RE: Common Names

Subject: RE: Common Names
From: "Conole, Lawrie" <>
Date: Fri, 7 Aug 1998 15:48:16 +1000
>  Names like Kookaburra, Galah, Emu are all
> >preferable to the purely descriptive names like Yellow-tailed Black
> >Cockatoo.  Such a glorious bird as this should (and probably did)
> have a
> >far grander name than the one we have given it.
This is a great old favourite isn't it (the topic I mean)!

In western Victoria, various Aboriginal languages in the Kulin grouping
used "wilan" for Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo and "djirin" for
Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo.  Other beauties like "tarakuk" for Brown
Falcon, "ngak-ngak" for Magpie Goose, and "djubidj-djubidj" for Brown
Thornbill come to mind (they're onomatopeoic - listen to them roll off
the tongue), and on it goes.  "Ngari" is delightfully concise over
Pacific Black Duck, or "guragidj" for Long-billed Corella.  "Wirndjala"
leaves either Spine-tailed Swift or White-throated Needletail wallowing
in its wake.  How about "djidjir" for Superb Fairy-wren? "Djalanwir"
fixes Jacky Winter/Brown Flycatcher.  "Djilbindjir" for Rufous Songlark
is a firm favourite.

They are regional names though, and no better than any of the other
hundreds of possibilities from Aboriginal languages across Australia.
To see more on the western Victorian Aboriginal stuff, see the
ethnozoology section of my web page

.. and of course it's all just my opinion on how beautiful these Koori
names are!!

Cheers, Lawrie

Lawrie Conole
Fitzroy North, Victoria, Australia
37°46'57"S  144°58'45"E

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