Open menu
Indigenous performer

Word of the week archive

The source of these words is the State Library of Queensland's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language word list.

Word: Balka wittaberri
Meaning: Good day
Language: Goreng Goreng
Location: Bundaberg region

Word: Barramundi
Meaning: Fish
Language:Gangulu
Location: Central Queensland

Word: Binang
Meaning: Ears
Language: Dharumbal
Location: The Dharumbal language is spoken in the Rockhampton region of Central Queensland

Word: Boeybasam
Meaning: Nose
Language: Yuwibara
Location: Kala Kawaw Ya is spoken in the Torres Straits, particularly the top Western Islands group of Saibai, Dauan and Boigu, as well as the communities of Bamaga and Seisia at the tip of Cape York, which were originally settled by people from Saibai in the 1950s

Word: Bootan
Meaning: Nose
Language: Yuwibara
Location: Yuwibara is the name of the language of Aboriginal people of the Mackay region – often it is listed under the broad term of Yuri or Birri which refers to groups of related languages in North Queensland, extending from Marlborough to Townsville

Word: Budabai duru
Meaning: Good day
Language: Bidjara
Location: Charleville Region, South-West Queensland

Word: Budjeri
Meaning: Good day
Language: Biri
Location: Central Queensland

Word: Bulualum
Meaning: Pelican
Language: Yugarabul
Location: Yugarabul is the name of one of the languages spoken in the Brisbane area south west towards Ipswich and Boonah

Word: Burrar
Meaning: Kangaroo
Language: Yugarabul
Location: Yugarabul is the name of one of the languages spoken in the Brisbane area south west towards Ipswich and Boonah

Word: Chibur
Meaning: Sugar Glider
Language: Yugarabul
Location: Yugarabul is the name of one of the languages spoken in the Brisbane area south west towards Ipswich and Boonah

Word: Cooroy
Meaning: Grey forest possum
Language: Kabi Kabi
Location: Sunshine Coast*

Word: Dhali mura
Meaning: Good day
Language: Kalili
Location: Western Queesland

Word: Gadjarra
Meaning: Possum
Language: Warrgamay
Location: North Queensland, Herbert River catchment and Cardwell region

Word: Galangul allara (pronounced Gull-ung-ull al-a-ra)
Meaning: Good Day
Language: Wakka Wakka
Location: Gayndah, North Burnett

Word: Girragunydijy (pronounced Gear-a-gun-gee)
Meaning: Green frog
Language: Yidiny
Location: Yidiny is the name of one of the languages spoken in the Cairns region extending to Gordonvale and along the tablelands to Kairi.

Word: Goromgunn
Meaning: Stars
Language: Yugambeh
Location: Logan, Gold Coast and Northern New South Wales

Word: Gulambira
Meaning: Butterfly
Language: Wulguru
Location: Townsville

Word: Irmer
Meaning: Rain
Language: Meriam Mir
Location: Eastern Islands of the Torres Strait

Word: Lyurrah (pronounced Eye-you-rah)
Meaning: I am here (hello)
Language: Angkamuthi
Location: Northern Peninsula Area, Cape York

Word: Gud
Meaning: Mouth
Language: Kala Kawaw Ya
Location: Kala Kawaw Ya is spoken in the Torres Straits, particularly the top Western Islands group of Saibai, Dauan and Boigu, as well as the communities of Bamaga and Seisia at the tip of Cape York, which were originally settled by people from Saibai in the 1950s

Word: Kangaroo
Meaning: Kangaroo
Language: Guugu Yimidhirr
Location: Cooktown region, Far North Queensland

Word: Kuyku dhimur
Meaning: Thumb
Language: Kala Kawaw Ya
Location: Kala Kawaw Ya is spoken in the Torres Straits, particularly the top Western Islands group of Saibai, Dauan and Boigu, as well as the communities of Bamaga and Seisia at the tip of Cape York, which were originally settled by people from Saibai in the 1950s

Word: Kuyur
Meaning: Fish
Language: Turubul
Location: Turubul is the name of one of the languages or dialects spoken in the Brisbane area north to the Sunshine Coast

Word: Manja mandja
Meaning: Good day
Language: Kukatj
Location: Burketown, Gulf of Carpentaria

Word: Maroomba Biggee
Meaning: Good day
Language: Jandai
Location: Stradbroke Island

Word: Moor-maq
Meaning: Four
Language: Yir-Yiront
Location: Kowanyama

Word: Mullee weeyee
Meaning: Good day
Language: Biyay
Location: Hinchinbrook Island, Far North Queensland

Word: Muni
Meaning: Kangaroo
Language: Yugambeh
Location: Yugambeh is the name of one of the languages spoken between the Logan and Tweed Rivers and west to Beaudesert and Rathdowney

Word: Munyal
Meaning: Many
Language: Jandai
Location: North Stradbroke Island

Word: Myalli walka
Meaning: Good day
Language: Pitta Pitta
Location: Boulia, Far Western Queensland

Word: Netat
Meaning: One (1)
Language: Meriam
Location: Eastern Torres Strait Islands

Word: Nhanha yinda murdi (pronounced Ngoo-nha yin-da moorr-di)
Meaning: How are you?
Language: Gunggari
Location: Mitchell, South West Queensland

Word: Ngabi
Meaning: Many
Language: Yidinj
Location: Cairns

Word: Niiyalang
Meaning: Hello
Language: Wik-mungkan
Location: Western Cape York

Word: Nooda kurra
Meaning: Good day
Language: Gudjal
Location: Charters Towers, North Queensland

Word: Thurril adjila
Meaning: Good day
Language: Yilba
Location: Cape River, North Queensland

Word: Wandoan
Meaning: Refers to a 'flat where grey possums are plentiful'
Language: Barunggam
Location: Darling Downs

Word: Weeimba gilee (pronounced Wee-im-bar Gear-lee)
Meaning: Good day (g'day)
Language: Bigambul
Location: Darling Downs

Word: Wynnum
Meaning: From 'winnam' meaning breadfruit or pandanus tree
Language: Yugara
Location: Brisbane area west to Ipswich and the Lockyer Valley

Word: Yambia
Meaning: Five
Language: Guyambul
Location: Stanthorpe, Darling Downs

Word: Yamina (pronounced Yah-mun-ee)
Meaning: Rainbow
Language: Dyirbal
Location: along the Tully and Johnston River catchments, North Queensland

Word: Yinboo
Meaning: Chin
Language: Yugara
Location: Yugara is the name of one of the languages spoken in the Brisbane area west to Ipswich and the Lockyer Valley. The language was spoken and understood by Aboriginal groups in the Greater Brisbane area, including neighbouring groups of Turubul, Yugambeh and Yugarabul

Word: Zia
Meaning: Clouds
Language: Kala Lagaw Ya
Location: Western and Central Islands of the Torres Strait

* Cooroy is also a town in the Noosa hinterland. Aboriginal place names generate a lot of discussion and queries regarding meanings, translations, etc. The landscape of south east Queensland had traditional names prior to the settlement of Moreton Bay. Some have been maintained in place names or landmarks, others have been lost and replaced by introduced names; there also seems to be a growing trend of dual-naming to revive traditional names.

Disclaimer

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages are oral languages that have only been written down since European settlement; there may be several variations in spelling and pronunciation. The word of the week should be seen as a guide – check with local language speakers/custodians as to the preferred local pronunciation.

Keep up with us on social