Etymology Of The Name “Kuching”:
Kuching means ‘cat’ in Malay and there are a number of suggestions as to how Sarawak’s capital acquired the name. Local legend has it that James Brooke (see section on ‘history’), pointing towards the settlement across the river, enquired what it was called. Whoever he asked, mistakenly thought he was pointing at a passing cat. However, there is also a contradiction regarding the common story of James Brooke whose indication was misinterpreted by the folks of this city. Malaysians who live in Sarawak usually refers to cats as “pusak” instead of Kuching. Therefore, there is a little doubt about how true the story was. If that seems a little far-fetched, the Sarawak Museum offers a few more plausible alternatives, the most likely of which is that the town may have originally have been known as Cochin – port – a word commonly used across India and Indochina. Before Brooke arrived, the city of Kuching was known as Sarawak.
Some folks also depict that the name of the city has been derived from a fruit called “Mata Kuching” which is widely available in Malaysia and Indonesia. There is a hill called Bukit Mata Kuching which is thought to be named after this fruit. Known from a letter of a British woman which was written to her son, Kuching is actually named after the Kuching River, a tidal stream that runs from Tua Pek kong Temple to Chinese History Museum and located at foot of the hill. At present the river does not exist due to the silt deposits.