Aboriginal Words In Australian English

We have collected and put the best Aboriginal Words In Australian English. Enjoy reading these insights and feel free to share this page on your social media to inspire others.

See also: Aboriginal Proverbs and Australian Aboriginal Religion and Mythology

These words of Australian Aboriginal origin include some that are used frequently within Australian-English, such as kangaroo and boomerang. Many such words have also become loaned words in other languages beyond English, while some are restricted to Australian English.

Possibly, the most popular Aboriginal loanwords are plants and animals which are now in everyday use.  This is understandable as early settlers, explorers and others would need to discover the animals and plants in this unknown Australian landscape.

An Indigenous Australian playing the didgeridoo

Major Aboriginal Group names

Koori: Represents Aboriginal people from the South East of the Australian mainland (Let’s say anywhere south of Kempsey down to Melbourne).

Noongar: Noongars (Nungas/Nungahs) are Aboriginal people from the South West of the Australian mainland. Variations of this name are also used in areas of South Australia too.

Murri: Murri’s (or Murry) are Aboriginal people from Queensland & Far Northern NSW.

Palawa: Aboriginal people of Tasmania.

Yolngu: Yolngu people are one of many Indigenous groups in Northern Australia and we are adding them to this grouping because their name and people are so prominent in Australian television & music. Famous Yolngu names include David Gulpilil, Magnolia Maymuru and the band Yothu Yindi.

Those are the major modern day grouping names for Aboriginal people. You may be wondering about the huge areas of land that the above names did not cover and to put it simply, Aboriginal people in those areas of Central/Northern & Western Australia still identify themselves by their individual tribal groups.

Aboriginal Words in Australian English

Most common words in use today

Bunji: Means friend/mate.

Cooee: Is actually a widely used Aboriginal word that is often unknowingly used by non Indigenous people. But luckily they have been using the word correctly as the word means ‘come here’ in the Dharug language from the South Western areas of Sydney.

Yidaki: Is the Yolngu name for Didgeridoo. Many people believe that the word didgeridoo is actually an Aboriginal word when in fact the word is a made up word that loosely describes the sound that comes out of the oldest wind instrument on the planet.

Yowie: Is one of many words to describe a much feared super-natural being. Other names include hairy man and bungaree. There is even a Yowie statue in Kilcoy in South East Queensland and there are many Australian’s both white & black that swear they still exist deep in Australia’s forest to this very day.

Coolamon: is what we had before tupperware came along. The multi-purpose curved wooden tray can be used for carrying infants, food, digging and for burning leaves during smoking/cleansing ceremonies.

Woomera: Is one of our most fascinating inventions. A woomera is a spear thrower. It lays between the end of a spear and your hand. The woomera acts as a lever that propels the spear at an incredible speed. A woomera and spear are so fast that they were actually the fastest weapon before the existence of the rifle.

Nulla Nulla: Also known as a deadly 7 or a hunting boomerang is a long carved piece of wood that is shaped like the number 7. It is a versatile war club that flies aerodynamically through at high speed usually with the intention of killing it’s target. They can be shaped with flat heads as pictured or with a rounded head.

Canberra: Is the capital of Australia and if you read our recent article of the biggest Aboriginal named cities in Australia you would know that Canberra came in at number 1. We think it would be great if every Australian knew the meaning. Canberra is actually the word for ‘meeting place’ in the local Ngunnawal language.

Marlu: There are many different Aboriginal words for Kangaroo (including the word Kangaroo) but the one that always sticks in my mind is Marlu. Marlu comes from the Warlpiri language group in Central Australia.

Deadly: Is not an Aboriginal word however it has taken its own meaning among Aboriginal society. Deadly to Aboriginal people means excellent/amazing/really good. This can be quite confusing to non Aboriginal people who might witness someones artwork being described as deadly.

Unna: Chances are that if you live in Western Australia you have heard the word unna, Unna? It roughly translates into – am I right/is that right/true or the way some people use the word yeah as a question (that’s your deadly car, yeah?) Now replace the word yeah with unna.

