I know a girl who was born in Melbourne in 199x but she was raised in Japan. Then she moved to China and has been living there for a few years.

Before she went back to Melbourne, one of her school mates asked the question, "Why must you leave". The girl told him, "I miss the place where I was born".

I have searched the Google web, which returned: hometown, place of birth.

Place of birth is alright, but it is long and somewhat mouthful, I don't know why.
According to online dictionary, the meaning of hometown can be either the town or city in which a person lives or was born, or from which a person comes, so, hometown, can not fully describe the situation in my question.

Thank you.

3 Answers 3


I would use the adjective natal to describe the place of one's birth, for instance one's natal city.

According to the Oxford dictionaries:


Relating to the place or time of one’s birth: he was living in the south, many miles from his natal city.

  • 6
    This isn't exactly wrong, but it's extremely rare, and I can imagine people responding with "What's a natal city?" It would probably be better to express the idea in simple words instead of looking for a special term.
    – user230
    Commented Dec 9, 2015 at 21:22
  • 1
    Thank you for enlightening me @snailboat! I didn't know that the word is so rare in English because in my language being the only word that would express it is widely used. Actually it has the same root as native (in my language either). So, perhaps, I should have proposed native, that is one's native city? Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 6:36

Birthplace is the single word that comes to mind. Hometown has the connotation that one lived there for a while, but it sounds like your friend left shortly after birth. Born then subsequently raised elsewhere, as in your example, Melbourne would not be her hometown since it sounds like she left when she was very small.



One’s native country.

Birthplace also came to my mind, but if I hear someone saying, "I miss my birthplace," this can give an impression that the speaker might be referring to a city in the same country she was born in or another country. I would say it's vague.

For example: I could be born in New Delhi but currently living in Mumbai(both city are in the same country, India.). So if I say, "I miss my birthplace," it can mean that I miss New Delhi.

If born in another country (your context), simply say:

I miss my country.
She dearly misses her country.

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