NAIDOC Week- Aboriginal words we use everyday

July 5, 2017

On the fourth day of NAIDOC we celebrate the Aboriginal words that have become part of the Standard Australian English.

  • Yakka (as in hard yakka= work)
  • Billabong (water hole)
  • Willy willy (dust cloud)
  • Yabba (talk)
  • Moola (money)
  • Bung (dead/broken)
  • Gammon (gaming, kidding, joking)

Many Australian animal names:

  • Kangaroo
  • Wombat
  • Koala
  • Galah
  • + many more

I bet there are heaps of local words too! In south Western Australia there are a lot of places with ‘up’ on the end which means could mean water place, place of and/or meeting place- Nannup, Dwellingup, Yallingup. We’ve all heard of Ularu, Kirribilli, Bondi, Coogee which are famous Aboriginal named places.

Our languages matter… and they are everywhere!

Thinking about the place names and street names in your town, how many do you think are of an Aboriginal language origin? Share some with us!

There are heaps of these words and more in our book Black Cockatoo (Magabala 2018)- you should have a read to see what ones you can spot!

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