Gammon: Can mean fake (he’s gammon, he thinks he’s good but he’s never played football in his life), pathetic (this didgeridoo from Indonesia is gammon, a garden hose would sound better), or to pretend (Just gammon mum, I wasn’t really trying to sneak out).

Shakealeg: This is a common slang word for Aboriginal dancing. In particular, shakealeg refers to the ability to the traditional movement which sees the dancers knees moving in and out while the feet continue to move forward at the same time.

Gubba: Is one of many words that means white people. Gubba actually comes from the word government and is used mostly in a derogatory manner. Other more traditional words used to describe white people include migaloo & wadjela.

Tidda: Simply means sister and can also be used for female friends.

Well how are you feeling so far? Do you feel deadly knowing all these new words or are you still worried some bunji’s will say you’re gammon? What if an overseas tourist asked you how to say hello using an Aboriginal word; Would you have an answer? Here are 3 different ways to say hello in various Aboriginal languages.

Kaya/Palya/Yaama:Kaya means hello in the Noongar language. Palya is a Pintupi language word used as a greeting much in the same way that two friends would say hello in English while Yaama is a Gamilaraay language word for hello used in Northern NSW.

Mob: Is another English word that has been twisted and turned and taken on its own form among Aboriginal people. Mob can mean my family or my tribal group. One of the first questions Aboriginal people usually ask each other is “Who’s your mob”? From those three words one can usually figure out where they are from, who they are related too etc.

Aboriginal curse words / swear words

Goona: Poo! (He did the biggest goona you’ve ever seen).

Budoo: Penis! (Lookout doing a shakealeg with a laplap on, ya budoo might come out).

Doori: Sex!

Aboriginal Words in Australian English

Aboriginal words and their meanings alpha index

Said to be derived from an Aboriginal language meaning “along the way” or “plain with a river”.
Is thought to be either the Nanda name for the area or to be derived from a similar word meaning “mine”.
An Aboriginal word meaning to follow.
An Aboriginal name meaning “make your abode here” or “remain here”.
Means ‘a beautiful place’ in one of the local Aboriginal dialects.
The name ‘Araluen’ means ‘water lily’ or ‘place of the water lilies’ in the local aboriginal language.
Its name is derived from the Arrernte tribe of Central Australia, previously known as Arunta and means ‘White Cockatoo’.
Is Aboriginal in origin and is the name of the local springs – thought to mean “place of many granite hills”.
The name is an Aboriginal word for “a high place”
Is of Aboriginal origins, and means “flat or plain surface”
Said to mean “place of swamp oak”.

derived from local Wathaurong Aboriginal words for the area, balla arat – Thought to mean “resting place”.

Is an Aboriginal word that means place of many winds.
From the local Aboriginal tribe, Meri, meaning “a wide bend in the river”.
From the local Wiradjuri language – meaning “plenty of water”.
Generally believed to be Aboriginal for ‘black or white cockatoo’.
Bogan Gate
Derived from the local Aboriginal word meaning “the birthplace of a notable headman of the local tribe”.
The name comes from Kamilaroi/ Gamilaraay language – bagaaybaraay, literally “having creeks”.
An Aboriginal word meaning either ‘windy place’, ‘large swamp’ or ‘place of flooded box trees’.
is An Aboriginal word for ‘a heart’ or ‘water breaking over rocks’.
Is a Noongar Aboriginal name, said to mean “a place of quartz” – “Boya” means “rock” or “stone”.
The origin of the suburb name is from the Yugarabul Aboriginal language meaning place of the stone axe.
Is an Aboriginal word meaning point of the bay.
The name “Kabultur” is derived from the Yugarabul dialect (Kabi Aboriginal people) meaning “place of the carpet snake”
Named after the Cammeraygal, the Aboriginal tribe of the North Sydney area.
Thought to derive from the word Kambera or Canberry which is claimed to mean “meeting place” in the old Ngunnawal language, one of several Indigenous languages spoken in the district by Aboriginal people.
Of unknown origin – although considered a Noongar word – is the local name for the mouth of the Serpentine River.
The Aboriginal word for a basin-shaped wooden dish made and used by Australian Aborigines.
Is an Aboriginal word meaning “Honeysuckle”.
From guaran, meaning tall trees or Moreton bay bush.
The traditional owners are considered to be the Wiradjuri, with the name probably deriving from their word guudhamang for “turtle”
Derived from Bundjalung Gurigay, meaning The meeting of the waters.
Named after the Aboriginal Dreamtime warrior Kurimul
An Aboriginal word – possibly from Dabpeto meaning “water plenty”,
A local Indigenous Australian word for “long waterhole”, referring to the Walsh River that runs nearby the town.
From Thung-arra, the local Wattandee people’s name for the estuary adjacent to the town, meaning ‘sea lion place’.
Either the Aboriginal word for the twenty eight parrot (Dow-arn) or “place of the throwing stick” (dower).
Coming from “Dambeling” which possibly means “large lake or inland sea” or “dumbung”, a game played with bent sticks and a hard piece of fruit.
An Aboriginal name meaning “Meeting of the Waters” (the Murray and Campaspe Rivers ) .
From a Kaurna word ‘eechungga’ which may mean either ‘a short distance’ or ‘close by’.
Derived from an Aboriginal word meaning “home by the sea” or “home by the water”

