Some Words of Sydney Aboriginal Groups

The Archaeology of The Dharawal People of NSW

Images of The Royal National Park

By Les Bursill JP. AIM. B.A. M.Litt (UNE)

INDEX
Body Parts
Kin Relationships
Human Classifications
Language, Mythology, Ceremony
Pieces of Equipment
Food, Cooking and Fire
Landscape
Natural Items
Local Animals
Reptiles
Birds
Fish & Sea Life
Plants
Sources
(Click on section headings to return to this index)

 

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

 

Language, mythology, ceremony
biyani curative operation performed by women to cure illness in other women
buduwai

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

 

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

 

Landscape
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

 

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

 

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

 

Birds
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

 

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
ginari s shovel-nosed ray
guruwin grey nurse shark
magura fish
marumara zebra fish
walamai snapper
walumil Port Jackson shark
waragal mackerel
yaxa crab

 

Plants
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

 

Sources:

These definitions are taken from the Macquarie book of Aboriginal words. There have been some minor alterations and shortenings of descriptions.