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Indigenous Australians
Australia Animal Life

Australian animals with aboriginal meaning?


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February 04, 2011 7:42AM

Only some aboriginal meanings of Australian animal names are known. , but below are some derivations from the original Aboriginal dialects.

  • koala (gwala) - "no drink"
  • wobbegong (a type of shark) - "shaggy beard"
  • budgerigar (betcherrigah, gijirrigaa) - "good food" or "good eating"
  • witchetty grub (wityu) - "hooked stick" and (vartu) - "grub."

Incidentally, many believe "emu" and "bandicoot" to be aboriginal names for native animals, but they are not. Also, kangaroo (ganguru) does not mean anything like "I don't know what you are saying", as has been erroneously reported.