From the aboriginal name of the nearby Eneabba Springs. The meaning of the word is “small water”.

Derived from the local Wathaurong Aboriginal name for the region, Jillong, thought to mean “land” or “cliffs”.
Thought to derive from an Aboriginal word meaning “fearful place”
The name is derived from an Aboriginal word meaning “long waterhole”
Thought to mean “footprint” or “place of many streams”
Derived from the Aboriginal word for the creek which flows through the district of Ginin-ginin-derry which is said to mean sparkling or throwing out little rays of light.
Named after the word in the language of the Wiradhuri Aboriginal tribe of the Central West of New South Wales, meaning star.
The name of the townsite is Aboriginal, being derived from nearby Gnowangerup Creek and Spring meaning place where the mallee hen (Gnow) nests”.
Meaning, “Yam”. However it has been proposed that it derives from “guduu+ga”, ‘at the place of the Murray cod’ [guduu], rather than “gudugaa”, a species of yam
The name derives from an Aboriginal word meaning “the resting place of the birds”.
Grong Grong
An Aboriginal term meaning ‘bad camping ground’ or ‘very bad camping ground’.
Derived from the name used by the traditional inhabitants, the Wiradjuri, for ‘deep waterhole’.
An Aboriginal word meaning ‘between two waters’, referring to the Georges and Woronora Rivers. Illawong was originally inhabited by the Tharawal and/or Eora tribes.
A corruption of either the local Aboriginal word nyindurupilli, meaning ‘gully of the leeches’ or yindurupilly meaning ‘gully of running water’.
The town’s name is derived from an aboriginal word meaning ‘track’.
An Aboriginal word, meaning the ‘Place Of The Moon’, originating from the people of the Northern Territory.
The origin of the name is from an Aboriginal word meaning ‘flying squirrel gully.
The name Jeparit is believed to be derived from a Gromiluk word meaning ‘home of small birds’.
An Aboriginal word said to mean ‘place of upstanding yate trees’.
An Aboriginal word meaning ‘Paradise on Earth’.
Derived from an aboriginal word meaning ‘valley’.
Noongar Aboriginal word – possibly meaning either “place of whiteness or glistening’ or ‘place of a creature that can only move backwards’.
The word is derived from two Noongar words: kala meaning ‘home‘ and munda meaning ‘forest’ – therefore, ‘A home in the forest’.
The name means ‘water’ in the language of the Wiradhuri Aboriginal tribe of the Central West of New South Wales
Derived from the Wangai word Karlkurla, meaning ‘place of the silky pears’.
The name derives from Ngambri, the name of the clan that originally lived in the area before European occupation.
From the Bundjalung Aboriginal language meaning ‘red gum.’
In the local Aboriginal language means ‘good country’ or ‘soft earth’.
It is thought that the name means ‘native plum tree’.
An Aboriginal word meaning ‘lengthy’.
Koo Wee Rup
It is from the language of the Bunurong Aboriginal people and believed to mean ‘plenty of blackfish’ or ‘blackfish swimming’.
From a list of words obtained from a Noongar Aboriginal, the meaning being given as a ‘married person’.
Kowanyama means ‘The place of many waters.’
In the Miriwoong language means “Big Waters” or “Big River’.
Thought to be derived from the Aboriginal ‘kanjakatari’; kanja – ‘stone’ and katari – ‘surface water’, inferring water in rocks, or from a nearby hill ‘Kutta kutta’ – the local Aboriginal name for the ‘night hawk‘.
