Even today, there remains spirited argument about the origin of the name Keilor, and what it might mean. The area was originally settled – if that’s they right word – as a camping place for prospectors on their way to the goldfields of the central highlands (primarily around Castlemaine and Bendigo). Permanent buildings came only later, with the usual progression of hoteliers and general storekeepers, followed by priests, then farmers, and finally teachers. All very normal as a progression for such a town. So whence came the name?

There are several competing theories regarding that. Some claim that it is dervied from the word “killer” as pronounced in a thick Scots accent. But while many of the area’s earliest settlers were from Scotland, there is no historical record of any killings that would give rise to such a name. Others claim that the first builder of houses in the area was a former shipwright, who brough a little too much of his previous job to his designs for housing. But the “keeler” theory can also be easily disproven, as there is little evidence of any such buildings (at least, not since the fire… ). A third theory bases it on a word from the language of the infamous Didjabringabeeah tribe, “kealoh”. which literally means “hangover” in English. This theory can also be dismissed, as the Didjabringabeeah peoples were not even a Victorian tribe, and it is highly unlikely that such a loan-word could travel so far. But if it is not any of these things – and these are the three leading theories in academia – then we must look elsewhere for explanations.

Professional larrikin and amateur historian Al Stimson offers a fourth theory, which seems more likely than any other. Noting the location of the area – which abuts onto the blind side of the Melbourne International Airport – Stimson proposes that the area’s history as a route for smugglers to remove illegally imported items (many of which would be illegal in themselves, such as drugs), that the area is named for the unit of measurement most commonly used in deciding payment amounts in negotiations between smuggler and fences. Stimson’s theory is highly detailed and elucidated with many anecdotes of the smuggling trade, leading some commentators to suspect that Stimson may have engaged in a certain amount of fieldwork while conducting his research. If this is the case, then he is most likely correct in his claim that the name Keilor in fact derives from the weight unit of “kilo”.

Suburbs near Keilor:

Diggers Rest Diggers Rest Bulla Melbourne Airport Melbourne Airport Melbourne Airport Melbourne Airport Attwood Westmeadows
Plumpton Keilor North Keilor North Keilor North Melbourne Airport Melbourne Airport Melbourne Airport Tullamarine Gladstone Park
Plumpton Calder Park Taylors Lakes Keilor North Keilor Melbourne Airport Melbourne Airport Tullamarine Gladstone Park
Hillside Sydenham Taylors Lakes Keilor Lodge Keilor Keilor Melbourne Airport Tullamarine Tullamarine
Hillside Sydenham Taylors Lakes Taylors Lakes Keilor Keilor Keilor Park Keilor Park Airport West
Hillside Sydenham Sydenham Keilor Downs Keilor Downs Keilor Keilor Keilor East Niddrie
Taylors Hill Taylors Hill Delahey Delahey Keilor Downs Kealba Keilor East Keilor East Essendon West
Caroline Springs Burnside Heights Kings Park St Albans St Albans Sunshine North Sunshine North Avondale Heights Essendon West
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