It might surprise you to learn that you know and use many Aboriginal language words in day to day life. In fact, right across the country there are 100’s of cities, towns, suburbs, roads, buildings, parks and other places that are (or have been derived from) Aboriginal words.
Sadly, despite this prevalence, there are plenty of people who think Aboriginal languages are 'too hard' to pronounce and feel really nervous about having to learn new words.
To dispel some of these misconceptions we've pulled together the following 10 (which at the time of writing are believed to be accurate) Aboriginal language words just from around our area. To show that, with a bit of patience and practice, anyone can pay respect to the Traditional Owners and the lands by speaking in language of the area.
- Patchewallock - Originates from 2 Aboriginal words Putje meaning plenty and Wallah meaning procupine grass
- Nagambie - is a Taungurung word meaning ‘lagoon’ or ‘still waters’
- Geelong - Originates from 'Djlang', a Waddawarung word meaning ’tongue of land’
- Echuca - Yorta Yorta word meaning ‘meeting of the rivers’
- Moama - Yorta Yorta word meaning ‘burial place’
- Werribee - Originates from a Wadawurrung and Boonwurrung word 'Wirribi- Yaluk' meaning ‘backbone or spine’
- Nathalia - Yorta Yorta word meaning ‘place with no stones’
- Ballarat - Wadawurrung word meaning ‘resting place’ or ‘bent elbow’
- Warracknabeal - Meaning ‘place of big gums shading the water’
- Numurkah - Meaning ‘war shield’
How does this make you feel? Do you think you'll feel more confident next time you need to learn a new Aboriginal language word?
You'll notice that we were not 100% sure who’s language some of these words came from which is an unfortunate result of colonisation and the destruction of Aboriginal languages and cultural practices. Please feel free to add to this list or share any other information - we'd love to hear from you!