An Aboriginal Australian word meaning ‘plains turkey’s (bustard) egg’, a reference to the Scrub Turkey which is indigenous to the region.
Kurri Kurri
Comes from the local Awabakal language where it has a meaning similar to ‘the beginning’ or ‘the first’.
Named after the indigenous language group that have occupied the area since before European settlement, theLarrakia.
From an Aboriginal term – manang meaning ‘land’ and kaaiti meaning ‘water’.
The Noongar (or Bibbulmun) people, of the southwest of Western Australia, named the area Mandjar ‘meeting place’.
The name Maningrida is an Anglicised version of the Kunibídjiname Manayingkarírra, which comes from the phrase Mane djang karirra, meaning ‘the place where the Dreaming changed shape’.
From the Noongar Aboriginal words ‘Manjin’ – a broad-leafed edible reed, and up – ‘meeting place.
From the Aboriginal indigenous Yuggera language word Muru-kutchi, meaning ‘red-bill’: the name of the black swan, commonly seen in the area.
In the language of the Muluridji people, Mareeba means ‘meeting of the waters’.
Believed to be derived from two words – meel meaning ‘eye’ and merran meaning ‘to look out’.
Means ‘plenty of fish’ in the local Aboriginal dialect.
From the Aboriginal word mulu, meaning ‘snapper fish’, or mulla meaning ‘Red-bellied Black Snake’.
From an Indigenous Australian word, mherroyah, meaning ‘home of the black swan’.
An Aboriginal word meaning ‘plenty of game’.
From the Wiradjuri term Moothi meaning ‘Nest in the Hills’ or mou-gee meaning ‘contented’.
From the Mulgoa people – who spoke the Dharug language – believed to mean ‘black swan’.
Named after an Aboriginal word, believed to mean ‘place of the rat kangaroo’.
Means either ‘Footsteps in the trees’ or ‘Meeting Place of the waters’ in the local Aboriginal language.
The name Derives from an Aboriginal (Bundjalung people) word meaning ‘camping place’ – from Murrie, meaning ‘aboriginal people’, Wolli, ‘a camp’ and Bab, ‘the place of’.
From a Gumbaynggirr word, ngambugka; meaning ‘winding or crooked river’, or ‘entrance to the waters’.
Nana Glen
Derived from the ‘Two-Tailed Lizard’ – Nana is an aboriginal name meaning ‘Two’.
Of Noongar Aboriginal origin, meaning either ‘stopping place’ or ‘place of parrots’.
The meaning of the name is uncertain and could be ‘bat camp’, ‘plenty of everything’ or “place of water’.
The place name is derived from an aboriginal word for ‘camp where edible berries grow’.
Pronounced Nowa Nowa by the Aborigines – is an Aboriginal word for ‘black cockatoo’.
Means ‘Place of the male kangaroo’ in the local Noongar language.
From the Aboriginal word “Oorin” meaning “Belt of manhood” in which a stone axe was carried on hunting expeditions, and “Oorinbah” which is the bora ring or ceremonial ground in which the initiation ceremony of conferring the ‘belt of manhood’ was carried out.
Is an Aboriginal word meaning ‘sun rising in the east and shining on the hills’.
The Darug people called the area Baramada or Burramatta which means ‘head of waters’, ‘the place where the eels lie down’, or ‘eel waters’
The name originated from two Aboriginal words: putje, ‘plenty’, and wallah, ‘porcupine grass’.
it is believed the name may be derived from the ‘Peranj-jiddee bush’.
Said to mean “place of white flowers” in a local Indigenous language, presumably a reference to the flannel flowers in the area.[

The town derives its name from an Aboriginal word meaning ‘water hole’.

