but lucky in the sense that they had become a very2 popular tourist town. Go check it out in wiki. I like the part where they wrote; “But for the British tourists, it's all about Fucking."

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!


Zendra-Maria said...

In Melaka, my mother's kampong is Ayer MOLEK, but it is a pity that we have to exit the highway at Ayer KEROH, and good if we don't lose our way to end up at Ayer LELEH. And if we take the scenic route back to KL we might spot Air Pak Abbas - he must have been quite some guy.

And what about the bukits there - Bukit Katil - boleh tidor, Bukit Beruang - jangan tidor, Bukit Piatu - tidor sorang, Bukit Senjuang - tidor dengan St. John ...adoiii

Oldstock said...

Kak Teh,

Yes, a place called Langgar, I've heard of it... siapa yang kena langgar atau apa yang dilanggar kan?

Kubur panjang is most likely the grave of a tall man (or woman).

Oldstock said...


Does it affect the performance positively or negatively? I wonder...

Oldstock said...


Day trip je... segan la nak habaq kat hang. Lagipun hang baru balik dari makan angin, takmo la kacau.

Lain kali I sampai nak ajak hang pi makan chicken rice kat Ipoh, boleh?

Oldstock said...


If I'm not mistaken, the name sandwich was given to the food by the Earl of Sandwich, who liked to eat stuff placed in between layers of bread. In this case, it is the name of the place that comes first.

Oldstock said...


Seems like Trong is a common place to my readers... you dan As (3yrshousewife) pun dah pernah sampai.

Terung berlada memang biasa makan because my wife cooks it well. Confirm sedap. Terung bakar tu belum lagi... nanti kalau jumpa I akan try.

Oldstock said...


I seem to remember that Perak has many odd-sounding place names... Lili has added Pusing and Papan to the list. I'm sure there's a few more.

The tin found in Perak looked liked silver, that's why the state was named as such, I guess. At least there's a story behind it. What about the names of other states... how did they get their names? Selangor, for example?

The state of Johor, reportedly gets its name from the arabic word for jewel... jauhar.

Oldstock said...


Only you can remember if there is such a place called F**king, hehehe!
Thanks for the insight!

Oldstock said...


Air Pak Abbas tu probably refer to his saliva lah! Or it there another type of air... hmmm...

And wow... St John from Senjuang, that's a mighty stretch of translation, heheheh!