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Articles > English words coming from Australian Aboriginal languages

by Alexis Ulrich  LinkedIn

English words coming from Australian Aboriginal languages

When the first settlers arrived in Australia in 1788, they established themselves in the Sydney area where the Dharug language was spoken. Many Dharug words entered English around that time, like waratah (1788), dingo (1789), boomerang (1790), koala, wallaby and wombat (1798). Alongside the further expansion of the settlement, other languages were encountered, and words borrowed: Kamilaroi (budgerigar in 1840, brolga in 1896), Yuwaalaraay (galah in 1862, bilby in 1885), Wiradjuri (gang-gang in 1833, kookaburra in 1834, corella in 1859).

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Bilby

Billabong

Boomerang

Brolga

Budgerigar

Bung

Bilby
Bilby© Kevin503
The rabbit-bandicoot, a desert marsupial, is a loanword from the Yuwaalaraay language of northern New South Wales in which it means “long-nosed rat”.
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Bilby – Billabong – Boomerang – Brolga – Budgerigar – Bung
G
Galah – Gang-gang – Gilgie
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W
Wallaby – Waratah – Wombat

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