The name is supposedly Aboriginal for ‘Valley of Cabbage Tree Palms’.
Means ‘red mud’. The town was originally called Martintown, and grew out of a Cobb and Co staging post at Rocky Creek.
Derived from the Aboriginal words “dhoo” (a generic term for tree) and “goo/lawa”, meaning “crescent shaped” or “bent like a crescent moon”.

Derived from an Aboriginal word, reported as meaning ‘place by the water’ or ‘the meeting of the waters’.

Towradgi is a corruption of the aboriginal word Kow-radgi meaning ‘guardian of the sacred stones’.
The name is derived from an Aboriginal – Ngunnawal – expression meaning “cold plains”.
An Aboriginal word meaning ‘high hill’ or ‘big hill‘ – The aboriginal reference of high hill covered the range from Pymble to Turramurra.
From the language of the local Aniwan tribe. Uralla described a ‘meeting place’, or more especially ‘a ceremonial meeting place and look-out on a hill”.
The name may derive from the Kaurna words yurre ‘ear’ and the suffix denotaing ‘location’, -illa,
Named after the Wagiman Aboriginal tribe from present-day Pine Creek, in the Katherine Region of the Northern Territory.

The town is named after an Aboriginal word meaning ‘wild dog’.

Two meanings are given for this aboriginal word – “a whiting’ and the ‘side of a hill’.
Wee Waa
This Aboriginal name means ‘Fire for Roasting’ from the language of the Kamilaroi people.
Is an aboriginal name meaning “backbone” or “spine”.
Is said to be derived from an Aboriginal term for either ‘gap in the bank where floodwaters escape’ or ‘wild dog’.
An aboriginal word meaning ‘scene of a fight’.
Believed to mean ‘seas of the South’ in the local Aboriginal language, referring to NSW’s Southern Coast.
It is believed that the name of the town derives from the word Weelgoolga, which was used by the local Aborigines to describe the area, and the ‘lilly-pilly trees that grew there.’
An Aboriginal word meaning ‘camp’ or ‘meeting ground’ or ‘a sitting down place’.
Could be derived from either Wallamullah, meaning ‘place of plenty’ or Wallabahmullah, meaning ‘a young black kangaroo’.
Is an Aboriginal term meaning ‘Black Duck’.
Derived from an Aboriginal – Tharawal people – word meaning ‘Place of young wallabies’.
From the Woiwurrung – Eastern Kulin which means ‘to drag, carry or pull with the wind’.
Woy Woy
Taken from the local Darkinjung Aboriginal people, means ‘big lagoon’ or ‘much water’.
Wujal Wujal
Set around the highly sacred waterfalls of Wujal Wujal the name means ‘many falls’ in the local language.
An indigenous word meaning either ‘an edible yam’ or ‘place of running water’.
Derived from the word Yalguru and.said to mean ‘”blood’ or ‘place of blood’,
An Aboriginal word yumbah meaning a ‘rough edible shellfish the size of a man’s hand that clings to rocks and is similar to an oyster’.
Wiradjuri aboriginal language word meaning ‘the sound of running water’.
From an Aboriginal word for ‘turpentine tree’.
From the indigenous Ngunnawal people’s term for the area – It is also spelt Yarrowlumla.
From the Kaurna people which means ‘water running by the side of a river’,
An Aboriginal word for the ‘Wood Duck’.
An Aboriginal name meaning ‘place of echoes’.
The name is derived from local Aboriginal words for ‘ howling’ and ‘dingos’.

