First Occupants of the Clyde Area

Accounts by Thomas Patterson

Bunurong: Six Seasons

Bunurong Language


Pronounciation Guide

dj sounds like "j" as in jam
dh sounds like "th" as in them

Single Vowels
i    pronounced as in pizza
u   pronouces as in blue
a  pronounced as in father
e   pronounced as in bed
o   pronounced as in hot

Long Vowels
ee   (rhymes with air)
oo   (or)


History for Students

First Occupants of the Clyde Area
The Bunurong: Their Language

The Bunurong languages have pleasant sounding words. If you are looking for a name for a
shopping centre, home, street then you may find it on this page.

  Plants and Animals
barraimal bird, emu   bundjil eagle
darrang tree   dharruwirrag bird, kookaburra
kuyim kangaroo   gurruk bird, brolga
nar nar goon native bear   nyora cherry tree
waang bird, crow   ngayuk bird, cockatoo
warrin wombat   wagil bird, pelican
wilurrt possum   wirrap fish
wirrangan dog, tame      
barnibyrnong place of the ringtailed possum

  Land features      
binibiyal rainbow   carrum reed or bullrush swamp
kooweerup the great swamp   gagurruk sand
warraniit river   warriny sea
wilam camp /hut      

  Climate, Time      
barayip spring   buruny dark
mirrnian moon   manamidh autumn
murrnmut wind   murrndabil thunder
yalinwa day   wurra-wurra sky
yalunguwil yesterday   yirrambuwi tomorrow
wygabil-ny-e-win summer   perrin winter
manemit autumn   pareip spring

  Descriptive Words      
carbool tall   cooyung black
kringun sweet   maneyanin smooth
monamit good   monamit healthy
wygabil old   yen-yen young
ballarto good, plenty   wurrdha big

baba mother   baganurrk nephew
bubup baby, children   didadjak brother
gagangak uncle   bamburrik aunt

McCrae, George Gordon. 1917. "Westernport Vocabulary".  A 'vocabulary' of the 'Western Port' Aborigines (with an introduction and notes by A.S. Kenyon.) Victorian Historical Magazine, 5:164-70.  Copied from remains of a vocabulary of the tribe sometimes called the "Western Port", but inhabiting the country about Arthur's Seat, Port Phillip, in the forties and fifties.  Mr McCrae says " The words in this vocabulary were carefully collected by my father and mother and family (including myself), and are so written as to give the English value to the letters."
baam waterhole canbo one
kakurruk sand manemit autumn
mathalla yours mirambik mine
monamit good pareip spring (season)
perrin winter pin-beál rainbow
therang trees warrin wombat
weerap fish willam hut
woordy-yal-yal greater than six wygabil-ny-e-win summer
yan-né walk yawi swim
yen-yen young yewangé his
1. Aboriginal Flora and Fauna Names of Victoria:
2. AIATSIS Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies website - Language Data Base