Aboriginal Words in Australian English

English Words of Australian Aboriginal Origin

Flora and fauna

  • ballart
  • bogong
  • boobook
  • brigalow
  • budgerigar
  • bumble tree – from Gamilaraay/Yuwaalaraay languages of North-West NSW
  • bunya – from Yuggera language of Brisbane region
  • burdardu
  • conkerberry – from Mayi-Yapi / Mayi-Kulan languages of Cloncurry region
  • coolabah – from Yuwaalayaay language of North-West NSW
  • cunjevoi – from Bundjalung language of Northern NSW
  • curara
  • gang-gang
  • geebung
  • gidgee
  • gilgie
  • gymea
  • jarrah
  • kurrajong – from Dharug language of Sydney region
  • kutjera
  • mallee – from Wemba-wemba language of Western Victoria
  • marri
  • midyim – from Yuggera language of Brisbane region
  • mihirung
  • mulga
  • muntries – from Gaurna language of Adelaide Plains, South Australia
  • myall
  • numt
  • pademelon
  • potoroo
  • quandong – from Wiradjuri language of Central-West NSW
  • quokka
  • wallaby
  • wallaroo
  • wallum – from Kabi Kabi language of the Sunshine Coast
  • waratah – from Dharug language of Sydney region
  • warrigal
  • wikt:bindii
  • witchetty
  • wobbegong
  • wombat
  • wonga
  • wonga-wonga


  • barramundi – from Gangulu language of Central Queensland
  • bettong – from Dharug language of Sydney region
  • bilby – from Yuwaalaraay language of North-West NSW
  • brolga – from Gamilaraay language of North-West NSW
  • bunyip – from Wathawurung language of Geelong Region, Victoria
  • chowchilla – from Dyirbal language of Tully region
  • corella – from Wiradjuri language of Central-West NSW
  • currawong – from Yuggera language of Brisbane region
  • dingo – from Dharug language of Sydney region
  • galah – from Gamilaraay language of North-West NSW
  • kangaroo – from Guugu Yimidhirr language of Cooktown region
  • koala – from Dharug language of Sydney region
  • kookaburra – from Wiradjuri language of Central-West NSW
  • quoll – from Guugu Yimidhirr language of Cooktown region
  • taipan – from Wik Mungkan language of Western Cape York
  • yabby – from Wemba-wemba language of Western Victoria
  • yowie – from Yuwaalaraay language of North-West NSW

Aboriginal Culture

  • alcheringa
  • billabong
  • boomerang
  • bombora (rapids–often used to describe offshore reef breaks)
  • boondie (hardened clump of sand; Noongar, W.A.)
  • bunyip
  • coolamon (wooden curved bowl used to carry food or baby)
  • corroboree
  • djanga
  • gibber (a boulder)
  • gilgai
  • gin (a racially offensive word for an Aboriginal woman)
  • gunyah
  • humpy (a hut)
  • kurdaitcha
  • lubra (a racially offensive word for an Aboriginal woman)
  • marn grook
  • mia-mia (a hut)
  • min-min lights (ground-level lights of uncertain origin sometimes seen in remote rural Australia)
  • nulla-nulla
  • turndun
  • waddy (a wooden club)
  • willy willy (dust devil)
  • woggabaliri
  • woomera
  • wurlie – a hut
  • Yara-ma-yha-who
  • yabber – to talk
  • yakka – work
  • yarndi (slang term for marijuana)

English Words but not of Australian Aboriginal Origin

  • bandicoot (from the Telugu, pandikokku a term originally referring to the unrelated bandicoot rat)
  • cockabully (from Māori kokopu)
  • cockatoo (from Malay)
  • didgeridoo (possibly from Irish or Scottish Gaelic dúdaire dubh or dúdaire dúth [both /d̪u:d̪ɪrɪ d̪u:/] “black piper” or “native piper”)
  • emu (from Arabic, via Portuguese, for large bird)
  • goanna (corruption of the Taíno iguana)
  • jabiru (from the Spanish)
  • nullarbor (Latin for no tree)

Aboriginal Words in Australian English

Some Aboriginal Words from New South Wales

Aboriginal word* Standard English
boorie boy, child
brotha/brother boy male friend, cousin, peer
bunji mate, close friend, kinsman
charge-up, charge drink alcohol
cooee come here
country land, home
deadly fantastic, great, awesome
dubbay, dub girlfriend, female partner
duri (doori) sex
gammon pretending, kidding, joking
gubba non-Aboriginal person
gunjies police
jarjum child
kumanjayi substitute name for a dead person
lingo Aboriginal language
mish mission
mob family, kin, group of people
moola money
pukamani funeral rite (also: ‘pukamani poles’)
rarrk cross-hatching design in art
shame, shamejob that’s embarrassing
shame embarrass, humiliate
sista/sister girl female friend, cousin, peer
Sorry Business ceremony and rituals associated with the death of a loved one
tidda girl female friend, best friend, peer
tjukurpa Dreaming; traditional law
yidaki didgeridoo
tuggi no
nawa yes
ji come
nobard go
nonaga-weyou What is your name?
tewg-ah bread
mondagai meat
marrah fish
burroo kangaroo
koona duck
ka au dee tobacco
yau yee fire
boanbal wood
warrang child
niara look there
yookun or coonjee hut
cumboo gullock bullock
Euroka the sun
Indeko The moob

* Note that this term stands for the multitude of Aboriginal languages which existed in Australia prior to invasion.

Aboriginal Words in Australian English

Some Words of Sydney Aboriginal Groups

Body parts

banarang blood
barangal throat
barrang belly
barrangal skin
biba rib
budbut heart
bugai fat (human)
bunang, guruk knee
bung buttocks
bura testicles
dalang tongue
damara hand
dara tooth
darra. leg, thigh
djarrung shoulder
djiwaxra hair
dyara bone
gabara head
gadlyang nape, neck
gadya penis
galgala smallpox-like disease
garaga mouth
garungan fingernail
gidigidi armpit
gumirri vagina
gunat hair matted with gum
guni faeces, shit
guri ear
mai eye
manuwi foot
marbal chest
midyung sore
nabang breast
naga liver
ngulun forehead
nuga nose
una elbow
walu shin
wiling lips
yarring beard
yilabil urine, piss


Kin relationships

babana brother
biyanga father
damali namesake
djambing sister-in-law
djurumin sister
durung son
duruninang daughter
dyinmang wife
gabami intermediary in disputes
gamarada friend, comrade
gulang widow in mourning
guman grandfather
guwalgalyung elder sister
guwalgang elder brother
mubi mourner at funeral
mugung lover
mugungalyi marital partner
mulamang husband
ngalaiya. ally
ngaramada younger brother
ngarangalyung younger sister
wiyanga mother


Human classifications

dyin woman
dyinuragang old woman
gaiyanaiyung old man
gaiyara name
garadyigan doctor
guragalung young man
guragalungalyung young woman
gurung child, baby
maiyal stranger
man fisherwoman (Also ghost)
mani fisherman
mula man
waruwi girl
wawura rascal
wiring female
wungarra boy
yura person


Food, cooking and fire

djarraba firestick: gun
gadial smoke
ganalang, yuruga heat
garuma blubber
gili flame, light
guwiyang fire
ngarrun fat of meat
nggununy, badalya food



bulga hill
buruwang island
dyiral shoal


ganing cave
garagula ebb tide
garrigarrang sea
gumirri hole
guru deep water
marrang sand, beach
muru road, path
nura country, place


Natural Items

badu water
bamal earth
barabung, minyimulung dew
baragula flood tide
birrung star
buduwangung Magellanic clouds
burra, garrayura sky
danagal ice
duruga falling star
garaguru cloud
giba stone
gura wind
gurbuny fog
guwara high wind
guwing sun
marri yanada full moon
mungi lightning
murungal thunder
walan, bana rain
warriwul. Milky Way
yanada moon


Human classifications

dyin woman
dyinuragang old woman
gaiyanaiyung old man
gaiyara name
garadyigan doctor
guragalung young man
guragalungalyung young woman
gurung child, baby
maiyal stranger
man fisherwoman (Also ghost)
mani fisherman
mula man
waruwi girl
wawura rascal
wiring female
wungarra boy
yura person


Language, mythology, ceremony

biyani curative operation performed by women to cure illness in other women

ritual for preventing children from becoming thieves by scorching their fingers

djanaba laughter
gaxabara a dance
malgun woman with two joints of the little finger on her left hand removed ritually
man ghost (fisherwomen)
nanga mai dream
nanung piercing of the nasal septum to receive a bone or reed decoration
yabun music made by singing and beating time
yalabi daiyalung bora ceremony
yulang yirabadjang tooth extraction initiation ceremony for young men


Pieces of equipment

Aragung shield for war (large and solid)
bangada ornaments
bangala water-carrying vessel made from bark tied at each end
barra fishhook
barrin apron-style covering worn by un-narried girls made from spun possum hair tied in cords from a possum-hair belt
budbili possum rug
bumarit, wumarang, bumarang boomerang for fighting
damang cap
darral feather head ornament
duwal spear (short, with two barbs)
galarra fish harpoon (5-7m, with 4 barbs)
gamai spear (general name)
garradjun fishing line made from bark
gulima basket made from the knot of a tree
gunang spear for hand-to-hand combat
guni yamstick
gunya dwelling made by people
guwariya fish harpoon for children
muding fish harpoon (small)
Mugu stone hatchet
narawang paddle, oar
ngalangala club with a mushroom-shaped head
ngamul sinker for a fishing line made from a small stone
ngurra camp
nuwi canoe
wigun spear thrower made from heavy wood with one end rounded to be used as a digging stick.
Wuda, wudi club shaped from a long piece of wood thicker at one end
Wumara spear thrower about one metre long, with a shell scraper at one end made from a gadyan (Sydney cockel)
Yalga barb of a spear
Yung shield for parrying


Natural Items

badu water
bamal earth
barabung, minyimulung dew
baragula flood tide
birrung star
buduwangung Magellanic clouds
burra, garrayura sky
danagal ice
duruga falling star
garaguru cloud
giba stone
gura wind
gurbuny fog
guwara high wind
guwing sun
marri yanada full moon
mungi lightning
murungal thunder
walan, bana rain
warriwul. Milky Way
yanada moon


Local animals

badagarang eastern grey kangaroo
banggarai swamp wallaby
buduru potoroo
bugul, wurra mouse, rat
bungu flying phalanger
burumin possum
dingu dingo
djubi sugar glider
dun tail
ganimung Gaimard’s rat-kangaroo
marriyagang tiger cat
mirrin brown marsupial mouse
wanyuwa horse
wirambi bat
wiring female animals
wubin feather-tail or pygmy glider
wulaba rock wallaby
wularu wallaroo
wumbat wombat



bayagin leaf-tailed gecko
daning death adder
gan reptiles (snake, goanna or lizard)
malya, diamond python
ngarrang bearded dragon
wirragadar bandy-bandy



binit tawny frogmouth
binyang bird
bubuk boobook owl
buming redbill
bunda hawk
bunyarinarin masked lapwing
burumurring wedge-tailed eagle
diamuldiamul whistling kite
dyaramak sacred kingfisher
dyuralya brolga
gaban egg
garadi glossy black cockatoo
garrangabumarri pelican
garrawi sulphur-crested cockatoo
girra~girra seagull
gugurruk black-shouldered kite
gulina rufous night heron
gulungaga red-browed finch
guma king parrot
guriyal parrot, parrakeet
guwali shag, cormorant
marrigang sittella
mulgu black swan
munu. bill
murradjulbi singing bushlark
muruduwin fairy wren
ngunyul feather
ngurra birds’ nest
nuwalgang magpie goose
urwinarriwing eastern curlew
wangawang ground parrot
wilbing wing
wirgan noisy friarbird
wugan crow
wungawunga wonga pigeon



bugi bark
burumarri brown gum
buruwan rock lily
daguba creek – brush cherry
dainun Port Jackson fig
daranggara cabbage tree
diramu tree
djirang leaf
djuraduralang bark used to make fishing lines
gadigabudyari Christmas bell
galun grasstree stem
gurgi bracken fern root
ganugan vegetable (edible)
midiny yam
gulgadya grasstree


Fish & Sea Life

badangi Sydney rock oyster
baludarri leather-jacket
barung yellowtail kingfish
baruwaluwu dolphin
burra eel
dainya mud oyster
dalgal mussel
daringyan stingray
gadyan Sydney cockle
gaguni toadfish
garuma. black bream
gawura whale
ginaris shovel-nosed ray
guruwin grey nurse shark
magura fish
marumara zebra fish
walamai snapper
walumil Port Jackson shark
waragal mackerel
yaxa crab

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